Although a joint custody arrangement might encourage co-parenting, that’s not always the case. Physical custody arrangements might make it harder for one parent to stay as involved in a child’s life. Worse yet, it may even feel like a former spouse is intentionally encouraging that alienation.
One author wrote about this experience in a recent article, describing her frustration at the physical distance separating her from her son after her divorce. The author initially felt unable to describe her feelings until she discovered a group called the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization. The group provides an outlet for parents who may feel alienated from their children after a divorce.
The article brings up an important issue: a parent may need to relocate after a divorce. To the extent a relocating parent seeks physical custody of a minor child, a family law court will consider several factors. The overarching standard is the best interests of the child. If a child is flourishing in his or her current school, community and support network, a court will likely need assurances that the proposed new locality will provide equally positive and supportive resources.
A court may also inquire into the reasons for the proposed relocation. A parent who is accepting a better job might be well positioned to make an argument that the move will enable a better lifestyle. In contrast, a move that appears to be made only to frustrate contact between the child and the other parent may be poorly received by the court, and even backfire.
Source: Huffington Post, “I Fought Parental Alienation with Love… and Love Won,” Berni Xiong, April 27, 2016