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Emotional impact of identity theft

Identity theft is usually a chronic crime that last for years. Chronic anything causes physical and mental issues. Imagine, you ultimately lose your job because you have to deal with recovering your identity, then you will lose your home or … continue reading

The post Emotional impact of identity theft appeared first on Karen "KJ" Lodrick.

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Mediation and its impact on your Texas Child Custody Case

Mediation and its impact on your Texas Child Custody Case

Originally published by The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC Blog.

It has become a trend in recent years for courts in southeast Texas to mandate that parties must attend at least one session of mediation (and likely more) before they ever are able to have their case presented in front of a judge during a trial. As far as alternatives to having to go the “distance” in a contested child custody case, mediation is at the top of the list as far as places to go when you need a resolution to your case.

The benefits of meditation are many. You and your opposing party are able to take an active and participatory role in the process that will determine the outcome of your case. This is the case to an extent in a trial, but keep in mind you are only able to present evidence once you get in front of a judge. It is the judge who will be making the final decision in your trial.

Domestic violence and mediation in Texas

Child custody cases that involve domestic violence can be especially troublesome when taken in the context of mediation. For one, if you are the victim of acts of domestic violence as perpetrated upon you by the opposing party in your child custody case that you may not be able to negotiate to the fullest extent possible. This is often times the case because you are not only fearful of your own well-being during mediation but can also be “under the thumb” of the opposing party due to their role in supporting you economically. If you haven’t worked in a decade or more, how freely can you negotiate in mediation knowing that your well-being is tied up in the other person paying your bills?

It is for this reason that the requirement for you and your opposing party to mediate your case is waived in many southeast Texas courts when family violence is an issue. Furthermore, even if the requirement to mediate your case is not waived automatically due to family violence being involved, it can happen that if you object to having to go that the objection will likely be upheld by the judge.

In cases where there is domestic violence that has occurred between you and your opposing party do not be surprised if the judge takes extraordinary steps to ensure your protection. I have seen judges appoint third parties to attend mediation as an extension of the court in order to help prevent additional acts of violence from occurring. Many judges have “go-to” mediators who have specific experience one expertise in handling cases where there have been acts of domestic violence perpetrated by one party against the other.

If you have been the victim of family violence it is ultimately up to you whether or not you will attend mediation in your case. Some people believe that there are still benefits to be had with the process if, in fact, you feel that you can negotiate freely, considering the circumstances. On the other hand, you may feel constrained for multiple reasons and can choose to opt out of the mediation requirement of your court. Either way, this is a decision that is fact-specific and ought to be discussed at length with your attorney prior to arriving at a final decision.

International divorces- how where you’re from can impact your Texas divorce

In a city like Houston, it is not at all uncommon to encounter families who have one or both parents born internationally or at least have roots in another country. You may be in a position where you are currently living abroad while your spouse lives here in the United States. Or, you both may live here in the United States but you could own property in foreign countries. Your having had children may have created opportunities for you to visit family abroad more often. There are certainly numerous ways that your family could have international ties.

Family law in Texas becomes a tad more complicated when you consider the implications of an international divorce. The more diverse the set of facts and circumstances, the more crucial it becomes for you to be able to sort through them in a logical and clear-headed manner. In today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we will discuss this topic in greater detail.

What are the main issues relevant to an international divorce?

From my experiences, there are basically six topics that we have to discuss that relate in some way to an international divorce. Those issues would be jurisdiction, service of process, choice of law, discovery, property division and then the enforcement of the orders that are arrived at in the child custody or divorce case. While we can say with some confidence what the issues are that we need to discuss, the fact that they are all interconnected can make things more complicated.

Let’s take each of those six issues and discuss them in greater detail.

Jurisdiction- who gets to decide what?

If you are like most people who go through a divorce, you are likely chomping at the bit to have the important questions of your case decided. Who gets what property? How much child support are you going to have to pay? To what extent will you be able to see your children? These are all relevant questions that need to be answered. Unfortunately, they are questions that cannot be answered without first determining whether or not Texas has jurisdiction to hear the case. If, in fact, the state of Texas lacks jurisdiction to hear your case then you are in a position where you need to figure out what venue is appropriate.

