Co-parenting can be difficult in any situation, regardless of how well the parents get along. In a typical post-divorce setting, New York parents may have different views on raising their children. Anger and resentment can also linger for years, creating a tempting situation for one parent to get back at the other in the most painful way possible – by using the kids against him or her.
This common scenario, explains Psychology Today, is parental alienation syndrome. In this situation, the alienating parent devotes time and energy into painting a negative picture of the ex, turning family and friends against him or her and sabotaging visitation and parenting time with the children.
Higher income can be used as a weapon
Parental alienation syndrome can occur in any social and income setting, but those in a higher earning bracket may be a few steps above the lesser-earning parent. Take, for example, the company executive who rarely has the time or interest for his kids, but after his wife files for divorce, he is suddenly the most devoted father ever – using his significant financial power to hire the best legal team and to attack his spouse’s character. It’s not that he is interested in spending more quality time with his children, it’s that he wants to punish his wife for the divorce by attempting to gain custody and turn the children against her.
Children need a relationship with both parents
Sadly, in situations like these, the children are the ones who suffer the most. Kids need the love, time and support of both parents. Deliberate alienation from one parent can cause lasting psychological damage. If the parent is successful in his or her attempts to destroy the relationship between the children and the other parent, it’s possible they may never be fully able to repair the rift.