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Beware of these loyalty traps while going through a divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2022 | Collaborative Law

Divorced Texas parents may feel bitter toward their exes. Loyalty traps used on the children should be avoided.

What are loyalty traps?

Loyalty traps are common in situations where a couple with children are no longer together. They occur when a parent puts their child into situations that require their loyalty. A parent might have the child spy on the other parent to give them feedback about what the other parent is doing. They might have the child act as their ally, use them as a messenger or treat them as a confidante. All of these roles are uncomfortable positions for a child and can damage the relationship they have with their parents. It’s also no way to co-parent with a former spouse.

Most people automatically think of minor children being involved in loyalty traps with their parents. However, it can happen with children of any age. Even those whose parents go through a gray divorce, a divorce that occurs after the spouses are over 50, can be affected.

How can parents protect their children?

Parents have to put their children first and work together as a team to co-parent. They might think the child is stronger, but a divorce or split between parents can be difficult for a child of any age. Even in situations where parents have moved on and are happier, the child might have problems grasping that their family dynamic has permanently changed.

If a parent has used loyalty traps with their child, they might not initially realize it. They may be too caught up in a dispute with their ex to recognize the signs. However, being more aware of the child’s feelings can help. It can also help them avoid what they did in the past and be more careful of what they say to the child so that loyalty traps are a thing of the past.