Parental Alienation

Turning the Children Against the Other Parent

Unfortunately, it is sometimes the case that one parent attempts to turn the children against the other parent. He or she may tell the children things that aren't true so that the children won't want to visit their other parent, or make it difficult for the other parent to discipline the children. Avoiding the problem by missing visitation opportunities, or sabotaging visitation opportunities, may only make matters worse.

In reality, the child is the true victim of parental alienation, caused in situations where one or both parents are hurt and upset after a painful divorce or custody battle, leading to the child having negative attitudes toward one or both parents. Unfortunately, too often a parent, in a zeal to "get even," to not realize, or do not care, that it is the child that suffers.

It is important to avoid parental alienation to the extent possible regardless of whether you are the custodial or noncustodial parent. To avoid encouraging parental alienation, you should not:

  • Promote visitation refusal by giving your child a choice of whether he or she can visit the other parent when legally the other parent has the right to see him or her
  • Share details of your divorce or end to your relationship with the other parent with your child. There are just some things that your children don't need to know.
  • Fail to share pertinent information such as sports schedules and medical information with your child's other parent
  • Ask your child to spy on his or her other parent
  • Hinder the relationship between your child and his or her other parent

Following these guidelines can go a long way in avoiding child neglect and potential mental and emotional child abuse, as well as prevent future difficulties with the court regarding child custody and visitation.

Enforcing Visitation Orders

Family Courts can enforce visitation orders. If you find that your child is hesitant or refusing to see you and you suspect that your former spouse is turning your child against you it is important that you not delay in resolving the problem.

I can help by encouraging hostile aggressive parenting awareness. If you have questions about how to be aware of parental alienation, contact me, John S. Yohanan, at (408) 297-0700 or via our online form.