Divorce can be a challenging time for all involved, but when children are involved, there are additional risks. Parents may make negative comments about the other parent while a divorce is pending or after the divorce is final, but when these comments become severe and pervasive, it can be troubling for all involved. When the behavior by one parent affects how the child feels about the other parent, that can constitute parent alienation syndrome.
What is Parent Alienation Syndrome?
Parent alienation syndrome happens when one parent plants the idea in their child’s mind that the other parent is inherently bad or wrong. In this case, the child may hold many negative ideas about the other parent that the child may no longer want to speak with the parent on the phone, not want to visit the other parent, and may even speak to that parent in an abusive manner when they do interact. If this is a result of false ideas placed into the child’s mind, this could constitute parent alienation. The child may not feel guilty for any animosity they demonstrate toward the alienated parent.
Parent alienation typically occurs while parents are arguing over the custody and child support for a child. When the child cannot articulate solid reasoning for not wanting to spend time with one parent or when children reiterate an adult-sounding phrase to describe why they do not want to be with a parent are tell-tale signs of parent alienation.
How to Stop Parent Alienation Syndrome
Parents may sometimes seek out professional counseling or programs to help the situation. Attorneys must be cognizant of when this type of behavior is occurring either by their client or another party, since the court can address this problem if the parents cannot come to an agreement. If not addressed quickly and before the situation becomes too toxic, alienated parents can end up spending costly time, energy, and money on litigation.
Parents who alienate are typically not afraid of the consequences, since they are usually acting in a fight or flight manner. Additionally, the parent doing the alienating may be carrying out generational behavior that was committed by their parents and grandparents. They may not even be aware of this cycle of behavior. Yet, family law professionals recognize that desperate behavior can have lasting negative consequences on the child and the other parent. Additionally, a solid custody agreement can help avoid this type of behavior. The court favors agreements that allow parents to have equal parenting time with the children and child support is calculated with both parents’ income in mind.
Cherry Hill Child Custody Lawyers at Hartman Group LLC Help Clients with All Types of Custody Issues
The Cherry Hill child custody lawyers at Hartman Group LLC understand the rippling consequences of parent alienation and can address it appropriately in a child support and child custody agreement. We understand that the process of divorce, custody, parenting time, and child support can be confusing and stressful. We are in Moorestown, New Jersey, and we serve clients from many counties in southern New Jersey. Call us at 856-235-4511 or contact us online for a confidential consultation.