What Are Some Typical Ways That Alienating Parents Interfere With Parenting Time?

Although very experienced in all aspects of family law, Kelly Peterson also has specific expertise for and specializes in cases involving parental alienation, gatekeeping, and parent time interference.

The most straightforward methods by which alienating and interfering parents prevent parent time is simply by not sending the child, ignoring parent time, or flat out refusing. Very often, they justify this behavior by citing the bad characteristics, traits or habits of the target parent. Sometimes, they claim that the target parent has not paid child support so they do not get parent time. Very often, they claim that the child does not want to go on parent time, or that they are fearful of the other parent. One of the most insidious methods by which alienating and interfering parents stop parent time with the other parent or interfere with parent time with the other parent is to influence the child against the non-favored parent, and then claim the child “does not want to go.”

They might say, “I’ve encouraged Johnny to go but he just does not want to. What do you want me to do? Handcuff him and throw him in the trunk? He’s bigger than me. You can come over here and try to get him to go with you.” Alienating parents will often claim to be supportive of the other parent’s parent time, but hide behind the alleged choice of the child. They will then give to the child a soft place to land, meaning they provide a comfortable space in the favored parent’s home to spend the time they should be with the target parent. In other words, they give the alienated child a place to stay.

Alienating parents also often schedule extracurricular activities, vacations, trips or other attractive activities during the non-favored parent’s parent time. This creates a huge incentive for the child to reject parent time. Sometimes an alienating parent might induce a child who otherwise would go on parent time to reject it by saying something like “Too bad you’re going to miss the trip to Disneyland because you chose to go with” the non-favored parent.

Another tactic used by alienating parents is that they often misinterpret the parent time schedule and engage in endless debates about how to interpret the schedule.

Alienating parents and interfering parents also often engage in “tethering.” This is when even though the child is at the non-favored parent’s home, an alienating or interfering parent will remain in constant contact with the child, text messages, late night phone calls, tracking apps on a child’s phone, sometimes even username apps such as Snapchat where the text disappears when the conversation is over.

They will often insist that the child carry the cell phone they purchased but they will not give the pin or login information to the non-favored parent. This tethering behavior results in the child never being able to detach fully from the alienating parent thereby preventing the development of a relationship between the child and the target parent.

For more information on dealing with Alienating Parents Interfering With Parenting Time, an initial consultation is your next best step. Contact Us online or call us to arrange a consultation at (801) 616-3301 today.

Kelly Peterson – Specialist For Cases Involving Parental Alienation, Gatekeeping, and Parent Time Interference.

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*Child Welfare Law Specialist Nat’l Assoc. of Counsel for Children