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How Christmas Gift Giving can be Parental Alienation

During divorce, the court will help to decide a comprehensive child custody plan for parents which will determine who will make decisions for the children and where the children will live while they are minors. Oftentimes, children that are old enough to have an opinion and communicate their ideas can have some say about who they spend their time with.

For example, a 13-year-old can meet with a counselor or court-appointed mediator and explain that she would rather remain with her mother. The court will always make child custody decisions in the best interests of the child, so they will often honor these requests unless they foresee problems with the parent.

Naturally, parents want to spend time with their children and in many divorce situations both parents are vying for full custody. In order to motivate the children to remain with them, parents may try to bribe the children or sway them into thinking that they are the primary choice for custody. This can be illegal. Parental alienation is the act of discouraging a child's relationship with the other parent. Gift giving can be a subtle way to commit this crime.

For example, if a father buys his daughter the Barbie she wanted for Christmas she may be thrilled. That is, until she attends a Christmas celebration at her mother's house, where she is given a new puppy. The mother may tell her daughter that the puppy must remain at her home, so the child will need to live with her mom in order to care for and be with the puppy.

This is bribery that also alienates the father as the mother draws the daughter towards choosing her for custodial arrangements. If you believe that your ex-spouse is currently alienating you as a parent, then you need to talk with a Denver divorce attorney at Sturniolo & Associates today. We can help to work through this situation using mediation or may be able to settle the complications in court.

Categories: Divorce
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