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How to Handle Instances of Parental Alienation

 Posted on August 20, 2021 in Child Custody

Frisco family law attorneyDealing with a child custody dispute can be enormously stressful. After all, your child’s wellbeing could be on the line, and so, too, could your relationship with him or her. The conflict that’s present in one of these disputes can be exacerbated when one parent thinks that the other is intentionally trying to cut him or her out of the child’s life. In some instances, this could be considered parental alienation.

The Basics of Parental Alienation

In its most basic terms, parental alienation occurs when one parent actively manipulates a child in hopes of creating distance between that child and his or her other parent. Oftentimes this manipulation is aimed at obtaining a more restrictive child custody order that further cuts the other parent out of the child’s life.

What Does Parental Alienation Look Like?

The breadth and severity of parental alienation can be massive. It can be as simple as failing to keep the other parent apprised of the child’s activities and medical appointments, or it could be as severe as to program a child to believe that he or she was abused or neglected by the other parent. The latter is often achieved by creating false memories.

Oftentimes, though, parental alienation occurs when one parent consistently talks bad about the other parent in the presence of the child, or the parent schedules fun activities for the child during the other parent’s scheduled visitation. This latter tactic forces the other parent to choose between foregoing visitation or proceeding with the visitation and having the child resent him or her.

How Can You Spot Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation can be hard to identify. However, if your child’s behavior suddenly changes without justification, you’ll want to pay close attention to what he or she says and how he or she acts. In many instances, children who have been subjected to parental alienation unrelentingly criticize the alienated parent without justification. This is because their beliefs about that parent have been molded by the alienating parent.

On the flip side, a manipulated child will oftentimes show consistent and unwavering support for the alienating parent. This support can even extent to members of the alienating parent’s family, while the criticism of the alienated parent can reach that parent’s family members.

Additionally, be on the lookout for your child reciting facts that only the other parent would know, as well as allegations that are simply false. Children who say something like “you don’t even love me” are sometimes manipulated into believing that that statement is true.

What Can You Do to Address Parental Alienation?

To protect your child and your relationship with him or her, you probably need to seek a child custody modification. Of course, in order to successfully do so, you’ll have to present evidence as to why your proposed arrangement is in the child’s best interest.

But before taking your case to court, you might be able to work out a favorable resolution with your child’s other parent. That might be hard to contemplate given the circumstances, but a mental health professional who has evaluated the child may help provide valuable insight for both parents. Reunification therapy might also help you rebuild your relationship with your child, which can assist the other parent with seeing the value of your relationship with the child.

Before trying to resolve your child custody dispute, though, you need to be prepared. You need evidence to support your position and strong legal arguments that would be convincing in court. That’s why it’s imperative that you understand the law and how it applies to your set of circumstances, as well as what you can do to generate the evidence you need. Hopefully then you can obtain an outcome that protects your child and your relationship with him or her.

Contact a Collin County Child Custody Attorney

If you are facing a difficult situation regarding your children, and you believe that parental alienation may be occurring, a Frisco family lawyer can help. Call 972-294-6533 for a free consultation at the The Law Office of Linda Risinger today. We will work hard to ensure that your parental rights are fully protected, along with the best interests of your children.




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