Helping Families for 25+ Years

What is Parental Alienation?

According to Psychology Today, parental alienation syndrome was a term that came into use during the 1980s, coined by child psychiatrist Dr. Richard A. Gardner. Parental alienation not only hurts the alienated parent, but it is severely damaging to children on an emotional, cognitive, and behavioral level, especially in more severe cases. If you believe your co-parent is attempting to alienate your children from you, you need to begin documenting all incidents of alienation and seek legal assistance to explore your options moving forward.

Why Does Parental Alienation Happen?

It is not uncommon for divorced co-parents to hit a bit of a bumpy road as they adjust to their family’s new dynamic. A divorce is a difficult experience to go through, emotions are running high, and ex-spouses might not always make the best decisions. However, when a parent tries to turn their children against their other parent, doing whatever possible to damage the relationship, this is a major red flag that suggests something more than an adjustment period is necessary.

Here are some other red flags that indicate parental alienation, which you should be aware of:

  1. Your child asks you not to come to their events
  1. Your child habitually defies you
  1. You are shut out from parent-teacher conferences
  1. Your child constantly argues with you or provokes arguments
  1. Your child does not acknowledge the times you shared with one another prior to their change in behavior
  1. When confronted about their behavior, your child accepts blame and denies his or her other parent is the source of their rejection of you

What Can I Do About It?

If your ex-spouse is alienating your children from you, you might feel helpless against their actions. However, if you can prove parental alienation, there are various legal actions that can be taken, such as child custody modification and reunification therapy.

However, you will first need to build as much evidence as possible for your claim to hold up in court. Consider the following tips:

  1. Start a detailed journal: Once you begin to suspect your former spouse is trying to keep your children from you, start writing the details down in a journal. For example, write down all the dates he or she kept you from your children, the reason that was used, and the circumstances. Doing so will be greatly helpful for you in court.
  1. Make your requests in writing: Any time you wish to see your children, make these requests to your co-parent in writing, so you have solid evidence in court. This will heal eliminate hearsay.
  1. Consider counseling: If you are not sure if you are the victim of parental alienation, consider seeking the assistance of a therapist. His or her opinion will also be valuable in court if it comes to that.

Do not let your former spouse damage your relationship with your children. You have legal options!

Reach Out to a Compassionate Child Custody Attorney Today!

If your former spouse is alienating you from your children, you need to contact the team at Myers Family Law for the skilled legal assistance you deserve. You can rely on our team to protect your rights as a parent.

Call our law office today at (916) 634-0067 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys to discuss your case!