Dealing with Parental Alienation?

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In matrimonial law, it is not surprising to see couples embroiled in lengthy struggles over divorce,visitation and custody, orders of protection, and charges of criminal contempt for those disregarding court orders. In some instances a parent may even become the victim of parental alienation.

Parental alienation is behavior by a parent – mother or father, designed to damage the relationship between the child and the other parent. It can involve brainwashing and manipulation of the child by one parent, for the purpose of destroying a loving and warm relationship the child may have shared with the other parent.

It is not uncommon for these cases to extend over a long period of time. Mental health experts have concluded that parental alienation is harmful to the child and can cause them severe psychological damage, frequently extending into adulthood. Parental alienation often forces children to choose the side of the alienator against the other parent. Children can suffer severe emotional and psychological damage as a result of the alienation, including the inability to form healthy relationships in later years.

The targeted parent is physically and mentally separated from their children through no fault of their own. In the most extreme instances, they may face false accusations from the alienator of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, which must be investigated carefully by the Courts and the Child Protective Services in order to protect the safety of the child.

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What Is Parental Alienation Syndrome?

Parental Alienation Syndrome is the brainwashing of the child by one parent which creates severe opposition from the child when it comes to having any contact with the other parent. This may include a visible hatred toward the other parent, though there is little and often no logical reason to explain the child's behavior.

Although every case of Parental Alienation Syndrome is unique and needs to be considered on its own merits, there is one common thread: The alienating parent will not stop trying to destroy the child’s relationship with the targeted parent.

*If you suspect that you are the victim of Parental Alienation Syndrome, you should immediately consult with professionals who are knowledgeable about this condition, including a child psychologist and a family law attorney.

The parent alienator puts his or her own selfish interests ahead of those of the children. In most divorces and child custody disputes, the courts will base their decisions on the best interests of the children. When parental alienation is involved and children are brainwashed due to tactics of the alienator, it can lead to an unjust result.

It is extremely important to work closely with your attorney to prepare an appropriate strategy. It is also crucial to maintain contact with your child and to not get discouraged.

Risk Factors Of Parental Alienation

During a separation or divorce, a number of factors can put you and your children at risk of parental alienation. Early recognition of these factors is important so you can intervene and protect your relationship with your children. Common signs include:

  • A parent interferes with phone calls
  • Children begin refusing to visit
  • Visits are withheld
  • A parent having a severe mental disorder
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Allegations of sexual, physical, and / or mental abuse
  • Allegations of sexual assault

Parental Alienation Syndrome may cause the children to experience radical changes in their behavior.

If you are a victim of parental alienation in a divorce, it is important to have skilled legal representation on your side. At Wisselman & Associates, our Long Island parental alienation attorneys will stand by your side and advocate your rights to maintain a positive relationship with your children. We have the experience and knowledge necessary to protect the best interests of your child.

Contact Wisselman & Associates to discuss your rights in the face of parental alienation.