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What is parental alienation syndrome?

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2023 | Divorce |

When married or divorced couples are not on good terms, hostility can manifest in a number of unhealthy ways. One of these is parental alienation syndrome, a pattern of behavior that can also affect your child’s well-being.

Parental alienation refers to one parent distancing their child from the other, either physically or emotionally. This behavior is more common when divorce is imminent or during the actual divorce process, so it is important to know more about parental alienation and how you can recognize the signs that it is occurring.

How does parental alienation syndrome affect your family?

Parental alienation is a form of emotional abuse that can harm a child’s self-image and evolve into long-term feelings of guilt or depression. If your co-parent attempts to alienate your child from you, not only will it affect your relationship with your child but it might also impact your child’s ability to make meaningful relationships in the future. Keep in mind, though, that this blatant exhibition of abusive behavior is a factor that you can bring to the court’s attention when discussing child custody in a divorce.

What are the signs of parental alienation?

Parental alienation syndrome is something that a malicious parent might be guilty of either consciously or subconsciously. That is why it is crucial to recognize the signs that parental alienation might be occurring. Common telltale signs may include a sudden change in your child’s opinion of you, defamation of you by the other parent or physical removal of the child from your presence.

Parental alienation can be significantly harmful to a child’s mental state and to your overall family dynamic. Many judges recognize parental alienation as a form of child abuse, though, so there are steps you can take to create a safer environment for your child.