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What is parental alienation?

What is parental alienation?

  • March 11, 2015

Parental alienation is the process by which one of the parents (sometimes both parents) attempts by various maneuvers, to arouse his/her child’s feeling of hatred, aggression or fear towards the other parent.

This process occurs mainly during a couple’s break-up, parental separation or divorce. The alienating parent will often exhibit self-importance and will attempt to belittle the other parent in the child’s presence. Among other things, the alienating parent may use disrespectful words and take derogatory actions against the other parent to induce in the child’s conscience the feeling that the other parent wishes him/her nothing but harm.

Unfortunately, most children are easily manipulated by the alienating parent, who is often the custodial parent. The child victim becomes confused as to his/her loyalty towards the other parent and a negative image of the latter is gradually created in the child’s mind. Once the process takes place, the child may even refuse to see the alienated parent or, in serious cases, he/she may begin to protect the alienating parent, behaving in a hostile manner towards the other parent.

In order to fight these toxic and harmful situations and prevent them from occurring, several measures have been established by law. The alienated parent must take legal action to prove the occurrence of parental alienation. Once the court rules that parental alienation really occurred and that it still takes place, supervised visitation and a therapy for the alienating parent may be required. It is important to keep in mind that the court always intervenes to ensure that the child’s best interests are protected and not to punish the alienating parent. To find out more information, please call us for an appointment.

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