What is parental alienation syndrome?

In recent years, some experts say that parental alienation has been on the rise. Do you know what this syndrome is and how it begins? Moreover, do you know how it could impact your relationship with your child after a divorce?

Essentially, it is when one parent attempts to cause the child to reject the other parent. They turn the child against them. It is a form of manipulation that allows them to control how much the child wants to see that parent and how close they are.

For instance, the child custody agreement may say that the parents have to split custody. A father may want to harm the mother’s relationship with the child, but he knows he has to follow the court order. He can’t keep them apart. What he can do is manipulate the child so that they slowly turn against the mother and does not want to see her. This is often done by lying, exaggerating, insulting and working to make the child feel angry, withdrawn or even fearful.

This is a serious issue because children grow and develop best when they have strong relationships with both parents. This is true before and after divorce. Parental alienation harms not just that relationship, but the child’s own future. The child doesn’t understand it is happening and it can be heartbreaking for the other parent.

Has this been happening to you or are you worried that it will? Have you been unable to see your children less than your custody agreement allows? You need to know what legal steps you can take to protect your rights and your relationship with your kids.

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Author: On behalf of Katie L. Lewis of Katie L. Lewis, P.C. Family Law

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