Divorce can often be difficult for children and parents in Pennsylvania. Dealing with questions of child custody, support and parenting plans can be some of the more challenging and emotional issues that come with the end of a marriage. While it is best if divorcing parents can put their personal issues aside, this does not always happen. Combative divorces can lead to one parent pressuring children to take sides in a harmful way.

Parental alienation is when a child is directed against one of their parents by the other parent in a significant or extreme way. This can happen regardless of the gender or even the child custody status of the targeting parent.

There are some signs to keep in mind when looking for warnings of potential parental alienation. These can include a parent being excluded from a child’s education, such as being denied participation at parent-teacher conferences or removed as a contact for school or camp. Children might also start saying derogatory things toward one parent that sound more like the voice of the ex-partner. The child may also ask their parent not to come to their life events. It is important to stay vigilant for signs of parental alienation, especially in cases where the former partners have a bitter or divisive relationship. Ultimately, the alienation is most devastating to the children.

Parents going through a divorce can receive important support and representation from a family law attorney. It is important to have legal representation when dealing with child custody, support, parenting time and other issues that will determine the future of the parent-child relationship.