June 16, 2021

Is Your Child Being Harmed by Parental Gatekeeping?

Noncustodial parents often feel like they’re placed on the backburner when it comes to developing and fostering a relationship with their child. In many of these instances, the custodial parent is to blame. Parental alienation is real, and heated child custody and visitation disputes can lead to some sly tactics that may threaten your ability to have meaningful contact with your child. Don’t let that happen to you and your child.

Beware of parental gatekeeping

One way that custodial parents try to manipulate a noncustodial parent’s access to his or her child is through parental gatekeeping. Essentially, custodial parents have power over who has access to their child, what information the child receives, and what information about the child is given out to others. Therefore, an overly aggressive custodial parent can use his or her gatekeeping function as a way to distance a noncustodial parent from his or her child.

For example, a custodial parent may fail to inform a child that his or her noncustodial parent asks to see him or her. This can cause the child to question whether the noncustodial parent even cares about him or her. A gatekeeping parent might also refuse to give details about a child’s medical condition, school performance, and extracurricular activities to a custodial parent, thereby cutting the noncustodial parent out of the child’s life.

Stand up for your parental rights

Sometimes these actions are made out of spite, but other times custodial parents truly think that they are doing what’s best for their child. Regardless, if you’re being subjected to an overuse of parental gatekeeping, then your rights as a parent might be infringed upon. That can have devastating consequences for your child and your relationship with him or her. With that in mind, think about what you can do to stand up to your child’s custodial parent and whether you need legal assistance to do so.