Going through a divorce in Illinois is a hard situation for everyone involved, but it is often the children who suffer the most. This is especially true when parents turn against each other and try to use the children as pawns in their arguments. Things can get serious if you notice parental alienation in your situation.

Parental alienation, according to Psychology Today, is when you or your ex-spouse tries to make your children dislike the other parent. Typically, it involves making the children angry with the other parent or leading them to believe that the other parent is bad. The idea is to drive a wedge in the relationship so the children no longer want to have the other parent in their lives.

If your ex-spouse is using parental alienation, he or she may try to keep the children from you by making them believe they should not see you or leading them to feel like they do not want to see you. He or she may do things to interfere with your parenting time as well.

Your ex-spouse may also use money to enhance the alienation by taking you back to court and getting the court to make custody changes. He or she may also use his or her power to intimidate you and force you to back down.

In short, parental alienation is a selfish drive of one parent to hurt the other parent. Many times, a parent who uses alienation tactics has an underlying mental illness or disorder, such as narcissism or personality disorders. The bottom line is parental alienation hurts the children. In fact, this is abusive. It ruins relationships and can have serious lasting effects. This information is for education and is not legal advice.