Simply put, jurisdiction refers to a court’s authority to make rulings and issue orders in a specific legal matter that is brought before it. These rulings, in a divorce context, are usually tied to property rights and child custody. In an international divorce, you not only have to contend with the questions of whether or not Texas has jurisdiction over your case but whether or not any U.S. state has jurisdiction over your case.

Personal jurisdiction is the first issue that we have to tackle. Ask yourself whether or not you and your spouse have sufficient ties with Texas in the event that it is here that you want your case to be heard.

Next, you will need to determine whether or not a court in Texas has the authority to handle your divorce case and all the issues that are connected to it.

Finally, it could be the case that Texas and another jurisdiction both have equally strong claims to hearing your case. In that event which court should and would your case be heard in?

From the beginning of your case until its end, these are the dominant themes and questions that you will be asking yourself. The difficult part of the process is that determining jurisdiction is not always a straightforward issue. A judge in Texas may have jurisdiction over your case while a judge in another country may have an equally strong claim to having jurisdiction. In those type of situations, you and your attorney will need to determine where your case ought to be filed from a strategic standpoint.

What country’s laws should apply to your international divorce?

Family laws differ significantly from state to state in our country so I’m sure it wouldn’t surprise you to find out that the laws of divorce can vary even more so from country to country. Once you have determined which court will actually be hearing your case the next question that needs to be asked is what set of laws will be determining the contested issues in your case.

First of all, how will you file for divorce? Do you need to assert “fault grounds” for your divorce? Texas allows you to file for divorce for any reason under the sun- including no particular reason at all. However, some foreign countries do not allow you to do so. Will you need to prove adultery or domestic violence in order to get your divorce if you have to file in an international divorce?

Next, does the law of the country that will govern your divorce require that you divide the property up in your divorce along with a 50/50 basis? Texas is a community property state that, absent other circumstances, will usually require a fairly even split of the marital assets (property that came into being during the course of your marriage).

Will prenuptial or postnuptial agreements be honored?

The concept of prenups has become fairly well known through our popular culture in the United States. Coming to an agreement with your spouse-to-be while you are still on good terms regarding certain property related issues is a good idea in the eyes of the State of Texas and property agreements like this are honored in most cases.

This may not be the case for your foreign courts. When considering where you should file your divorce and attempt to establish jurisdiction this is a question you need to ask yourself: whether or not you have come to an agreement on a premarital or post-marital agreement. If you have done so it would be unwise to file for divorce in a jurisdiction that would not honor the agreement.

Spousal maintenance: to pay or not to pay?

If you are in a position where you will need to be requesting spousal maintenance be paid from your spouse to you at the conclusion of your divorce you need to do your homework to determine what laws are most favorable in this regard. Texas only recently began to allow judges to impose orders regarding the payment of spousal maintenance. Even then, these payments are typically only allowed for a relatively short period of time and under limited circumstances. The length of your marriage, for instance, must be at least ten years and you must also show that you cannot provide for your minimal basic needs otherwise.

Service of process issues for international divorces

Typically, when you file for divorce in Texas you will have a constable or private process server pick up the divorce paperwork from the courthouse, drive out to your spouse’s residence or business and have him or she served personally with notice of your lawsuit having been filed. The process can take a few days but it is typically a low-key and simple transaction to complete. It is important, nonetheless, because your case cannot proceed without your first having provided notice of the lawsuit to your spouse.

There are international treaties that are in effect that govern how you can provide notice to any person who is a resident of a country that has signed on to that treaty. While the United Nations has a treaty in place that governs this subject, each member nation interprets its contents a bit differently. From personal experience, I can tell you that this step is one that can delay a case for weeks and even months. You are best served by hiring an attorney who knows how to quickly and correctly serve an opposing party with an international service of process.

More on international divorces to be posted tomorrow

In tomorrow’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, we will discuss more issues related to divorce from an international perspective. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the material that we have covered please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. We offer free of charge consultations six days a week with one of our licensed family law attorneys. It would be an honor to meet with you to discuss your case and answer any questions you may have.

Our attorneys and staff share a commitment to putting your interests ahead of our own and to provide the best legal representation of any family law attorneys in southeast Texas. To find out what sets us apart from our competitors please give us a call today.

