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Child custody issues may be maternal gatekeeping

You likely got a divorce because you and your ex-spouse had a myriad of problems that you could not work through. Some of those problems may have involved your children, but more often than not, none of those marital problems had anything to do with your children. Post-divorce, you may notice that suddenly your access to your children is restricted, much more than what you believe it should be.

Is it maternal gatekeeping?

First, it is important to understand what maternal gatekeeping is to understand if your perception of a lack of access is maternal gatekeeping. Essentially, during your marriage, maternal gatekeeping is easy to spot because your wife is simply keeping you from your kids. Post-divorce, it can be a bit more hidden, unless they are also violating the Juneau, Alaska, child custody order.

Post-divorce, maternal gatekeeping has three components. First, violations of the child custody order. These could be minor or severe, but they are exertions of control and access to the child. They could be couched as sudden emergencies, desperate requests to keep the child over the holidays, etc., which are then followed by blatant child custody order violations.

Next, they control as much knowledge of the child as possible, keeping it from you. They want to hoard those major life moments for themselves, like first breakups, sporting events, etc.

Finally, to justify both, they will paint you in the worst light possible. They may use truths or untruths to do it, but their goal is to put a wedge between you and your child. This is commonly known as parental alienation.

What can be done?

First, do not let violations of the child custody order go. One leads to two, which leads to three and so on. Tell your Juneau, Alaska, attorney, and make sure the judge knows. Frequent violations may justify a child custody modification, especially if maternal gatekeeping and parental alienation can be proven.

Second, engage with your child, and ask questions. If you feel like they are shutting you down or not talking with you, get them into single or family counseling. Your goal should be to minimize the effects on the family unit and your parental bond.