Don’t Become a Part of the Problem
Video Transcribed: I am an Oklahoma Dads rights attorney, I’d like to talk to you about how to handle a situation if your ex has badmouthed you to the kids. This is a difficult situation. And unfortunately, it happens a whole lot in domestic court. It’s a huge problem, and it’s one of the things that can lead down the road to parental alienation. So this is a legitimate concern you should be aware of. The first thing I’m going to tell you is don’t you be a part of the problem. If your kids come back and say that mom said something bad about you, or if it comes out in the course of conversation, or if she says something bad about you in front of the children, don’t retaliate by acting in kind. This is not a good idea.
You do have rights in that situation, and there are remedies available to you. However, retaliating by badmouthing her is going to set up a situation where a judge is liable to look at you and be like, “Okay. You did this, too. So the both of you were acting equally bad.” The solution to this problem is multifaceted depending on how serious it is.
The immediate solution you can do is seek out an order of… A judicial order of parental conduct. Those exist specifically to put a stop to this kind of behavior. And essentially what that boils down to is it’s like the playroom rules for the kindergarten, unfortunately.
But essentially, the court will enter in an order that commands both parents, among other things, to keep adult matters amongst the adults, to allow the children to have a positive image of both parents regardless of how you may feel about the other party.
And the nice thing about these orders is that they do come with some tithe. If you violate the order, you can be held in contempt to court. Contempt in Oklahoma carries up to six months in the county jail. And although it’s not a guarantee that a violation of one of these orders would result in jail time, that is at least a legitimate threat to the other party. So that would be your first go-to solution to this problem.
Now, if the situation has escalated into genuine parental alienation, the court is required to consider parents… There is some statutory language in Title 43 that requires each parent to facilitate a positive relationship by the children with the other parent. And if one parent or the other parent isn’t doing that, then that is something that courts should consider and do consider in determining who should have custody or who should continue to have custody.
In a case where if you’re going through a divorce, this is something you want to get that judicial order of parental conduct, but you also want to bring this up with… You also may want to raise this in the form of a motion or in the form of some other pleading with the court or some other evidence presented to the court as grounds for why the kids should be put in your custody.
If you’ve already gone through that process and there is a custody order in place, well, the option in an extreme case may be to go for a motion to modify. Again, it is considered a change in circumstance to meet the… That can, in an extreme case, result in a sufficient change in circumstance to justify a change in custody.
Now, in a worst-case scenario, as a final position, you do also, in an extreme case, may have the option to seek out an emergency order. Now understand that for an emergency order to become into play, you’re talking about a situation where there was an imminent threat to the children’s health, safety, or welfare that would result in irreparable harm if the children continue in their current living environment. So in other words, it’s a high burden of proof.
You’d have to be talking about a real bad situation. But it is something that is available if you are in a really bad situation if something needs to be done immediately to prevent further damage to your relationship with your children.
The main thing I would advise if badmouthing is going on is don’t delay because it can escalate into parental alienation quickly. So if you know this is going on, get on it immediately. Look for that judicial order of parental conduct. Look for that custody order.
Try to get into court as quickly as you can because it is a big deal, and it can escalate quickly. If you have questions concerning CPS Defense in Oklahoma or fathers’ rights in Oklahoma, please go to dads.law where fathers are not disposable.