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No child wants to be a part of their parents' divorce conflict, but unfortunately, children are almost always the center of the most heated debates and arguments. While custodial battles are normal, some parents hold onto such intense feelings of hatred and disdain for the other parent, and feel so wronged, that they make hurtful remarks about the other parent to the child, or try to manipulate the child's feelings for the other parent by making up non-truths regarding the other parent's feelings towards the child. This kind of behavior is called parental alienation, and depending on the severity of the situation, can prompt an immediate re-visitation of the custody agreement.

What is Parental Alienation?

According to a 2010 study by Fidler and Bala, parental alienation occurs in approximately 11-15% of all divorce cases involving children. Typically, the divorces in which parental alienation occur are highly conflicted and long-lasting. Though parental alienation can occur at any point throughout a child's life, it usually happens during the custody battle, as the alienating parent wishes to sabotage the other parent's chances of gaining any custody. Despite what the alienating parent says, their sabotage efforts are not done because they think the other parent is unfit, but squarely because the other parent cannot separate the divorce conflict from the needs of the child.

The goal of parental alienation is to program the child to believe that the alienated parent is unloving and uncaring, and to cause increased hostility towards said parent. The ultimate goal of parental alienation is to make the child think that they are better off without the other parent in their life.

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Psychological evaluations are only used in child custody cases if one or both parents feel that the other is mentally unfit to take care of the child or children. When either parent makes such an assertion about the other, the court will be forced to order a psychological evaluation. If you feel that your child's other parent's mental state will negatively affect his or her ability to care for your child, it is imperative that you seek legal guidance from a Dallas child custody attorney right away. An experienced lawyer can help you file a motion for psychological evaluation and guide you on how you need to proceed once the motion is filed.

Things to Consider Before Filing a Motion for Psychological Evaluation

Before filing a motion for psychological evaluation, you must be able to show the judge that you have some basis for doing so. You must be able to articulate to the judge what your particular concerns are regarding the other parent's mental health and how their mental health directly affects their ability to parent. Furthermore, you must prove that a psychological evaluation would greatly assist the court in making an appropriate determination regarding physical and legal custody of the child.

Some things to consider before you order a psychological evaluation in Dallas:

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Divorce is never easy, but some individuals react more poorly to it than others. These individuals often try to harm the other spouse through emotional manipulation.

Unfortunately, when children are involved, the spurned spouse will often use their children as pawns in his or her emotional games. From disallowing the other parent to see the children to failing to meet the other parent for scheduled visitation time, a scorned parent may try any number of tactics to 'get back at' his or her former spouse.

In the worst-case scenarios, the scorned parent may even commit parental alienation-the psychological manipulation of a child into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect, or hostility towards the other parent.

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Substance abuse is a serious problem that not only affects abusers' physical and mental wellbeing, but also affects the wellbeing of those around them-especially their children. Drugs and alcohol can impair one's ability to properly care for a child, and chronic substance abuse can even pose a threat to a child's safety. Because of this, the Texas courts will often deny physical and legal custody to a parent with untreated drug or alcohol addictions. However, sometimes an addiction will creep up after the custody hearing, and although both parents may have been clean during the custody suit, one or both may fall victim to mind-altering substances after primary custody has already been established.

If you are the non-custodial parent and you know for certain that your child's custodial parent is abusing drugs or alcohol, an attorney fcan help you remove your child from the situation before any harm comes to his or her physical and emotional wellbeing.

How Drug Addiction Affects Children

According to the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, 'parental substance abuse interrupts a child's normal development, which places [them] at a higher risk for emotional, physical, and mental health problems.' According to the same article, children of substance abuse (COA) are:

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Child custody orders are never permanent, and so long as your shared children are under the age of 18, there is always the potential to make changes to your orders to accommodate the changes in your life. Establishing new lives post-divorce can be exciting yet challenging, and can come with a number of unexpected opportunities, such as job offers out of state, work transfers, or just the simple need to create a new life for yourself.

However, many parents find it difficult to make any of the aforementioned changes, as they believe themselves to be 'stuck' where their child's other parent lives-or at least within 30 miles of there. This does not have to be the case. With a little give and take and an experienced Dallas, Texas custody lawyer on your side, you and your former spouse can come up with a long-distance custody agreement that keeps your child's best interests the number one priority, but that also allows you to reach your full potential as a parent, an employee, and an individual.

Likelihood That Permission to Move Will Be Granted

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