What is parental alienation?

On Behalf of | Apr 7, 2023 | Family Law |

When it comes to divorce, child-rearing issues are often the most complex to navigate. In some cases, one parent may try to alienate a child from the other parent, which can greatly harm the parent-child relationship.

If you feel that this is happening in your life, parental alienation might be the cause. Being aware of the following signs is the first step to improving your relationship with your child.

Signs of parental alienation

When one parent attempts to turn a child against the other, that child will typically show unconditional support towards one parent, while severely criticizing the other. Additionally, the child will experience no remorse for their ill-treatment, and will also deny that their parent is influencing their thoughts and actions.

Keep in mind that it is natural for parents and children to argue from time to time. It is also normal for children to occasionally say mean things to their parents when angry. A problem arises when children feel no remorse for their words and actions.

How to deal with the issue

You may be able to bring the alienation issue to court for assistance. The judge may order your former spouse to cease speaking ill of you in front of the child. They may also recommend a counselor to help you and your child work through issues resulting from alienating behaviors. The court may also order you and your ex-spouse to attend parenting classes.

If the court feels that alienating behaviors amount to abuse, the judge may choose to award one parent sole custody. In this case, the alienating parent may receive visitation rights, typically under supervision.