Do you have concerns that your child’s other parent is intentionally trying to turn your child away from you? Are you concerned that your well-intentioned behavior may be interpreted by others (including a judge) as you trying to turn your child away from his or her other parent? The act of attempting to influence one’s child so that they will reject their other parent is called parental alienation. It is a serious phenomenon and one that is not treated lightly by the courts. For this reason, it is important to direct any questions and/or concerns you have about parental alienation to an experienced family law attorney as soon as you possibly can.
What is Parental Alienation?
Parental alienation is common when a child’s parents are prone to high-levels of conflict. However, it may also occur even when parents attempt to be civil to one another. Parental alienation can occur in various degrees of severity. For example, a more minor form of parental alienation could involve bad-mouthing a child’s other parent while that child is in earshot. A more severe form of parental alienation could involve attempting to convince a child not to take their other parent’s calls or engage in scheduled parenting time with the other parent. Intentionally disrupting parenting time, asking a child to report on the child’s other parent or otherwise actively seeking to disrupt a protected child-parent relationship could also be considered forms of parental alienation.
Certainly, there are times when well-intentioned parents engage in behaviors that could be considered parental alienation in an attempt to ensure their children’s safety or to otherwise protect their children from risk of mental, emotional and/or physical harm. However, these well-intentioned parents could find their own child custody rights being threatened if their children’s other parent alleges that they are unlawfully engaging in parental alienation. This is why even well-intentioned alienation activities and behaviors should be discussed with an attorney. Legal alternatives (such as a modification request) could serve to accomplish a parent’s well-intentioned aims without endangering that parent’s custody rights.
Legal Guidance Is Available
If you have questions about parental alienation, please do not wait to connect with an experienced family law attorney. Call today. Whether you are concerned that your child’s other parent is engaging in parental alienation or you are concerned that your well-intentioned behavior may be perceived as parental alienation by others, it is important to receive experienced legal guidance as soon as you possibly can. Parental alienation is serious business and should not be taken lightly. Depending on your family’s unique situation and the degree to which parental alienation may be occurring, this turn of events could potentially impact your child custody situation as a whole. Attorneys who have experience dealing with this particular phenomenon should be able to advise you of your legal and practical options at this time and moving forward. No matter what the specifics of your situation are, if parental alienation may be intentionally or unintentionally affecting your child, please seek legal guidance from a Bloomington family lawyer now.
Thanks to Pioletti, Pioletti & Nichols for their insight into family law and parental alienation.
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*Mark L. Scroggins is *board-certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Unless otherwise noted, other attorneys are not *board-certified.
**Super Lawyers (a Thomson Reuters service, awarded to Mark Scroggins 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021)
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