In a divorce involving children, it is important to foster their best interests by maintaining healthy and strong relationships with each parent, and not exposing them to conflict. However, there are certain situations where parents influence their children to choose sides. In extreme cases, parents create the expectation to reject the other parent, and in rare, severe cases, children are manipulated to hate and strongly dislike the other parent without fully understanding why. These are all examples of parental alienation.
Parental alienation is a form of emotional child abuse where a custodial parent belittles and vilifies the other parent to the child.
What Are The Impacts of Parental Alienation?
A parent may resort to damaging their child’s relationship with the other parent at the child’s expense because of:
- Unresolved anger toward the other parent;
- Unresolved issues from their own childhood;
- Personality disorder;
- Insecure with parenting skills;
- Identity issues and;
- New spouses or grandparents
As a result, children will say negative comments about the other parent, have a lack of empathy, and the ongoing perspective that the parent is demonized and evil.
It will take a team approach from family members, health professionals, and legal counsel to remedy an existing case of parental alienation. The goal is to spare children from the emotional scars, negativity, and “brainwash” they have toward the parent and rebuild their love for them.
From a legal perspective, parental alienation is not a form of child abuse and crime in Georgia. Generally, child custody orders are made based on the best interests of the child. If a parent is alienated then there is a breach in the custody order and more than likely, the custody order will be changed. A custody order will also note that both parents will be ordered not to make disparaging remarks about the other parent and if they violate the order, it will be defined as contempt of court.
Speak To Our Caring Divorce and Family Law Attorneys Today
If you are going through a divorce or separation and have questions about parental alienation and the repercussions it has with you and your children, consult with a caring and competent divorce and family lawyer.
Our firm’s founder Mary Stearns-Montgomery has extensive experience representing the best interests of children in family law matter. Mary, along with our family law attorneys, serve as advocates for families throughout the Atlanta and Marietta area. We will help understand your options and the best way to move forward. To schedule a consultation, contact us today at 770-280-1488 or complete our contact form here.