Under Texas state law, the primary consideration in custody matters should be the best interest of the children in the household. With a few notable exceptions, judges tend to think of preserving both parental relationships as being in the best interest of the children.
Even if parents are currently having a very hard time cooperating with one another, a Texas family law judge may decide that an equal division of parenting time will be what is best for the children in the long term. Unfortunately, there are parents who resent the obligation to cooperate with their ex at the end of a marriage, even for parenting matters.
If your ex is hostile to you, they might engage in one or both of the behaviors below in an attempt at parental alienation. The goal of such behaviors is to permanently damage or sever your relationship with the children.
They disparage you to the children
Parental alienation is often subtle. It may involve your ex complaining about issues from your marriage or blaming every hardship the children experience on something that you have done. Especially if your ex has long been the primary caregiver for the children, they may absorb the other parent’s complaints without thinking about them critically.
Parents have an obligation to shield their children from their personal negative emotions and the unpleasant details of their divorce that would do nothing but cause harm to the children. If your ex badmouths you to the children, that is a common and insidious form of parental alienation.
They cancel your visitation
Maybe it started off with your ex telling you to bring the children back half an hour earlier than the end of your scheduled parenting time without letting you come to pick them up half an hour early. On the other hand, you may have started getting excuses instead of receiving your children when you show up for custody exchanges.
Parental alienation often looks like shortened and canceled parenting time, and your ex may very well blame those cancellations on you when they talk to your children. Not only can parental alienation destabilize your relationship with your children, but it can cause psychological harm for them as well.
Fighting back against attempts at parental alienation may require documenting what has happened and going back to the Texas family courts to ask for a custody modification.