Curated by Texas Bar Today. Follow us on Twitter @texasbartoday.



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Divorce’s Emotional Impact on Family

Divorce’s Emotional Impact on Family Roles

Divorce’s Emotional Impact on Family

 

Roles within a family and the early relationships we craft will impact us emotionally through the rest of our lives. Unfortunately, the relationship between two parents and divorce specifically can negatively affect the people that you both care about most, your children.

Divorce’s Emotional Impact on Family Roles

Typical family roles are changing, even without considering divorce as a primary factor in most relationships. The American Community Survey found in a 2009 study that only about 45.8% of children would make it to 17-years-old with their biological parents still married. That means that about half of children will live through the divorce of their parents.

Impacts of Divorce on Children

The driving concern for everyone involved in a divorce is the impact on the children. But, there’s more at play than who spends more time with whom. The emotional impact of children can vary wildly based on three aspects.

First, the relationship with each of the parents. If one child was always closer with their mother, then they may immediately, and completely of their own accord, see the other partner as the “bad guy.”

Second is the extent of the conflict. Have you and your partner reached a consensus that the marriage isn’t worth salvaging or that the damage is irreparable? Or, have you gone through months of screaming matches, cursing, throwing objects across the home and worse? The extent of the conflict can either show children that through emotional intelligence, you can end a bad relationship civilly or that a relationship must go through levels of toxicity before anyone can leave.

Third, the parent’s ability to focus on the child. Emotional intelligence goes through waves of development, but younger children are much more self-centered than grown adults. Without someone addressing their needs regularly, they’ll carry resentment for undelivered attention through their lives.

Considering the Situation

Emotional impact may vary based on the specifics of the divorce and the parent’s situation, but the need for emotional development doesn’t differ.

Major emotional milestones include:

  • Experiencing embarrassment between ages 5 and 6.
  • Awareness of others’ perceptions between ages 7 and 8.
  • Identity development starting at age 9.
  • Become introspective at age 11.

It’s easy to see how a generally uncomfortable or strained environment can impact all of these milestones. Emotionally, there are two consistent behaviors that children of divorce exhibit.

Both boys and girls express anger non-verbally and internalize distress. Usually, a child with parents going through a divorce will choose one of these patterns and stick with it. Children that regress to the non-verbal expression of anger will vandalize, fight, or start generally destructive habits. Children who internalize distress will often experience depression, poor gut health (from worry) and have severe changes to their eating and sleeping habits.

There are instances when a child removed from an emotionally neglectful or harmful situation will do better after the divorce.

The best way to reduce emotional distress is to help the child develop security in their relationship with any involved parent. That means the parents must uphold preset duties, make good on promises, and act civilly with the other parent.

Impacts of Divorce on Mothers

When evaluating family roles, much attention goes to the mother. However, it’s worth noting that women instigate the divorce more than twice as often as men do.  When it comes to divorce handling, the role of the mother often changes.

Times have significantly impacted what people expect to deliver as the mother-role in a partnership. But, as the person likely to have started the divorce, and likely to be seeking full custody, they are often taking on a new and more authoritative role. Often when a divorce starts, they no longer seek approval of their spouse or discuss major decisions with them.

Mothers may realize that they now have to rely on the social system, child care, or child support and will have less anxiety over asking for help. Emotionally, mothers may thrive after a divorce finding relief from marital problems they may have lived with for years.

Impacts of Divorce on Fathers

In 2016 a study found that about 55% of divorce instigators blamed the other person, and if women are twice as likely to file for divorce that means that men are almost always stuck with the blame.

There are many negative physical effects that divorced dads are more likely to experience, but they also have emotional setbacks to face as well. Men are more likely to experience depression and anxiety after a divorce as their roles are often essentially removed. Their role as a father is most often confined to weekends where a father will often lose both respect and authority.

Time Spent Between Family Members

When you look at the typical family roles, of the parents and children, there’s a balance between child independent time, child time individually with parents and child time with both parents. These are all essential for a child’s development and can help define your role within the family unit. When a divorce happens, the time spent between family members skews. Often the child’s time spent independently and with an individual parent will increase significantly.

