Parental alienation occurs when one parent, the alienating parent, attempts to create a relationship with the children that excludes the other parent from their lives. Often this exclusion arises from that parent’s personal feelings about the other parent and their desire to punish them, and it is not related to any real deficiencies in their parenting. In alienation cases, one parent makes negative comments about the other capable and loving parent and strives to destroy any relationship the children may have with him or her. These alienating parents not only fail to encourage and support a positive relationship between their children and the other parent, but they essentially brainwash the children into disproportionately and unjustifiably rejecting the other parent.
The problem with parental alienation is it can work. Often, children will get to the point in which they refuse visitation or any contact at all with the target parent and express only negative feelings about that parent. Sometimes this is because the children believe the negative things they hear about the other parent, they’re unable to act against the alienating parent, or they enjoy the attention they receive for complying with the alienating parent. Parental alienation is a very separate issue from not wanting contact with a parent who is physically, emotionally, or sexually abusive.
If you believe you are being alienated from your children or your relationship with your children is being negatively impacted by the other parent, there are resources available to help identify alienation and repair the parent-child relationship. Our attorneys are experienced in parental-alienation cases and have the tools necessary to reunite you with your children.