Texas parents generally just want what is best for their children. However, when parents end up divorcing, a child’s best interests can be lost in the turmoil of a contentious divorce. It is unfortunately not uncommon for children to become pawns in difficult child custody battles. The TV personality Bethenny Frankel and her ex-husband Jason Hoppy appear to be dealing with this troubling situation right now.
Frankel and Hoppy married in 2010 and separated two years later in 2012. Their divorce was settled in 2016, but matters might not be over just yet. Frankel recently went back to court to ask for full custody of the couple’s daughter, who is 8 years old. Frankel claims that her ex-husband is using video chats and her daughter to perpetuate ongoing abuse against her. She believes his actions have a negative impact on her relationship with her daughter.
These types of circumstances often involve claims that one parent is being alienated from the child’s life. Whether this is through withholding parenting time or unduly influencing a child to have negative feelings regarding the other parent, alienation claims are serious. Parents who perpetrate these claims often try to seek full custody as a demonstration that they are capable of winning their child’s affection or to get revenge on their ex.
While the feelings of hurt that stem from alienation are valid, parents have methods to deal with these matters. Petitioning the court for an enforcement of a current custody order or a modification can be effective in some cases. Barring extenuating circumstances when a child’s well-being is in question, these methods might be preferable to putting children in the middle of contentious custody litigation where one parent is seeking sole custody. Texas parents are well-advised to consider all of their options before pursuing these types of child custody matters.