If a parent withdraws from a child’s life either intentionally or through court-ordered child custody, there is an emotional loss. However, it’s critical to consider that child custody cases often evaluate the whole of the child’s best interest and staving off harmful interactions can create the opportunity for better emotional and physical help.

Standard visitation may not provide the interaction that your child needs to maintain a quality relationship with the parent. It’s important to seek the help of a lawyer if you have concerns regarding the time that you’ll spend with your child.

As part of a custody arrangement, a judge will often consider the emotional ties between the parent and child during the decision making. A just will, of course, determine custody and visitation if the parents cannot reach an amicable resolution with a mediator.

The time spent between family members even as roles may change and ties may dissolve is vital for each person in this equation. Divorced parents can co-parent civilly in some situations; in others, it is best to involve an attorney rather than continuing any struggle at home.

The post Divorce’s Emotional Impact on Family Roles appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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domestic violence and children

Domestic Violence And Children: What Is The Impact?

domestic violence and children

 

Domestic Violence should never be taken lightly. While the severity may range, it doesn’t take away from the seriousness of the situation. The way victims choose to respond varies as well. Some victims wait before seeking help, others may immediately look for guidance, and unfortunately, some may never even report the incident(s). It’s important to let those victims know though that there is support out there.

By allowing an abusive relationship to continue, you could be putting yourself and your family in an even worse position. When victims opt to not ask for help, it not only puts them in a bad situation but their children as well. We don’t always acknowledge how children tend to be indirect victims when it comes to domestic violence. Even if the kids aren’t the target for physical or abusive behavior in the home, they can still suffer socially and psychologically.

If you or someone you know is suffering through domestic violence with kids at home, it’s important to know there are people ready to help. Taking legal action can only benefit you and your kids when it comes to escaping the cruelties of domestic violence in the home.

Domestic Violence and Children Who Witness It

While victims of domestic violence take the brunt of the abuse, kids living in the home will suffer also. This is why getting in touch with a divorce lawyer is extremely important. While it may not always be physical, just being present during a negative situation can lead to problems in the future. The effect of observing domestic violence has on kids ranges. If your kids are living in a home with domestic violence, they may end up with some of the following issues:

  • They could develop their own violent tendencies
    • To others or even themselves
  • Experience feelings of anxiety and depression
  • Displaying delinquent behavior
    • Such as aggression towards their peers and family members
  • Struggle developing social skills
  • Stunted development of their motor and cognitive skills
  • Delays in speech development

While it may not be apparent to your child what’s actually going on, it will eventually begin to impact them negatively. Which will lead them to struggle in their adult lives. Issues the involve feeling safe or even forming relationships may arise as they grow up. They could also end up in abusive relationships themselves, due to the secrets and hush tendencies they witnessed in their homes throughout their adolescence.

The age difference:

Keep in mind that the negative effects we previously discussed may not always occur, depending on the age of your child. The stage of life your child is experiencing or witnessing abuse can lead to different issues or needs. For example, an infant who is present during an episode of domestic violence may experience attachment issues. This could lead to excessive crying as well as eating and sleeping difficulties.

Whereas a preschool-aged child may experience different effects after being present during episodes of domestic violence. At this stage of the child’s life, they are in need of protection and stability, which normally would be provided by their parent. Unfortunately though, when they live in a home where domestic violence is common, these needs become disrupted causing further emotional and physical outbursts.

Contact a lawyer:

In most cases of domestic abuse, there are legitimate grounds for divorce, especially if there are children are involved. As long as the victim(s) are actively reporting the incidents, they’ll have the right to leave the violent offender. By contacting a lawyer, you’ll obtain full custody of your children or child.

If you, or someone you know, is a married victim of domestic violence, with children there is a team of attorneys ready to help. A qualified professional can help you take action towards ending the abuse going on in your home by initiating the divorce process in a safe manner.

The post Domestic Violence And Children: What Is The Impact? appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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06/04 The Impact of Divorce on Children With Special Needs

06/04 The Impact of Divorce on Children With Special Needs

There are a number of practical issues to address when a couple with one or more special needs children goes through a divorce, such as custody, family support, education, finances, and legal rights.

