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When parents use their children as pawns after a divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 15, 2016 | Divorce

Although some Michigan families are able to work out a system that allows everyone to continue to have strong relationships following a divorce, other former spouses are unable to set aside their differences. This can have a serious impact on the children, as they could potentially become pawns for their parents.

There are many negative behaviors that children may show when they are treated as pawns between their parents during child custody and visitation battles. For example, kids can become extremely anxious when they do not know what to expect from mom or dad. Behaviors associated with anxiety include anger, sadness, worry, and poor school performance. This can also lead to loyalty issues, especially if the children are constantly asked to align with one parent over the other. Children often try to please both parents, but they are not emotionally equipped to deal with this task. This can lead to manipulation and lying as they try to navigate the situation.

Ultimately, a child may reject a parent and refuse to have a relationship with them. This may be due to the fact that they feel isolated, abused or ignored due to the circumstances. This can cause a parent to lose out on a strong and healthy relationship with their child.

If two divorcing parents cannot come to an agreement when it comes to child custody, visitation or child support issues, Michigan divorce attorneys may help. Depending on the circumstances of the divorce, an attorney may work with a parent to seek joint or full custody, especially if the other parent is not able to financially or emotionally support the children on their own. If there is evidence of past emotional or physical abuse, the attorney may also work to limit the other parent’s interactions with the children.