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Preserving parent-child relationships after divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 27, 2022 | Parenting plans

There are few things more important than the relationship between a parent and child. While divorce certainly has the potential to negatively impact such relationships, Pennsylvania parents who put in the time, work and effort to prioritize their children are typically successful at preserving stability. This involves identifying potential loyalty traps and how to avoid them. 

What is a loyalty trap? 

A loyalty trap is when a child is put in a situation in which he or she views as requiring loyalty to just one parent. This can severely jeopardize the child’s relationship with his or her other parent. The four main types of loyalty traps are: 

  • The spy, which involves relying on a child for information about an ex. 
  • The messenger, which involves requiring a child to relay information between parents. 
  • The confidante, which involves treating a child as more adult and mature than he or she actually is. 
  • The ally, which involves persuading a child to be on just one parent’s side. 

These loyalty traps only serve to harm children as well as their relationship with both their parents. Co-parents who are aware of these potential harms can do their best to take measured steps toward avoiding them. One of the most effective ways to do this is by ensuring that children are always the focal point of all child custody decisions. 

When going through a divorce, parents should be certain to pay careful attention to things like child custody and support. An effective child custody agreement will focus on the child’s best interests rather than the wants or needs of the parents. Pennsylvania parents who understand just how important their children’s best interests are may be better equipped to avoid loyalty traps. 

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