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Understanding loyalty traps that occur after divorce

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2022 | Divorce |

It’s hard enough going through a divorce in Pennsylvania, but when you add children into the mix, things can get complicated. Loyalty traps are among the most common issues parents face during and after a divorce.

What are loyalty traps?

Loyalty traps are situations where one parent tries to get the child to choose their side over the other by using guilt, coercion or manipulation. Traps can be highly damaging to the child’s emotional well-being and can result in long-term trust issues. For instance, a parent might say things like, “Your other parent doesn’t love you,” or “If you don’t visit me, I’ll be so sad.”

These situations can also occur when a parent tries to control what the child does or who they spend time with, especially if they have child custody. For example, a parent might forbid the child from seeing the other parent or try to stop them from participating in activities that the other parent enjoys.

What are the negative effects of loyalty traps?

Loyalty traps can have several negative effects on children. They can feel torn between their parents and may end up feeling guilty or responsible for the divorce. They may also develop trust issues and have difficulty forming healthy relationships in the future.

Loyalty traps can also interfere with the child’s ability to bond with both parents. The child may feel like they have to choose between their parents, which can lead to guilt, anxiety and confusion.

What should you do if your ex is trying to trap you?

If you find yourself in a loyalty trap, it’s important to remember that the best thing you can do for your child is to remain calm and level-headed. Don’t engage in arguments with your ex, and don’t say something that lawyers could use against you later. Instead, focus on the positive aspects of your relationship with your child, and remind them that you will always love them no matter what. You can also seek mediation or arbitration to help resolve the custody situation.

If you’re going through a divorce, you must know the potential for loyalty traps. They can damage your child’s emotional well-being and interfere with their ability to bond with both parents. If you are in a loyalty trap, remain calm and level-headed and act as fast as possible.