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Custodial Parent Alienating Children

Portland, OR |

To end our court battle, I agreed to a CO that provides just 3 hrs/wk visitation w/me. The children cannot be forced for visitation & CP cannot be held in contempt. CP has sole custody, which I knew he would abuse.

This arrangement has created emotional distancing & the children perceive visitation as optional. CP & his parents have on numerous occasions arranged alternate activities during my scheduled time, which the children opt for rather than see me. CP stated he does not feel like supporting my cause when it comes to fostering the children's relationship w/me.

I haven't had a hug from DD in 2 yrs. It's like we're emotional strangers. CP also banned me from participating in DD's ortho visits, stating that he no longer needs or wants my input.

Can I petition for modification?

@Daniel: Yes, I was represented by an attorney. It was about 16 months ago. I've thought about modifying the parenting plan first, then trying for custody. However, I'd need to be sure not to modify child support, or my kids would protest (they know their Dad needs the money to support himself). A lot of emotional blackmail going on here.

Attorney Answers 2


Were you represented by an attorney when you made this agreement? How long ago was the agreement made? You can always petition for modification. Modification of the parenting time arrangements can be made based upon what is in the children's best interest. Modification of the custody award is much more difficult as a substantial change in circumstance must be shown.

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I don't practice in OR but this sounds like a case where modification may be warranted. However, what you might need to ask for is an order appointing a therapeutic interventionist-this is someone with psychology experience who will be able to assess what is happening here with the children and hopefully deal with the source of the problem. If it's alienation, disparaging of you or the like, he or she should be able to assist in identifying it by working with and interviewing the children. The goal is not to point fingers; the goal is to identify the problem and fix it so you can enjoy the remainder of your children's youth with them.

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