Parents are frequently angry with each other during the divorce process, but it’s important to remember that children need both parents and that it’s not a good idea to express your anger through your children. Not only can this be harmful to your children, but it can affect your own legal rights as well.
In one recent case in Pennsylvania, a mother’s actions resulted in her losing custody altogether.
In that case, a judge determined that the mother had coached her children – ages 9 and 12 – to hate their father. She told the children to refuse to eat food he served, to kick him, to spit on him, and to actively disrespect him in numerous other ways.
The judge ruled that the mother’s behavior had psychologically damaged the children, and took custody away from her.
In order to regain custody, the mother agreed to go through intensive counseling. After showing some progress, she was given custody back for 60 percent of the time.
But nine months later, the judge held new hearings and discovered that the mother had returned to her old ways – she had quit therapy and was trying to alienate the children from their father once again.
The judge ordered the children returned to the father full-time. The mother appealed, but the appeals court agreed that given her behavior, she shouldn’t have custody at all.