Parents who are not married and yet share custody of their children face many challenges. They have to determine how to do the best possible job for their children, putting them first every step of the way. They also have to work together as adults, even though their own relationship may not be on the best of terms.

Unfortunately, some parents decide to work against the other parent, often because of hard feelings or tension between the two. In order to do it, they’ll try to turn the children against that parent. They may do it by limiting their time together, making negative statements about them to the children, refusing to let the children talk about the other parent or making them feel guilty about wanting to have a relationship with them.

This is decidedly not in the best interests of the children. It can lead to depression and may cause irreparable harm. Since the courts focus on the children’s best interests all the time, this is a serious concern.

This can also violate the rights of the other parent. Even if they technically have a right to see their children, they may feel like the children are withdrawn and unable to connect with them. In some cases, the children even express a desire not to see them because they have been so manipulated by the other parent. It can harm that relationship forever and keep the two apart, regardless of the court order.

Are you worried that this may happen to you and your children, or do you think it already is? If so, make sure you are well aware of the legal options you have.