Gregory S. Johnson, Attorney at Law
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Is parental alienation a real thing?

Like most parents in East Baton Rouge, Livingston Parish and surrounding Louisiana regions, you occasionally lament the fact that children seem to grow up quickly. One minute, they're infants swaddled snugly in your arms, and the next minute, they're calling home from a dorm room clear across the country asking for money. Perhaps your parenting journey is still in earlier stages; yet, you already sense a fleeting passage of time. Doing your best to provide for your children and build strong, healthy relationships together probably remains one of your highest priorities.

If you're among those whose family lives change due to divorce, you may face challenges beyond those associated with the emotional process of watching your children grow.

When serious problems arise

It's no secret that a leading factor in many divorces includes a communication breakdown between spouses. In fact, many people say they can't even be in the same room with their former spouses without tempers flaring and contentious arguments erupting. Such stress can obviously have a negative effect on children as well. If you believe one or more people causes alienation between you and your kids, you are not alone; many parents rectify their situations through formal court proceedings. Signs of alienation include:

  • Your former spouse or another relative of your children repeatedly makes negative remarks about you in their presence.
  • Your children's other parent refuses to adhere to custody or visitation orders when it's your turn to be with your kids, but blames you when the children ask questions.
  • The other parent attempts to deny you access to your children's school or medical records.
  • Your children suddenly do not want to see or speak to you and you suspect it's because others have misguided them in some way.

If you have an existing court order that grants you physical custody or visitation, and your former spouse refuses to allow you access to your children, it's unlawful and deserves the urgent attention of appropriate authorities. Even if your former spouse does act lawfully, but you believe alienation from your children relates to your current divorce situation in some way, you may find it easier to resolve the problem with the proper emotional and practical support.

An experienced Louisiana family law attorney knows how to address the issue of parental alienation and serves as a tremendous asset when seeking agreeable solutions to such problems. An attorney understands the laws that govern such matters and can help you protect your parental rights, as well as your children's best interests.

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