location2591 Dallas Pkwy, Suite 300Frisco, TX 75034-8563

Call for a Free Consultation


Parental Alienation in Child Custody Cases in Texas

 Posted on March 25, 2024 in Child Custody

Denton family law attorneyParental alienation is a difficult issue that may arise in child custody cases, and it is essential to understand its implications. This occurs when one parent engages in behaviors that intentionally or unintentionally undermine the other parent’s relationship with their child or children. It can have severe consequences for the children involved and can significantly impact the outcome of custody proceedings. A Texas lawyer can help you if you find yourself in this situation.

Understanding Parental Alienation

Parental alienation can manifest in various ways, such as:

  • Badmouthing the other parent in front of the child.
  • Limiting or interfering with the child’s communication or visitation with the other parent.
  • Making the child feel guilty or disloyal for spending time with the other parent.
  • Portraying the other parent as untrustworthy, unsafe, or unloving.

These behaviors can create a rift between the child and the targeted parent, leading to emotional distress, resentment, and, in severe cases, the complete rejection of the alienated parent.

The Impact on Children

Children exposed to parental alienation can experience a range of emotional and psychological problems, including some of the following:

  • Anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem.
  • Difficulty forming and maintaining healthy relationships.
  • Feelings of guilt, confusion, and loyalty conflicts.
  • Behavioral issues, such as aggression or withdrawal.

Parental alienation can also have long-lasting effects on the child’s development, even after the custody dispute has been resolved.

Legal Considerations in Texas

In Texas, courts take parental alienation seriously and consider it a form of emotional abuse. The Texas Family Code emphasizes the importance of frequent and continuing contact between children and their parents, except in cases where it would significantly impair the child’s physical health or emotional development.

When parental alienation is suspected or proven, the court may take the following actions:

  • Counseling and Interventions: The court may order the parties to undergo counseling or participate in interventions designed to address the alienating behaviors and promote a healthy co-parenting relationship. This can include family therapy, parenting classes, or mediation.
  • Modification of Custody and Visitation: In severe cases, the court may modify the existing custody and visitation arrangements to protect the child’s best interests. This could involve granting the alienated parent more parenting time or even changing the primary custodial parent.
  • Sanctions and Remedies: If a parent is found to have engaged in alienating behaviors, the court may impose sanctions or remedies, such as ordering the alienating parent to pay attorney’s fees and court costs, requiring the alienating parent to attend counseling or parenting classes, or modifying child support obligations or other financial obligations.

Parents and legal professionals must recognize the signs of parental alienation and take appropriate action to protect the child’s well-being and the integrity of the parent-child relationship.

Contact a Denton, TX Family Law Attorney

Parental alienation can have severe and long-lasting consequences for children involved in custody disputes. In Texas, courts are proactive in addressing this issue and have various legal tools at their disposal to ensure the child’s best interests are protected. A Frisco, TX family law lawyer can help you along the way. Call The Law Office of Linda Risinger at 972-294-6533 for a free consultation with attorneys with over 40 years of experience.

Share this post:
Back to Top