Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation

What Is Parental Alienation Syndrome?

There are, sadly, many consequences to a divorce. One of the side effects that have been researched in recent years is parental alienation syndrome (PAS). Parental alienation occurs when one parent actively tries to prevent a child from spending time with the other parent. It is typically committed by the custodial parent against the non-custodial parent, although it may occur in virtually any type of child custody or visitation arrangement.

Recognizing the signs of parental alienation syndrome and taking immediate action to assert your parental rights are important if you are to maintain a meaningful relationship with your child or children. Let a Riverside family law attorney help you protect your right to your children at this time.

Call our firm to benefit from our attorneys' experience.

Get an Riverside Family Lawyer on Your Side

PAS is a serious obstacle for parents who want to guard the relationship with their children after divorce. At Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich, we are qualified to help protect your family, even in the midst of alienation. Our lawyers have handled more than 5,000 cases over 50+ years of shared experience, and Attorney Danica Hanich is Board Certified in Family Law by the California Board of Legal Specialization. Let us protect your rights and provide the counsel you need at this time.

Are You a Victim of Parental Alienation?

Children are easily affected parental alienation because they are already dealing with feelings of insecurity, fear, and sadness. The reasons parents choose to do this vary, but they are often motivated by revenge, jealousy, anger, or even money. If your former spouse is using lies and manipulation to turn your child and make them think you are the enemy, there are steps you can take to stop this. This type of behavior not only affects the alienated parent, but also the children at the end of the day.

Types of conduct that may eventually lead to parental alienation include:

  • Preventing the other parent from contacting the child
  • Frequently scheduling events or trips with the child at times where the other parent has visitation or custody
  • Frequently complaining to the child about the other parent's faults and wrongdoing
  • Intercepting mail, phone calls or presents from the other parent to the child
  • Instilling fear into the child that the other parent will do him or her harm
  • Acting hurt or betrayed when the child shows affection for the other parent

Research has found that children who have been victimized by parental manipulation can suffer from lifelong emotional trauma. If one parent is attempting to turn their child against the other, they often unknowingly create feelings of insecurity and lowered self-esteem in the child—who is essentially used as a pawn to obtain a more favorable divorce settlement or custody agreement. Not only is this behavior considered abusive, but it is something that no child or parent should have to endure.

You may have a legitimate fear that your current custody agreement is going to breed this alienation syndrome. With little time spent between you and your children, your former bond may not ever be the way that it once was. The alienation can, unfortunately, go both ways. While the child can withdraw themselves from a relationship with the non-custodial parent, the parent can conversely withdraw themselves from the attention and care that they once gave their children. Children are an extremely sensitive issue when coming to an agreement on custody. If you are not satisfied with your current parenting plan, then you may be able to petition for a modification.

Taking Legal Action

If you are being alienated by your child and former spouse as a result of untrue manipulations, you should not hesitate to take legal action before the problem becomes worse. When your former spouse is failing to keep your child's best interests in mind, it is your responsibility to do so. With the help of a qualified attorney, you can explore the options that are available to you under these particular circumstances.

If your lawyer proves that parental alienation is occurring, the at-fault parent will be ordered to stop this behavior. You may even be granted more time with your child through a modified custody or visitation arrangement.

Trust an Experienced Family Law Firm

With 50% of marriages ending in divorce, almost one million children are affected each year. In uncontested divorce cases, the parents are able to come to an agreement regarding custody and child support; however, 10% of divorces involve some kind of custody battle. As each parent wants the best for their family, this sensitive topic can be difficult to negotiate without the help of a seasoned attorney.

A lawyer from our firm could act as a mediator in these cases and help you avoid going to court. If court is necessary, we could be a strong advocate for you and your children. Learn how we can help: request a free case evaluation with our Riverside family law attorneys!