Parental Alienation

Alienation can have permanent psychological implications

Southern CA Parental Alienation Lawyer

Protect Your Parental Relationship

In cases of a divorce or separation where children are involved, it is crucial that both parents learn to co-parent in a collaborative, inclusive manner. Alienating actions of one parent can have permanent psychological implications on the relationship of the child and the other parent. The psychological diagnosis of parental alienation syndrome (PAS) goes way beyond one parent simply hurling insults directed at the other with the intent that the children deliver that message. Some researchers have even suggested that it’s the family-unfriendly version of Stockholm Syndrome.

How Does Parental Alienation Syndrome Develop?

Parental alienation happens when one parent manipulates and brainwashes a child in order to destroy the relationship between the child and the other parent. The children constantly hear false, frivolous, and exaggerated criticisms against the other parent and are blocked from certain contact from him or her. What can result is parental alienation syndrome, when the child, herself, becomes unjustifiably hostile, angry, or unfriendly toward the other parent.

What Can I Do?

At Holstrom, Block & Parke, APLC, the most common question we receive from parents who are the target of parental alienation is “what can I do about it?” By coming to us, you have already taken the first, most important step. Having a legal advocate in your corner means your rights and interests are protected. It is also important to monitor your own actions. Controlling your anger, always showing up to perform your parental responsibilities even when barred from doing so, focusing on positive activities when you do get time with your child, and not talking about any matters of your court case with your child are some of the ways in which you can have a positive impact on the situation.

Legally, you can ensure that all aspects of a child custody or visitation order are properly enforced by taking your matter to court. Keep a log of all instances that reflect your co-parent’s alienating actions to present to the court as evidence that orders are being violated. Remember that the child’s best interests will be the priority of the court, and parental alienation can be a key contributing factor to a court’s decision on custody and visitation matters.

A parent’s actions that can lead to PAS include:
  • Getting back at the other parent through a rigid visitation schedule
  • Making the child feel guilty for having fun with the other parent
  • Allowing the child to decide whether or not to visit with the other parent
  • Openly speaking badly about the other parent with the child
  • Blaming the other parent for issues in front of the child
  • Falsely accusing the other parent of abuse or drug or alcohol use
  • Destroying or hiding mail or presents from the other parent
  • Blocking any communication between the child and the other parent
  • Not allowing the other parent to have access to the school or medical records
  • Not including co-parent in child’s extracurricular activities
Don’t Let Your Co-Parent Get Away with Alienation!

Parental alienation can have a lasting impact on your child. If you notice signs of parental alienation and believe that your co-parent is attempting to turn your child against you, act quickly to get the legal help you need.