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Parental Alienation

What is parental alienation? Parental alienation occurs when a child refuses to have a relationship with a parent due to manipulation. This could involve one parent conveying false information to the child about the other parent. This often occurs during divorce and custody battles.

There are many ways that a parent could cause parental alienation. Some of the tactics are a father telling a child the mother hates them, a mother convincing her daughter to falsely report physical abuse, one parent blaming the other parent for the collapse of the marriage, and even punishing a child for wanting to pursue a relationship with the parent. By doing one or all of these things, it could cause a child to not want to have a relationship with the other parent.

If you are noticing time restrictions on quality time spent with your child, negative comments, divorce blame, and false accusations of abuse or neglect, these could be signs of parental alienation.

Parental alienation can have a huge effect on children. It can cause a child to feel confused, sad, and even lonely. It is deeply upsetting and they can never fully grieve the lost relationship.

Understanding that when you are going through a divorce, your children should never take the brunt end of it. There are steps you can take to prevent parental alienation from happening. You should try to never denigrate the other parent, seek outside support, hold volatile discussions out of earshot, and if your ex is with a new partner try to accept them. These are all steps that are very important to ensure that your child doesn’t experience parental alienation.

Now, if you are a parent who has experienced this, it will take time to repair that relationship with your child. Seeking individual therapy for the alienating parent, the target parent, and the child can help. You can also limit a child’s time with the alienating parent and increase time with the targeted parent. A valuable exercise is to open a dialogue about similarities and differences between family members. Combining all of these tactics can really start the repair process.

Still feel like you need extra help or that the parental alienation is so bad you need to go to court? The attorneys at Brown, Dutton & Crider Law Firm LLC would be honored to stand by your side during this difficult time. Jenni, Lance, and Tracy are experienced, transparent, and compassionate Georgia family lawyers that have been practicing attorneys more than a combined 35 years. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and begin planning for your future!