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What is parental alienation and are there legal implications?

On Behalf of | May 16, 2024 | Family Law |

Parental alienation happens when one parent convinces a child to dislike or reject the other parent for no good reason. This can hurt the child’s feelings and affect the whole family.

Understanding parental alienation is very important in custody cases, because it can change the judge’s decision.

What is parental alienation?

Parental alienation involves one parent constantly trying to make the other parent look bad to the child. This might include talking poorly about the other parent in front of the child or keeping the child from seeing the other parent. Often, the child starts to fear or dislike the other parent without a real reason.

Are there legal implications of parental alienation?

Courts take this problem seriously because they want to do what is best for the child. If a judge thinks parental alienation is happening, it could affect who gets custody of the child. Judges might think that a parent causing alienation can’t support a good relationship between the child and the other parent.

How do courts handle parental alienation?

Judges use information from experts like psychologists and sometimes a special lawyer for the child, called a guardian ad litem, to see if parental alienation is happening. If it is, the judge might change who the child lives with or how often they see each parent. In extreme cases, the parent causing the problem might be awarded less time with the child.

What can parents involved in parental alienation do?

If you think the other parent is turning your child against you, write down everything that happens that might show this. Conversely, parents accused of alienation should provide evidence of their positive relationship with their child and their support for the child’s relationship with the other parent. Stay open and honest and work with the court.

Parental alienation is a serious issue that can influence custody decisions. Understanding the laws and getting the right help is very important for parents dealing with these tough situations.


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