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Illinois parental alienation attorneysWhile most parents only want what is best for their children, there are those who are more focused on “winning” than the child’s best interest. Some may even go so far as to commit parental alienation. In today’s post, you will learn more about parental alienation, including how to determine if your child may be a victim, and what actions can be taken to protect the child. 

What is Parental Alienation?

Minor issues, such as arguments in front of the kids and ill-spoken words are fairly common in the initial stages of a divorce or separation. Though still harmful, these negative behaviors typically dissipate over time. Each parent heals from their grief or anger, sees the nature of their wrongs, and strives to improve for the benefit of the child. 

Parental alienation is different, specifically in terms of severity and the long-term continuance of the offending parent’s poor behavior. Their reasons behind it are varied (i.e. a need or desire to control, fear of losing the child’s love or affection, wanting to hurt or get even with the other parent), but the results are often devastatingly similar. The child suffers mentally and emotionally and, as a result, they may develop maladjustment issues, such as an identity crisis, depression, or even outright hatred toward a parent that they once loved dearly. 

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DuPage County divorce lawyersThe divorce journey is naturally difficult for the entire family, especially when children are involved. Although research shows younger children tend to adapt and bounce back from divorce with greater ease than older, adolescent teens, studies on the effects of divorce on children consistently demonstrate the often negative emotional impact divorce can have on kids. Despite these discouraging facts, however, parents do have some control in terms of how they choose to handle their divorce and ultimately, how they allow the end of their marriage to affect their children.

Parental Alienation and How it Breeds Conflict

Apart from financial disputes, one of the biggest sources of tension between parents during divorce is often rooted in disagreements surrounding the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. Due to the circumstances that led to the divorce and the nature of the couple’s relationship with one another at the time of the split, it is not uncommon for parents who are hurt and on the defense to project their thoughts and emotions onto their children.

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Illinois family law attorneysMost parents know that their child needs to be protected during a divorce, but there are a few that will use their child as a weapon. Unfortunately, such actions can cause long-term damage. The following information can help you learn how to mitigate against the possible effects of parental alienation, and it describes how an attorney can assist with your divorce case.

Signs and Symptoms of Parental Alienation

In the early stages of parental alienation, parents may not notice any signs and symptoms. However, there may be details about the divorce that start to emerge. For example, your child might ask why you stopped loving the other parent, or why it is that you refused to forgive them for a mistake they made. As time passes, additional signs and symptoms may start to surface, including:

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