Signs of Parental Alienation & What You Can Do

Signs of Parental Alienation & What You Can Do

Parental alienation occurs when a parent undermines or attempts to erode their child’s relationship with the other parent. This practice is unfortunately common—especially during a divorce—and it can be difficult to put an end to it. Although many parents are unintentionally guilty of parental alienation, it can have serious ramifications regardless of intent. Learn the signs of parental alienation and what you can do in the situation.

The Signs Of Parental Alienation

Parental alienation can take on many forms, which can be subtle or blatant. Some common signs of parental alienation include:

  • Name calling, bad mouthing, or blaming the child’s other parent in front of the child
  • Complaining to the child about his other parent
  • Sharing inappropriate or unpleasant details with the child about his parent
  • Telling the child hurtful lies—i.e. that the child was unwanted by his other parent
  • Excessively quizzing the child for information after visits
  • Screening and avoiding phone calls or other communication between parent and child
  • Forming an “alliance” with the child against the other parent
  • Interfering with visitation orders
  • Making false accusations of abuse

In addition to the signs above, if you notice any of these signs from your child, you may be a victim of parental alienation:

  • Your child seems distant or reluctant to visit you
  • Your child is angry or resentful towards you
  • Your child knows too much information about your relationship with your former spouse
  • Your child blames you (but not your ex) for the divorce
  • Your child appears to feel confused or guilty about having a relationship with you

Keep in mind it is normal for a child to experience some or all of these emotions when his parents are divorcing. To prove parental alienation, you must have convincing evidence to present the court.

What You Can Do About Parental Alienation

Even older teenagers can be susceptible to these tactics. When you believe you have been a victim of parental alienation, it is important to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. You should also document all instances and signs of alienation. An experienced family law attorney can help you gather evidence and present it to the court.

The court may appoint a guardian ad litem in your case to help represent the best interests of your child. The judge may also order family counseling. In cases of repeated or severe parental alienation, the judge may modify the child custody order in favor of the alienated parent.

Finally, the best way to combat parental alienation is to foster and maintain a healthy relationship with your child. Allowing frustration and discouragement to keep you away validates the alienator’s actions. Parental alienation behaviors typically taper off within the first couple of years after a divorce. If your former spouse’s alienation efforts are unsuccessful, they are less likely to continue interfering with the relationship.

Need Legal Assistance? Call A Family Law Attorney

Parental alienation is a form of psychological abuse. If you have been a victim of parental alienation, contact Klok Law Firm LLC in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina for assistance.