In order for a court to find "abandonment" a party must literally abandon his/her family. Typically months if not years have to pass with no contact or support. A court must find that the offending party has no interest or ability to be involved in his wife and/or kids lives. In this scenario a court can terminate parental rights and obligations or even terminate parental rights but the abandoning party would still be subject to domestic support, such as child support or alimony.
Alienation of Children
I'll start with my usual disclaimer that I am not a therapist or medical/mental professional. Any suggestions made stem from my observations of clients and I have no clinical background whatsoever. Having said that, it is important that parents recognize that alienation of children does no one any good, especially the children. Numerous studies have shown that children are much better off when both parents are involved in their lives. And alienating a child from his/her parent will only harm them in the long run. Often times, probably most times, alienation is unintentional and a parent might not even realize he/she is doing it. This is why it is important to pay very specific attention to how you talk about your spouse or to your spouse in front of the children, and pay particular attention to your children and how they are acting and treating your ex. This is a situation where you must make a conscious effort to put your kids' needs before your own. Even if you are livid with your spouse, for your kids sake keep it to yourself, and try to avoid fighting with your spouse in front of the kids.
Hopefully your attorney will be able to counsel you in this regard as well, but ultimately it is up to you to ensure, for their sake, that your children have a good relationship with your spouse. Encourage this relationship and encourage them to spend time with your spouse. Again, they will be much better off in the end if you do so.
This blog is specifically directed to situations in which a parent has been alienated. Obviously if there is good reason as to why a relationship should not be developed, such as abuse or other criminal activity, then it would not be a good idea to encourage that relationship.
If you feel like you are being alienated from your children, call Pearson Law Firm for a free consultation with an divorce attorney that has experience in alienation issues. Your attorney can help you determine the best course of action to take, and if its necessary to get the court involved. Don't hesitate to call, 801-888-0991.