The Impact of Parental Alienation on Child Custody:

When one parent manipulates a child to reject the other, it can have negative emotional and psychological effects on both the estranged parent and the child.

What is Parental Alienation?

A type of emotional child abuse known as parental alienation occurs when one parent consciously damages the child’s bond with the other parent.  It frequently entails persistently disparaging the targeted parent, restricting contact or access, and interfering with the child’s ability to communicate with the alienated parent.

This conduct hampers a child’s emotional growth, causing them great distress.

Signs of Parental Alienation:

Here is what to look out for in parental alienation:

  • Denigrating the other parent:  The parent who is repeatedly alienating the child’s affection for the other parent portrays the other parent as unloving, unreliable, or harmful in front of the child.  To harm the reputation of the targeted parent in the eyes of the child, the alienating parent may even go so far as to make up stories.
  • Limiting contact:  The alienated parent’s time is unnecessarily restricted, leading to a lack of bonding moments with the child.  To limit contact with the youngster, they could over-schedule the child or create impediments to prevent frequent visits.
  • False allegations:  The alienating parent could urge the kid to accuse the other parent of abuse or neglect on false allegations.  These allegations can have serious consequences, including criminal charges, legal disputes, strained relationships, and extreme distress for both the accused parent and the child.
  • Emotional withdrawal:  The child becomes hostile or emotionally distant towards the alienated parent for no valid reason.  The child’s emotional development may be affected by emotional detachment, which can also leave lasting psychological scars.

What Can You Do About Parental Alienation?

If you are a parent who is experiencing parental alienation, you can still work to maintain a relationship with your child.  Ensure your child feels safe with you and consider talking to the other parent about behaviors you’ve noticed.

Parental alienation can be difficult to prove in court.  However, it is possible to change custody arrangements if you provide the necessary evidence and make strong arguments.  Here are some pointers:

  • Maintain a record of events:  Keep track of any instances where you were denied access to your child.  You should also record incidents when your ex lied or spoke negatively about you in front of your child.
  • Leave a trail:  Print emails, texts, or other communications in which you asked to see your child or discussed legal matters.  You will be able to prove your effort to maintain your relationship while having evidence if your ex lies about these conversations.
  • Counseling:  An experienced family counselor should know about parental alienation and how to fight it.  You will receive the tools and vocabulary to address this issue and will show that you are working to improve the situation.
  • Do not reciprocate:  If your ex is trying to harm your relationship with your child, you should not respond in the same way.  Taking the high road means that the law will be on your side.  Do not talk badly about the other parent or try to keep the child away.
  • Talk to an experienced lawyer:  An experienced lawyer will have the resources and training to identify parental alienation and will be able to help you without going to court.  If the case goes to court, your lawyer will be able to shine a light on the issues at hand.
  • Go to court:  Our attorneys will provide you with the necessary legal counsel so you understand the rights you have as a parent.  Ensure you document and keep records of everything that happens, as it will prove helpful in future legal proceedings.  If you have followed the tips mentioned above, you will have solid ground when tackling this case.

Proving Parental Alienation:

To establish parental alienation in court, bring the following evidence:

  • Testimony:  Ask friends, family, counselors if they are willing to testify as to the alienation they have witnessed.
  • Calendar entries:  Record incidents and conversations on a calendar.  Make sure you include the child’s emotional state.
  • Keep evidence/examples:  In particular, any texts, emails, letters, calls, social media posts, etc. showing this behavior.
  • Psychological evaluation:  A court can order a psychological evaluation to learn about the child’s mental health and the effect of the alienation.

Louisiana Custody Attorneys:

We are a Gretna law firm that has served the New Orleans area since 1980 in all matters related to family law including custody issues.  Our experienced team can get you over this painful life hurdle and achieve the results and resolutions you want.  We take pride in offering a personal and trusted experience.  Call us today for a free consultation and find out why so many of our clients come back to us.

effects of parental alienation on custody

Call us today for a free telephone consultation with a custody attorney.