It's hard enough to go through all the emotional distress of divorce, but when your ex tries to turn your child, your everything, against you, that's when enough is enough. 

You just went through a heartbreaking divorce. Your ex won primary custody, but you won visitation rights to your child in court. It starts out with your child acting differently toward you during your scheduled visitation. Maybe they give you some sideways glances, maybe they shy away from your friendly touch. It starts to get worse. Your child no longer wants to see you, but you can't understand why. You've done nothing to warrant this behavior from a child that you took care of and loved unconditionally for years. Your ex starts preventing you from visiting your child, claiming that you somehow caused this by your own behavior. Maybe your ex even goes so far as to say that you abused your child. The child that you loved with all your heart. How could your ex say that? How did you end up so far away from a positive relationship with your child? How can you fix it when your ex won't let you see your child anymore, when your ex is telling the court that you are not a fit parent and should not even have visitation rights? 

We know what you are experiencing. There is a name for it, and we can help. 

Parental alienation happens when one parent discredits the other parent to a child that the two parents share custody of, and it is often accompanied by several false targeted accusations. It could be your ex telling your child that you abandoned them, that you will hurt them if given the chance, or (for younger children) that they just don't want to see you. It's painfully easy for an alienating parent to destroy your relationship with your child, but there is hope. 

Hickey & Hull Law Partners is experienced in handling parental alienation cases, and we care about each and every case, even when it hurts. Give us a call because things are about to get better.

Parental Alienation Stories

Tips for Dealing with Parental Alienation At ...

Being the targeted parent of parental alienation is difficult — especially because it’s brought on without you having any say in the matter. But it’s even more challenging to address and deal with during the school year when you and your child have limited time together and want to make every moment worthwhile. Whether you have designated parent-time or shared custody, there are ways to continue connecting with your child during this busy time of the year, despite parental alienation.  #1: Don’t Badmouth the Other Parent No matter their age, school is stressful enough for children, and the last thing they need is both of their parents talking badly about one another. It’s not easy, but being the bigger person and avoiding speaking negatively about the other parent has a more significant effect on your child than you might realize.  That’s because parental alienation — when one parent intentionally tries to display the other parent in a negative light through tactics like fear, brainwashing, and manipulation — is considered emotional abuse.  Speaking badly about your child’s parent causes them to feel less close to you and can also lead to delinquency, antisocial behavior, and other problems. That’s why, as the targeted parent, it’s crucial that you don’t do the same thing that your ex is doing to you.   #2: Stay Involved  One of the most important things any parent can do is stay involved, updated, and interested in their children’s lives. When a new school year begins, there’s a lot of opportunity for positive involvement, such as asking questions like:  How do you like your new teachers?  Which classes do you like the most?  Are any of your friends in your classes?  Is there a club or activity you might want to join?  You may also encourage positive involvement by helping with homework, picking them up from school, attending school activities, and encouraging overcoming difficult tasks, like projects or problems with friends.  And while it’s essential to be interested and inquire about topics like this, you should also stay involved and follow up with open-ended questions. Your child will notice when you are aware of what’s happening in their daily life, which is a positive effect that can help undo any negative talk from their other parent.  #3: Utilize Your Time Together Your child’s schedule is much busier during the school year, and their energy levels will naturally be stretched. This means that when it’s time for you to pick them up from school, your child may be tired, have other obligations, or need to do homework — even when all you want is to connect and utilize your time together.  There’s good news, though: Studies show that kids who spend time with their parents after divorce are less susceptible to anxiety and depression. But simply being physically present isn’t enough for a child who may be dealing with alienation.  Children crave love and attention from their parents, so be sure you are proactive with your time: Play games, have discussions, attend events, work on homework, and stay engaged the entire time you’re together.  If You Suffer from Parental Alienation, You’re Not Alone  A particular type of grief comes from being alienated as a parent that isn’t understood by most.  If you’re dealing with alienation during the school year and are unsure of what else you can do, there are options: Contact Hickey & Hull Law Partners to schedule a consultation on your case. Our River Valley office number is 479.434.2414, and our Northwest Arkansas number is 479.802.6560.  With legal help, you could avoid alienation — and even help re-establish your relationship with your child.

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How to Reverse the Effects of Parental Aliena...

Last month, we shared part 1 of this series addressing proven methods to reverse the effects of parental alienation syndrome. We will continue sharing these strategies in hopes of helping every family suffering through this difficult experience. The road ahead is challenging, but with these strategies, you have a road map to guide you along the way to reconcile with your child(ren). Strategies 4, 5, and 6 discuss spending quality time with your child, remaining calm, and seeking counseling. Each of these strategies has its place and can help you achieve a closer and stronger relationship with your child. Strategy #4: Spend Quality Time with Your Child Children crave attention from their parents. When a child doesn’t get positive attention and affirmation, they’ll resort to negative behavior that gets your attention. This interaction encourages poor behavior and distances you and your child even more. Combating parental alienation syndrome is a multi-faceted front, and spending quality time with your child is an excellent way to change your child’s perception of you. Quality time is not buying your child everything they want or saying yes to every request. Quality time is peaceful moments where you and your child enjoy one another’s presence and the activity you’re doing. The best part about quality time is that it can vary as often as you want it. You can do things your child loves and teach them about some of the hobbies you enjoy. Ultimately, your child learns from you and sees you in a different light–one that contradicts what they’re hearing from the other parent. Strategy #5: Remain Cool, Calm, and Collected When a child suffers from parental alienation syndrome, you may hear them say things you strongly disagree with and feel the urge to argue. You must remain cool, calm, and collected in moments like these. Any sudden outburst, even in defense of your reputation and ability to parent, could be construed as abusive, violent, and selfish, which would only validate what your child is repeating. Remember, your child hears this kind of language from someone else. Although they may believe it’s their own opinion, the other parent feeds them these negative perceptions. It would be best if you met these kinds of comments with a loving attitude and an understanding that what your child says is heavily influenced by other factors. Strategy #6: Seek Counseling for You and Your Child Counseling is one of the best strategies to address parental alienation. Seeking professional counseling from someone with experience working with alienated parents and children can guide your family through the healing process. The proper time to seek counseling is really up to you and depends on the severity of the situation. If you notice the signs of parental alienation early on, you could reverse the effects without counseling. However, most people don’t notice the signs soon enough, and counseling is one of their last options. Conclusion Reversing the effects of parental alienation is time-consuming and takes weeks, months, and maybe even years to overcome. But no matter how time-consuming it may be, it’s always worth the effort when it means you get to spend high-quality time with your children. If you’re in a difficult situation and need help addressing potential parental alienation, contact Hickey and Hull for a free consultation.

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In the River Valley:
502 Garrison Avenue
Fort Smith, AR 72901
Phone: (479) ‍434-2414
Fax: (479) ‍434-2415

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In Little Rock:
124 W. Capitol Avenue Suite 870
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (479) ‍434-2414
Fax: (479) ‍434-2415

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In Russellville: 

127 East 3rd Street
Russellville, Arkansas 72801

Phone: (479) ‍434-‍2414
Fax: (479) ‍434-‍2415

 

 

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Mon - Fri 8:30am - 5:00pm (Closed 12:00pm - 1:00pm)

In Northwest Arkansas:
409 W. Poplar Street
Rogers, AR 72756
Phone: (479) ‍802-6560
Fax: (479) ‍802-6561

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