The plight of fathers experiencing parental alienation

On Behalf of | Jun 19, 2023 | Divorce, Family Law |

While the role of fathers – particularly those who are divorced – has evolved into a more nurturing approach, a majority of custody agreements still favor the mother. The presumption remains that mothers are more suitable as primary caretakers, with studies revealing 65 percent of custody cases see preferences for the female parent.

Dads who endure the inequity in spending quality time with their children are the ones who suffer, feeling as if they are being punished based on their gender. Even on Father’s Day, a time to commemorate their role in children’s lives, many feel slighted, even though they expressed their desire to be involved in their kids’ lives.

Sinister strategies

Parents feeling alienated from their children may have the best of intentions, yet words and actions out of sheer frustration can only make a problematic situation more troubling. The loss they feel is overwhelming.

Alienating parents can create chaos intentionally, resulting in deteriorating relationships with their children. Various “strategies” can lead to undermining a father’s authority, impacting the bond they have with their children. Restricting access and speaking poorly about the former patriarch of the home can resonate with children, accepting a narrative that breeds resentment and hostility.

Long-term damage

Over time, the long-term effects can reach the more formative years that children experience. Beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors are becoming set in stone when it comes to how children see their fathers. Attempts to rebuild trust and fix a broken relationship presents significant challenges, particularly if the parent engaging in alienation tactics continue their sinister “campaign.”

The best interests of the children is not just a commonly used phrase. Divorced parents should use it as a mantra to ensure that the damage of divorce has a minimal impact on them. Kids are innocent bystanders in a life-changing divorce who didn’t have a say in the final decision. What parents do post-divorce is as essential as any phase of their offspring’s lives.