The post 06/04 The Impact of Divorce on Children With Special Needs appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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06/04 The Impact of Divorce on Children With Special Needs

The Impact of Divorce on Children With Special Needs

There are a number of practical issues to address when a couple with one or more special needs children goes through a divorce, such as custody, family support, education, finances, and legal rights.

The post The Impact of Divorce on Children With Special Needs appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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The Impact of Divorce in the Workplace

The Impact of Divorce in the Workplace

As a result of divorce, an individual’s world is temporarily turned upside down, triggering unsettling and distressful emotions. The effects of emotional distress in the workplace can be devastating.

The post The Impact of Divorce in the Workplace appeared first on Divorce Magazine.

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divorce can impact your credit score

How Divorce Can Impact Your Credit Score

divorce can impact your credit score

 

Divorce doesn’t directly affect your credit score, because your credit score doesn’t rely on your marital status. However, a divorce can impact your credit score.

Learning how the indirect effects of divorce can bring down your credit score allows you to navigate the waters in advance so you can retain your credit rating and continue to make purchases.

6 ways divorce can impact your credit score.

Your Ex-Spouse Doesn’t Pay Your Joint Bills

If you have any joint credit accounts with your ex-spouse, such as credit cards, car notes or a mortgage, someone has to pay these expenses. If the judge in your divorce case rules that your ex-spouse has to pay certain bills after the divorce, it’s important that you make sure that they do. If your ex-spouse isn’t so worried about his or her credit, then they may not have an incentive to pay unsecured bills or even bills that are secured with assets that belong to you.

Whoever has their name on the account will be responsible for payments of the bills. If they are in both names and don’t get paid, then both parties’ credit scores are at risk of being lowered. The solution is to be on decent speaking terms so you know if the other party is paying their portion of the bills.

If you are not on good terms, the option for you is to pay both parties’ portion of the bills no matter who is responsible for them according to your divorce agreement. You can try to recover the money by reporting your ex-spouse’s nonpayment to the court. You just don’t want it to have a negative effect on your credit score.

Non-Disclosure of Debt

During the divorce process, both parties are required to disclose all of their financial accounts. Some people are not forthcoming about their finances and assets. You can run a credit report for yourself to ensure you are aware of every account that has your name on it. Sometimes a spouse will put your name on an account you are unaware of and then you will also be responsible for payments.

You are Unable to Pay Your Bills

If you went through a messy divorce, you likely have spent a large amount of money on an attorney. If your spouse was the source of primary income in your marriage, you may now have trouble paying the bills by yourself. This can lead to late payments on your part or high credit usage to pay bills with your credit cards. The most important item that makes up your credit score is your payment history and even anything less than perfect on-time payments of even 99 percent may hurt your credit score. If you can’t pay your bills, your credit score will likely decrease.

On the other hand, if you are using your credit cards because of lack of income, then you can be using too much of your credit. Using any balance to limit ratio over 30 percent can decrease your score and limit your financial options for the future.

You can free up more cash to put toward your bills by increasing your income or decreasing your spending. The best scenario is to do both simultaneously. To earn more money, you can seek a higher paying job or work overtime, take a second part-time job or freelance in your spare time. You can cut spending by cutting back on cable fees or subscription costs and limit your personal care and restaurant spending. Do you really need a $5 cup of Starbucks each day? You get to decide which areas you are most willing to give up discretionary spending.

A Vindictive Ex-Spouse

Many marriages end on a sour note and a spouse can be vindictive. If there is a lot of drama and your ex-spouse is angry and has access to your credit accounts, they may decide to use your accounts and rack up phenomenal debt in your name. This is common when you get a credit account in your name only, based on your credit rating and allow your spouse to be an authorized user of the account. If this happens, you may not be able to pay the bills for your credit accounts or credit cards and it can severely hurt your credit score.

The best solution to this predicament is to remove each other from all individual credit cards or credit accounts as soon as possible–even better if you are able to do this before the divorce is finalized.

