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Lindsey Hoskins & Associates

Can I Prevent My Minor Child from Speaking to His or Her Other Parent?

Relationship Counseling Great Falls VACo-parenting can be a uniquely difficult process to navigate, which is why you may benefit from family counseling for Mclean, VA. This may be especially true if your child’s other parent happens to be abusive, neglectful, narcissistic, struggling with active addition or certain psychological challenges, controlling or just plain mean. Depending on the ways in which your child’s other parent behaves, you may be tempted to simply cut off communication between your child and co-parent. But even if you are trying to protect your child from harm, it is generally inadvisable to cut off communication for more than a day or two without first attempting to work with a Mclean, VA family counseling program, like Lindsey Hoskins & Associates.

As you are likely aware, judges charged with overseeing child custody cases are bound to make their determinations according to the “best interests of the child” standard. So, if you are trying to behave in your child’s best interests by cutting off communication with your co-parent, why do you need to consult an attorney? For better and for worse, parents cannot usually make unilateral decisions that cut a child off from their other parent. Doing so without discussing your situation with a lawyer or attempting family counseling for Mclean, VA may lead to accusations that you are engaging in so-called “parental alienation.”

Essentially, parental alienation is the process of inspiring unwarranted hostility or fear in a child as regards his or her other parent. Now, if you are trying to protect your child from abusive or otherwise harmful behavior on the part of your co-parent, cutting off contact for a day or two while you seek legal counsel could not reasonably be construed to be parental alienation. But because even the act of cutting off communication for 48 hours or less could result in your co-parent behaving in irrational ways, it is vitally important to avoid this step if you can. If you can seek family counseling in Mclean, VA without cutting off contact, you will be more likely to avoid charges that you are controlling your child’s relationship with your co-parent in harmful ways.

Of course, if your child is in physical danger, do not hesitate to reach out to law enforcement right away. Your child’s safety and your safety are paramount concerns. But after your physical safety is secured, it is usually a good idea to seek legal counsel either before you cut off contact between your child and co-parent or immediately after doing so. Once you speak with an attorney, you can devise a legal strategy in order to better protect your child’s best interests moving forward.

Answers to Additional Questions

If you have questions about or co-parenting, please consider family counseling in Mclean, VA. Counselors who specialize in this area will be able to advise you with coping strategies after learning about your family’s unique circumstances. There are few “hard and fast” rules when it comes to family law, so it is generally a good idea to consult an attorney with specific questions. A legal scenario that applies to one family may not necessarily apply to another. Similarly, a cooperative solution that may be available to one parent may not necessarily be available to another.  Before you head back to the courtroom, see if you benefit from family counseling in Mclean, VA from Lindsey Hoskins & Associates. Call today!