How Parental Alienation Affects Divorce

Divorce Lawyer New York, NY

Even if spouses have agreed that they will have a “friendly” divorce, there is often some issues that comes up that ends up driving a wedge between the two parties. In other divorces, the already present anger and contention that are a result of the marital problems the couple has just deepens. These negative feelings too often carry into whether or not the couple can co-parent together and, as a result, the children end up being put in the middle.

Unfortunately, parental alienation is a common problem in divorces. If you believe your divorce case involves parental alienation, you should understand the law and how it can impact your divorce. Contact a divorce attorney to learn more. In the meantime, let’s take a closer look at what parental alienation syndrome is and how it may affect child custody.

Parental Alienation Syndrome Defined

The psychological manipulation of a child is called parental alienation syndrome. When it occurs, children typically feel fearful, disrespected, or hostile toward their parent or another family member. When a parent engages in parental alienation, they are usually doing so in order to turn their child against the other parent.

An example of extreme parental alienation is if you send a birthday gift to your child and your ex keeps it from them so that they can tell your child that you completely forgot about their birthday. Making inappropriate remarks about your divorce to your child or even permitting them to speak about their other parent negatively may be parental alienation. The most common signs of parental alienation include:

  • Blaming the other parent for the divorce
  • Asking the child about the other parent’s personal life
  • Scheduling too many activities with the child so that they never get to spend time with their other parent
  • Checking emails or phone calls between the child and the other parent
  • Rescuing the child from the other parent when it is unnecessary because there is no danger involved
  • Asking a child if they are angry at the other parent

Often, the use of a child counselor or child psychologist is necessary when parental alienation occurs. They can help the child and parent restore their previous bonds and form a healthy relationship.

Custody Law and Parental Alienation

Many mental health professionals have recognized parental alienation. However, states have been skeptical of making custody changes based on this condition. Under most child custody laws, the best interests of a child are considered when determining child custody. The best interests of a child involve a parent’s willingness to promote a close and ongoing relationship between the child and their other parent. Therefore, family courts will evaluate each parent’s words and actions and determine whether they have said or done anything to hurt the child’s relationship with their other parent.

Contact Experienced Divorce Lawyers

If you are concerned about how parental alienation will affect your divorce, we encourage you to reach out to a highly skilled divorce lawyer in New York, NY from Okun, Oddo & Babat, P.C. They will ensure your rights are protected.