Decreased Credit Limits

Many creditors and lenders will check on their clients at regular intervals to see if they have a change in their income level. Most credit card agreements have a statement that your credit limits can be decreased at their discretion. If one spouse made a significantly more amount of money and the credit accounts are separated, a creditor can choose to low the credit limit for one or both parties. This can affect your credit score and your ability to get more credit.

Refinancing the Home

In order to get the marital home into one ex-spouse’s name, most lenders will require that your mortgage is refinanced using only the one spouse’s credit. This can put a great strain on the spouse that is awarded the home if they can’t make the payments easily and it can potentially add a lot of debt for them too.

The best idea is to try to be amicable with your ex-spouse. Let’s face it; sometimes a household bill will go unpaid as an oversight during the divorce proceedings. Each party should communicate with each other over the shared financial responsibilities in order to work together and ensure that everyone’s credit remains in good standing.

The post How Divorce Can Impact Your Credit Score appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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Impact ofParental Alienation_On the alienating parent.png

The Impact Of Parental Alienation On The Alienating Parent

Impact ofParental Alienation_On the alienating parent.png

 

Whilst I do not want to give any time or credit to someone who believes alienating their children from a parent is appropriate I do think it is important we understand the motivation behind the behaviour and the impact it has on them.

Firstly nothing you did made them chose this path.  No matter what they tell you.  This was always in their game plan, you just weren’t looking for the clues.  They will tell you that it’s because you did x,y or z but the reality is that it’s part of their character and would have come out sooner or later anyway.

(Stage one and two of this process are talking about women alienators only, simply because of the subject matter.  Stage three onwards is gender neutral.  This is all based on real life case studies which i have undertaken with both men and women)

So many alienated parents are crippled with guilt over something they did and believe that if they had done things differently, they would be reasonable and the kids would not be suffering .  NEWSFLASH.  It is the alienating parent who is at fault NOT YOU.  Please believe that.

Many alienators have this as their game plan all along.  They decided when they met you that they needed you because you met their needs – you gave them status or you were easy to manipulate or both.  But deep down they knew that you were “out of their league” so they concluded that whilst you may not love them and therefore leave them, you would love your child and be very reluctant to leave them especially if the threat of losing them should you ever dare to leave was planted in your head.

STAGE ONE – ATTACHMENT

Things would have moved really quickly.  Moving in, getting pregnant etc.  Often without much agreement from the yout.   You may even have been breaking up when they got pregnant.  You could even have been raped (men and women).  However it happened this was stage one of their plan.  Keep you in a relationship with them by giving you a relationship with the child.  At this point some of their plan will have been revealed if you knew what you were looking for.  They perhaps would have spoken about how they would graciously “allow” you to see your child as often as you like.  You are the father.  It’s not about allowing.  It’s about being right and necessary for the child.  But by using the term “allow” they are revealing their view on the power differential and already acting as a gatekeeper.

The attachment is insecure and based on fear.  Their subsequent behaviour will come from this place.

STAGE TWO – CONTROL

Once pregnant the boundaries you tried to put in place were torn down, always with the veiled threat of not seeing your unborn child.  At this point they will have you running around after them, almost slave like, as they relished their now guaranteed power over you.  At this point they may have raised marriage and moving in together (if you didn’t already) or some other way to really seal the deal.

Psychologically at this point they are getting a huge amount of positive reinforcement that they made the right choice.  You are attentive (of the child not her but in her eyes it’s the same thing) and the arguments have stopped (because you don’t want to cause stress to your unborn child but she takes it that you love her more now) and she keeps pushing, knowing you won’t go anywhere.  They learning that they can get away with pretty much anything as long as they use the child as an excuse.

They is also developing the sense that her and the child are one and the same.  You love the child therefore must love her.  You want to be with the child therefore you want to be with her.  This will be reinforced more once the child has arrived where the child will become a mini-me.  Everything they wanted for themselves, they push their child to do.  If it’s a girl, they dress them the same and model them on themselves.  If it’s a boy, they will view them as a mini-me of you. This can lead to very poor boundaries and inappropriate behaviours as the children grow up. But whilst the child is small, they get lots of praise for “how gorgeous” the baby is (which the alienating parent takes to mean “I am gorgeous”) so they become tied to this tiny symbol of themselves because the attention they get makes them feel good.

