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Manipulation can hurt parent-child bonds

For Georgia parents, one of the most difficult parts of going through a divorce can be their concerns about the effect of the end of the marriage on their children. The emotional, loving bond between parent and child is one of the most important bond in a person's life, and children who are placed in the middle of a contentious high-asset divorce can suffer psychological effects that are long-lasting and undermine the importance of this relationship. Child custody issues can linger on for years after the parenting plan is in place and the settlement signed.

It's always in the best interests of the children when parents can work together after the end of their marriage to protect their children and cooperate in supporting their development and growth. Unfortunately, some co-parenting relationships can be poisoned by parental alienation or deliberately false complaints against one parent by the other. A parent may find that the other parent refuses to cooperate with custody schedules or, on the extreme end, even files false reports with teachers, counselors or child protective services.

The term "gaslighting" has been used to describe a manipulative technique that causes people to doubt their own reality and truth. Parents who are committed to alienating their children from their other parent may use gaslighting techniques to manipulate the children, especially young ones, into unwittingly participating in the alienation or corroborating complaints, especially when those complaints are vague, general and lacking detail. This can have severe, long-lasting consequences not only for the alienated parent but also for the child whose psychological experience and reality is being manipulated.

For parents dealing with parental alienation, manipulation and other child custody disputes and issues, a family law attorney can provide important guidance and representation. Legal representation can be critical in dealing with agencies and the court to protect children from manipulation and alienation at the hands of their other parent.

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Hecht Family Law
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