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Just what amounts to parental alienation?


Just what amounts to parental alienation?

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2022 | family law |

When the marriage or relationship is damaged beyond repair and divorce becomes inevitable, the court may grant one parent primary custody of the child and the other visitation rights. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for either parent to attempt to alienate the child from the other parent.

Parental alienation happens when one or both parents cannot draw the line between their differences and what is in the child’s best interest. Left unaddressed, parental alienation can have long-term effects on the child as well as the alienated parent.

Here are two acts that qualify as parental alienation.

Badmouthing the other parent

It is not uncommon for a parent to make utterances such as “your father is irresponsible” in the presence of the child. While this may seem like a harmless remark, it is important to note that the child is likely to believe it. As a result, the child may develop resentful feelings towards the other parent, which can, in turn, impact their relationship with the parent in question.

Undermining the other parent’s authority

It is not unusual for one parent’s approach to parenting to be different from the other. However, when one parent deliberately goes out of their way to undermine the other parent’s instructions to the child, then there is going to be a problem. For instance, if one parent believes the child should not take certain foods for health reasons, it would be inappropriate for the other parent to say something like, “Corey, you can eat anything you want whenever you are with me.” Over time, the child may become indoctrinated to believe one parent is good and the other bad. This is known as parental alienation syndrome, a situation where the child develops hatred or fear of the other parent and rejects any form of relationship with them.

Parental alienation can take multiple forms. If you believe the other parent is engaging in activities that are likely to alienate you from your child, it is important that you explore your options so you can protect your rights and maintain a healthy relationship with your little one.