As they grow up and the attention dwindles, the alienating parent may develop fabricated illness syndrome as a way to get more attention or push the child to perform so that they get lots of praise, which the alienating parent takes as being praise for themselves.  Parent’s evening can reveal a lot of this behaviour.

STAGE THREE – BATTLE FOR CONTROL

Obviously though the relationship becomes more strained again as old feelings of unhappiness rear their head and you contemplate the future of the relationship.  At this point, picking up on your withdrawal, you may find another pregnancy take you by surprise. This is their “insurance”.

They will start to belittle your parenting skills and begin a secret smear campaign.  They will be telling others that you have “issues” and may even succeed in getting you diagnosed with a mental health problem.  This is ammunition for their ultimate game plan should the relationship end.

During arguments they will use the children to “control” you and win the fight.  They may even attempt to goad you into attacking them (which is wrong and is not condoned – I am simply explaining the process).  This will give them more ammunition should you leave.

You won’t have any say in the parenting.  They will make all decisions.  They will plant the seeds of the “consequences” of you leaving them – “you’ll never see your kids again”.  Your confidence will be in tatters and you will feel trapped.

Paradoxically they will feel incredibly powerful and almost god-like.  They will present to everyone else as the “perfect” parent, all the while putting you down, and are keen for everyone to think you have a perfect family life and they are the perfect wife/mother.  They have exactly the status they desire.

STAGE FOUR – REJECTION

As the arguments increase or the alienated parent becomes so depressed everyone starts to notice, they may decide that you can no longer meet their needs and provide them with the status they desire so they could discard you.  Equally you may decide that you are so unhappy and it isn’t fair on the kids to witness the animosity that you want to leave.  Either way the break-up will not be easy.  It will all be your fault and even if they left you, they will tell everyone how awful you were to live with and that they had no choice.  They will not accept responsibility for their actions and this will all contribute to the smear campaign they are ramping up.

At this point they will begin with their attempts to alienate you.  Usually starting with gatekeeping.  Telling you exactly when and where you are “allowed” to see the children and if you step out of line your privileges will be revoked.  They will attempt to make the children choose at every opportunity and overshare with them about the details of your break up.  There will be no emotional boundaries in place.

The alienating parent at this point is in full on survival mode and will attack to protect their status (not their children).  False allegations are likely to be made and believed.

All of this feeds their view of themselves as invincible and omnipotent.  They are lavished with attention whilst they play the victim and this is more positive reinforcement for them to continue with their behaviour.

STAGE FIVE – PUNISHMENT

You and the truth are a real threat to their status and so you must be removed.  They will stop you and anyone associated with you from seeing the children. They do all of this under the guise of “protecting the children”.  The smear campaign which they started whilst you were still in the relationship now appears to back-up their claims and no-one believes the alienated parent.  This fuels their power trip and their behaviour becomes more and more outrageous.  Phoning the police for every little thing.  Making repeated false allegations which are quickly dismissed.  Threatening you, projecting and gaslighting you with “evidence” of your abuse.

At this point many alienated parents give up.  They are facing a barrage of accusations, no-one believes them and they are alienated from not only their children but also friends and society who believe the alienating parent.  Add to that the financial element and the emotional toll this takes on everyone including the children and it is understandable why a parent would walk away.  Of course this just proves to the alienating parent that they are all powerful and reinforces their behaviour.

The key is to fight.  The alienating parent WILL trip themselves up.  As their behaviour gets more outrageous, more and more people will start to question it and slowly but surely the truth begins to come out.  The children need you to fight as well because you are the only parent who is concerned with their welfare.  They are being abused and need you to protect them.

As the curtain finally starts to fall though, the alienating parent will panic and can become dangerous.  They refuse to let anyone see the truth and therefore those who are exposing them become a target.  Including the children.  Their psychological state has resorted to childhood and are in fight or flight.  Some will kill themselves at this point.  Some will kill their children.  Some will kill their ex.  All in with the aim of protecting their false self.

We at NAPARRC understand this process and the real risk involved.  We want to be YOUR army to fight them so come and join the Facebook group to access free support and guidance from specialists and peers www.facebook.com/groups/NAPARRC

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