Many parents have never heard of parental alienation. That is until they are faced with this issue during or after a divorce and child custody proceeding. Child custody issues can be difficult and stressful in and of itself. But when parental alienation is thrown into the mix by one or both parents, it is not only harmful for the parents but most especially harmful to the child.
So, what exactly is parental alienation? According to the PAAO (“Parental Alienation Awareness Organization”), parental alienation is defined as: “A group of behaviors that are damaging to children’s mental and emotional well-being, and can interfere with a relationship of a child and either parent.” The behavior generally involves one parent trying to negatively impact the child’s relationship with the other parent.
Examples of this include making false statements or negative comments about the other parent. This can go as far as coercion and the child could start to believe these false allegations. A parent may engage in this and not even realize they are doing it. The most minor being continuous questioning about the other parent to the child.
In the most serious of parental alienation cases, the parent is often joined by other family members in making the child believe in a complete fabrication. Unfortunately, this may involve false allegations of child abuse. These are terrible situations that can only negatively impact the child in the end.
If you are a parent in a divorce or post-divorce situation and believe you are a victim of parental alienation, it is imperative that you seek an attorney as soon as possible. Getting experienced legal representation is the first step towards getting the resources and expertise you require to help fight this and take necessary legal action.