As a parent, there is nothing more important to you than protecting the relationship you have with your children. After divorce, this can be difficult due to the fact that you will have to share parenting time with the other parent. You have to be intentional about pursuing a fair custody order and making the most out of the time you do have.
Even with a reasonable parenting plan and a personal commitment to protect the best interests of the children, post-divorce parenting is not easy. It can be especially difficult if the other parent is not respectful of your parental rights or does things to undermine your relationship with your kids. This may be malicious parenting, and you may have grounds to fight back.
Are you experiencing malicious parenting?
It’s not always easy to know if what you are experiencing counts as malicious parenting. You and the other parent may not get along, but simple disagreements are not the same as direct and intentional efforts to compromise the child’s relationship with his or her other parent. Children benefit when allowed to maintain strong relationships with both parents, and there is no place for malicious parenting, no matter how the two parents may feel about each other. Signs of malicious parenting include:
- Taking steps to deny the other parent his or her rightful visitation time
- Refusing to return the child after visitation or refusing to allow the child to communicate with the other parent.
- Trying to alienate the child from the other parent by working to separate the parent from the child or involving others in schemes to drive them apart
- Lying to the children or doing things that are in direct violation of the terms of the parenting plan
Sometimes, malicious parenting is the result of a mental disorder. In other cases, malicious parenting is simply an effect of hostile feelings and difficulty that can arise during a divorce. It can be harmful to your kids, and you have the right to take action to protect their interests and preserve your role as the parent.
If you think you are experiencing things that are a threat to your parental rights, you may want to seek legal guidance regarding the legal options that could be available to you. You may be able to ask a Wisconsin family court to compel the other parent to adhere to the terms of the parenting plan. You can also seek a modification to your current custody order through the court if you feel you need to.