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Parental Alienation

Parental alienation is a growing concern, and something we see all too often at our Riverside California Family Law practice. Simply put, parental alienation is the deliberate attempt by one parent, or other family members, to turn a child against the other parent. Often seen in custody cases, parental alienation involves the use of psychological manipulation to cause a child to display fear, disrespectful behavior, or hostility towards a parent or other relatives. What would motivate a parent to do this to their child and the other parent? The reasons can vary from case to case, but most often they boil down to anger over the divorce or separation, jealousy, and finances.

While there are currently no federal or state laws that regulate parental alienation, many courts recognize it as a very serious issue, with the potential to cause long-term negative effects. Parental alienation not only can cause lifelong estrangement of a child from one parent, but it can significantly increase the risk of a child developing mental and physical illness, including substance abuse issues, in the future. In addition, children affected by parental alienation can suffer from low self-esteem, and are at an increased risk for failed relationships later in life.

The seriousness of this issue emphasizes the importance of recognizing the signs of parental alienation, and taking action to stop it, as soon as possible. The following are some of the warning signs that a parent is trying to alienate the other:

  • One parent discourages or tries to prevent communication between the other parent and a child
  • A parent tires to schedule events, outings, or travel plans with the child during the other parent’s custody or visitation time
  • Disparaging comments and complaints made by a parent to undermine the respect and authority of the other parent
  • Comments made by a parent that cause the child to fear for their safety when they are with the other parent
  • A parent displaying feelings of hurt and betrayal when a child shows love and affection for the other parent
  • One parent using the divorce or separation as a way to make a child feel unwanted by the other parent

If you are separated or divorced, have a custody arrangement, and suspect the other parent is trying to alienate you from your child, you must take action! Make no mistake, parental alienation is a form of child abuse that can have life-long ramifications.

The attorneys at Smith Law Group are experts in dealing with all custody related issues, including parental alienation. We will fight tirelessly to protect you and your child. We are located in Riverside, CA and provide expert Family Law services to the entire Inland Empire community. Your initial consultation is complimentary, so contact our office today!

(951) 780-5300