What is parental alienation?

On Behalf of | Oct 14, 2020 | Family Law |

Indiana co-parents often struggle to strike a good balance in a post-divorce life. Sharing your child in the aftermath of a divorce often presents a huge hurdle. Still, many couples manage to overcome this and raise their children in a relatively stress-free environment.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Sometimes, parents are not satisfied with how a marriage ended and seek to inflict revenge through your child.

How parental alienation occurs

The Psychiatric Times examines parental alienation’s impact on divorced families. Parental alienation occurs when one parent begins to alienate the other from their child. The alienating parent often does this through manipulative and coercive means. They may lie about you or guilt your child out of spending time with you.

Over time, exposure to parental alienation can result in parental alienation syndrome (PAS). There are mild, moderate and severe stages of this syndrome. At the most mild form, a child may show resistance to spending time with the alienated parent but will warm up quickly after visitation begins. At the most severe stage, a child will refuse anything to do with the alienated parent and may even grow to despise them.

Long-term impacts of PAS

PAS affects your children just as much as it affects you. Children who experienced PAS in the past often grow up to have issues with trust and relationships. Many also struggle with depression and addiction which stem from the childhood trauma PAS inflicts. After all, many experts consider PAS a form of child psychological abuse.

As for you, you suffer through the hardship of losing a child. In some cases, you can still act before it is too late. Know the potential impact PAS can have before you decide how you want to handle it.