When you made the final decision to file divorce papers in an Arizona court, you likely understood that you'd be facing several challenges in your near future. Depending on the tone of communication between you and your soon-to-be former spouse, you may or may not have believed that most obstacles would be fairly easy to overcome if you both worked together to come to an amicable end to your marital relationship. If you have children, you may have been especially concerned with issues regarding their futures.
If you struggle to have peaceful conversations with your children's other parent, you are definitely not alone in your trials. Many parents experience highly contentious situations in divorce, especially where their children are concerned. However, if you believe your spouse is acting as a hostile aggressive parent, your situation may be a bit more serious than others, necessitating additional measures to rectify the problem as it affects your relationship with your children, and perhaps even your custody and/or visitation agreement.
What is a hostile aggressive parent (HAP)?
Many family counselors address matters concerning parental alienation syndrome in divorce. In most of these types of situations, one parent (often acting out of anger and revenge toward the other) tries to drive a wedge in the parent/child relationship of the former spouse. The following list includes signs that the decline you've noticed in your relationship with your children may be due to an HAP:
- If your children have apparently developed a loathsome attitude toward you or act in severe opposition to anything you say or do, and that is a drastic change from the attitudes they normally exhibited when you and their other parent lived under one roof, it may be a sign that someone is encouraging malice.
- If your children have mentioned that their other parent tells them you don't really care about their needs, it's a definite cause to further investigate the situation.
- If your children are having trouble concentrating, suffering decline in their grades at school or otherwise acting in such a way that you are concerned about their mental and emotional health, there may be more to the problem than merely having difficulty adapting to life after divorce. Someone's influence may be causing their emotional turmoil.
- If the other parent involved in your situation is constantly interfering with your time with your children or canceling scheduled visits, etc., not only might this be a direct violation of an existing court order, it might also be a ploy to weaken your relationship with your children.
No post-divorce relationship is perfect, just as no marriage is perfect. You no doubt realized when you divorced that, although you no longer wished to be married to your spouse, you would always share a relationship in parenting. If your current problems go beyond small differences of opinions or challenges working out a vacation schedule or the like, and you believe your children's other parent is purposefully trying to alienate your children from you, you may wish to discuss the matter with someone who can address the problem in court.