Parents typically want what is best for their children, but the stress from a divorce could lead to making errors in judgment. A Washington family court judge might not appreciate parents who get their children involved in “loyalty traps,” as such behavior could be harmful to the young ones.
The loyalty trap problem
Child custody arrangements vary, and interactions between the two parents might be limited. One parent may wish to gather information about another parent’s personal life or financial situation and ask for the child to act as a spy. Such actions reflect how a parent might draw a young one into a loyalty trap. Such traps involve using the child for an unhealthy purpose, and spying is only one example.
One or both parents may ask the child to relay messages, not wanting to speak with one another. The child is in a potentially awkward and stressful position, and things could worsen when the child deals with a parent’s anger over such communications.
Loyalty traps might take other forms, including attempts to force the child to choose sides. Behavior like this may strain the relationship with the other parent while possibly causing psychological harm to the young one.
Loyalty traps and child custody
Forcing a child to engage in loyalty traps might cause the guilty parent problems during child custody hearings. The consistent standard for custody decisions will center on the child’s best interests. Causing a child to be confused and anxious may reflect poorly and doesn’t show a parent always considers the child’s mental well-being.
Someone who feels that their estranged spouse is engaging in loyalty tests may need to bring the information to the court’s attention. The court might intervene in the situation.