Sharing custody with your ex can be the hardest thing about divorce. You have to see each other several times a week to exchange custody. You may even have to negotiate agreements on issues like medical care and whether or not your kid can play a sport.
Children are usually the happiest after divorce when they continue healthy relationships with both parents. However, your ex may become quite bitter and resent your involvement with the children. Sometimes, an angry ex-spouse might fabricate excuses to cancel or shorten your parenting time. Other times, they will start trying to turn the children against you by making exaggerated claims about who you are as a person or why your marriage ended.
What can you do if a bitter ex wants to poison your children’s view of you?
Recognize the warning signs of parental alienation
When one parent wants to punish the other using the kids as a weapon, parental alienation is often what happens. One parent will cut the children off from the other or slowly start to manipulate the children’s perception of the other parent.
This behavior doesn’t just affect the parents. It can have a catastrophic impact on the social and mental health of the children involved in the family too. If you can show a pattern that indicates parental alienation is an issue for your family, that could help you in court.
Keep a record of what your ex does and what your children say
Did you drive across town to pick up your kids for the weekend, only to have your ex turn you away and say they had to cancel? Did your children come over and tell you that they don’t want to see you anymore because you cheated on their mom or you are a liar that they can’t trust?
Keeping a record of how your ex interferes in your parenting time will help you. So will keeping records of what your children claim to have heard from your ex. Even screenshots of inappropriate things that your ex shares on social media could help you show the courts that they have intentionally attempted to damage how the children perceive you and the relationship that you have with your kids.