Child Custody & Visitation
Understanding Parental Alienation in Custody Cases

Understanding Parental Alienation in Custody Cases

Date: Oct 16, 2023
In: Child Custody & Visitation

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Understanding Parental Alienation in Custody Cases

Child custody cases tend to be challenging, but when parental alienation rears its ugly head, the challenges increase exponentially. If this is the very difficult situation you find yourself in, do not delay in consulting with an experienced California divorce attorney who has extensive experience helping clients successfully address parental alienation concerns. 

Parental Alienation

The immense stress of divorce has a way of bringing out the worst in people, and some parents succumb to this stress by using their children as pawns in their efforts to obtain the child custody terms they are going for. Children are malleable, vulnerable, and highly suggestible, which means that a parent who wants to alienate them from their other parent can do a lot of damage. 

Common Forms of Parental Alienation

Parental alienation can take many forms, and some are more difficult to identify than others. Some of the most common examples, however, include all the following:

  • A parent who refuses to engage in meaningful negotiations regarding a parenting plan
  • A parent who constantly talks down or criticizes the other
  • A parent who feeds the children stories about the other
  • A parent who makes up lies about the other that may frighten or repel the children  
  • A parent who withholds visitation from the other
  • A parent who blatantly ignores court orders related to parenting time
  • A parent who will not allow visits between the kids and the other parent
  • A parent who actively keeps important information from the other, such as school or medical records or relevant dates regarding the children’s activities
  • A parent who controls or carefully monitors communication between the children and their other parent
  • A parent who purposefully schedules activities that interfere with the other parent’s plans or visitation schedule
  • A parent who unfavorably compares their children’s father to their own new partner 

Parental alienation can be accomplished in many different settings – including when the parents are still living together prior to divorce. If your soon-to-be ex is actively encouraging your children to fear, hate, or ignore you, it is parental alienation, and addressing the matter sooner rather than later is important.

Tell-Tale Signs that Your Children May Be the Victims of Parental Alienation

If you have noticed any of the following signs of parental alienation in your children, you should not ignore them:

  • One or more of your children is resisting a relationship with you or is refusing to see you – although your relationship used to be close.
  • Your divorcing spouse is growing closer to your children while you are being edged out.
  • Your children routinely support or side with your divorcing spouse on adult issues.
  • Your children parrot your divorcing spouse’s comments and beliefs about you.
  • Your children demonstrate dislike or fear in relation to your family members.  

It’s Time to Consult with an Experienced California Divorce Attorney

The focused divorce attorneys at Miranda, Magden & Miranda, LLP – proudly serving the Monterey and Salinas areas – have witnessed the devastating effects of parental alienation and have the legal insight, experience, and drive to help. Your relationship with your children is of primary importance, so please don’t hesitate to contact us for more information about what we can do for you today.

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