What is Parental Alienation and How Can You Fight It?

Mother holding child

Divorce can be extremely difficult but even more so when children are involved. Parents are often concerned with how their children will cope with the major life change and how it could impact their own relationship with them. Unfortunately, sometimes one parent has difficulty keeping their own feelings to themselves and shares such feelings with their children. These negative feelings picked up by children can have an impact on custody and visitation and often fall under the issue of parental alienation. 

Parental alienation occurs when one parent attempts to ruin the relationship that their child has with the other parent. One parent may manipulate situations to purposefully make the other parent look bad, thereby contributing to how the child sees that parent. Sadly, when parental alienation continues for long enough, it can do a lot of psychological damage and influence how the child views one of his or her parents. As a result, a parent who has been alienated from his or her child may have to fight to maintain their relationship with the child. This may include making up for their time with the child, seeking family and individual counseling, and more.

It is the job of the individual who is responsible for evaluating custody to look for factors often associated with parental alienation. According to the National Center for State Courts, such factors include the following:

  1. The child expresses a relentless hatred for the targeted parent. 
  2. The child’s language parrots the language of the alienating parent. 
  3. The child vehemently rejects visiting the targeted parent. 
  4. Many of the child’s beliefs are enmeshed with the alienating parent. 
  5. Many of the child’s beliefs are delusional and frequently irrational. 
  6. The child’s reasons are not from direct experiences but from what has been told to him or her by others. 
  7. The child has no ambivalence in his or her feelings; they are all hatred with no ability to see the good. 
  8. The child has no capacity to feel guilty about his or her behavior toward the targeted parent. 
  9. The child and the alienating parent are in lockstep to denigrate the targeted parent. 
  10. The child can appear like a normal healthy child. But when asked about the targeted parent, it triggers his or her hatred.

Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC Can Help Those in VA to Fight for Their Parental Rights

Parents have the right to fight for their parental rights and their relationship with their children. If you believe that you have been the victim of parental alienation that is impacting your custody or visitation with your children, it’s important to speak with a knowledgeable and experienced Virginia family law attorney. At Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC, we have experience with family law and specifically with issues surrounding parental alienation. We will help you to fight for what it is that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Family Law