Divorce is as much of an emotional process as it is a legal one, especially for parents. Despite this, many parents in Alabama work together to create child custody agreements that center around their children’s best interest. Unfortunately, not all parents are so cooperative, and may even try to manipulate their children to secure the agreement that they want.
What is child manipulation?
In divorce, child manipulation is when one parent shares negative or inappropriate information with a child in an attempt to negatively influence his or her relationship with the other parent. This is typically used to secure more parenting time or even full custody. However, some experts say that this is a form of abuse that has a lasting impact on a child’s mental health. Child manipulation may look like:
- Instructing a child to say aggressive or offensive things to his or her other parent
- Involving a child in a conflict and telling him or her the other parent is wrong
- Disrupting a child’s visit with his or her other parent through frequent texts and calls
Watch out for social media
Approximately 80% of people in America use social media. It is highly normalized to share every aspect of life online, from what one ate for breakfast to new relationships and breakups. Even displaying conflict for all to see is seen as standard. When going through a divorce, though, it is important to remain civil both offline and on. It does not matter if one is acting civilly in front of a child only to turn around and lambast an ex and his or her parenting skills on Facebook.
These kinds of tactics that parents use to secure more time with their children often backfire. On top of that, they are also harmful to children and are certainly not in their best interests. Alabama parents who are eager to create the best possible child custody agreement but are also dealing with difficult ex-spouses are generally well advised to speak with a knowledgeable attorney about their options.