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What Is Parental Alienation?

Every parent deserves a fair opportunity to have a positive and loving relationship with their children. Even after a divorce, and after both spouses move on with their separate lives, children will continue to play an important role in the spouses’ lives.

However, not all divorces end amiably. When spouses divorce on bad or tenuous terms, there is a chance that these feelings may transfer onto the children. Parental alienation is one of the unfortunate effects that may fall out onto children involved in a divorce.

What Is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation (also known as parental alienation syndrome/disorder) is destructive behavior that influences a child’s feelings toward one of the parents. One parent discredits the other parents and sabotages that parent’s relationship with the child. These actions cause the child to reject and alienate the parent.

Essentially, the parent is alienated from the child and their relationship is spoiled because of the other parent’s actions. In some extreme cases, a parent’s manipulation could cause a child to even hate the alienated parent.

Identifying Parental Alienation

There are many symptoms of parental alienation. Identifying these signs early on is vital to stopping serious long-term damage to the parent-child relationship. Alienation comes in all shapes and sizes—at the slightest suspicion that some form of parental manipulation is affecting your relationship with your child, contact a skilled divorce and custody lawyer and discuss your situation immediately.

Common symptoms of parental alienation include the following:

  • Depriving/excluding information on child’s educational, social, and medical activities
  • Sharing false information on marital relationship with child
  • Preventing/interfering with child having contact or visiting with you
  • Making major decisions for child without consulting you
  • Refusing to let child take possessions to your home
  • Defying your authority and supervision and forcing child to choose between parents

Fight Parental Alienation & Protect Your Family!

Some studies suggest that children in as many as 1 in 5 families may suffer from parental alienation and manipulation. Although parental alienation is not formerly recognized as a syndrome or a disorder by the American Psychiatric Association, many Texas courts are prepared to take legal action to protect children who are clearly in an abusive situation at the hands of a manipulative or alienating parent.

If you believe your family is being threatened by the manipulative actions of an alienating parent, contact a skilled family lawyer immediately and discuss your case.