Parental Alienation Law, Did You Know?
Parental alienation is a serious and relatively common problem that arises in contentious divorce and child custody cases. When one parent tries to turn their child or children against the other parent, this is parental alienation. Unfortunately, it often takes place over a long period in such an insidious way that the child doesn’t even realize that the alienating parent’s behavior is inappropriate.
Please know that there are legal options for those who suspect that their co-parent is trying to minimize their parenting time or turn their children against them. Take a look at 5 things you may not have known about Parental Alienation Law.
1. Courts Have Taken a Strong Stance on Parental Alienation
In recent years, courts have taken action against parents trying to erase their co-parents from their children’s lives. Thanks to a growing body of psychological research that clarifies how much children suffer from parental alienation, courts are likely to move quickly against parents who are not acting in their child’s best interests.
2. Locating Witnesses Can Be Challenging
Unfortunately, it can be hard to identify and prove parental alienation. If a child slowly starts to favor one parent over the other, the rejected parent may assume it’s a phase. Additionally, children are notoriously unreliable witnesses. Even if a child tells the alienated parent about something negative the other parent said, it can be challenging to get a court or therapist to take the allegations seriously.
Getting a third party involved can be helpful, and in most cases, it is the recommended course of action. For example, a guardian ad litem can serve as a neutral third party in a custody case to identify and investigate potential parental alienation. A therapist can also serve the same purpose.
3. Social Media Might Be On Your Side
Many accused of parental alienation leave a trail of their actions on social media, whether it’s posting about conversations with their children, quotes from their children, or comments to others about their co-parent. A lawyer may gather screenshots as evidence from social media accounts to prove the other parent’s intentions in a parental alienation case.
4. The Court May Help With Reunification Therapy
With the help of a skilled lawyer, a guardian ad litem, and a child therapist, a rejected parent may be able to make a strong case for parental alienation in court. One way that the court system handles a clear case of alienation is reunification therapy. The words of a trusted parent can impact a child in many ways, and it can be challenging for a child to learn to trust and love the alienated parent again. Reunification therapy aims to heal the wounds caused by alienation and rebuild the parent-child bond. Depending on the jurisdiction, the court may cover the cost of treatment or order the at-fault parent to pay for treatment.
5. It Could Affect Custody
Parental alienation is exceptionally harmful to a child, to the point that many judges will change custody decisions when they find that one parent has tried to turn their children against their other parent. Be prepared for this possible outcome if you’re in the middle of a parental alienation case since you may need to make adjustments for child care, housing arrangements, and extracurricular schedules if the other parent loses part of their court-awarded parenting time.
Parental Alienation Law In Conclusion
Parental alienation may seem impossible to overcome, particularly if the other parent has been turning your children against you for years. However, it’s never too late to fight for your children and take steps to repair the child-parent relationship.
Do you find yourself in need of help? Do not hesitate, reach out to our team of divorce attorneys. We are compassionate, yet tough and we care about you! Contact us today to discuss your parental alienation law concerns or any other divorce and family law matters. We look forward to hearing from you.