One of the unfortunate and not uncommon outcomes of divorce involving children is parental alienation. Alienation is even more likely to occur in cases that involve litigation. Because parental alienation can appear to be the norm, divorcing couples may expect that whoever ‘loses’ in the child custody proceedings will become an absentee parent. In fact, about 22 million parents in the U.S. alone don’t remain in the lives of their children post-divorce. And it’s not just dads that are affected; mothers suffer from alienation as well, resulting in severed family ties and relationships.
In this episode of Divorce, Healthy! attorney and author Ashley-Nicole Russell, of ANR Law, talks with Ginger Gentile, director of the documentary film Erasing Family, about the trauma that children suffer when they don’t see a parent after a divorce. Ginger reveals what most parents aren’t aware of: that children are conflict-averse, and being forced through family court proceedings can be devastating for them. Even if you are forced into litigation, you are in control of how you choose to act and react, so you can still be an effective parent and role model to your child despite the circumstances. Kids are always watching, so it’s crucial that you model healthy and effective conflict resolution strategies.
Ginger also discusses the importance of choosing your actions and framing divorce as a positive movement. Even if you end up feeling like the rejected parent, always show your children that you love them and put that relationship first. Children are often unwillingly thrust into these situations, so it’s essential to put in the effort to avoid conflict. Remember, you are not a victim in this situation, and you always have a say in what you want to do and the outcome you want to achieve.
Ginger recommends looking for a support group, a safe space to vent your emotions outside of the prying eyes of the public and your children. There are numerous resources and allies available to help you reach your goal– a healthy, loving relationship with your children despite your divorce.
Links mentioned in the episode
To inquire about speaking engagements, purchase your copy of Ashley-Nicole’s book “The Cure for Divorce Culture,” or to schedule your private orientation meeting, head to www.anrlaw.com. You can also find us on social media @ANRLaw. Find a better way forward, right here, on Divorce, Healthy!”