What is Parental Alienation?

Divorce is challenging for both parents and children. In fact, a divorce or child custody case is one of the most challenging experiences a person can face. However, parents sometimes make the process even more difficult. One way in which some parents increase the difficulty of divorce is through a process known as parental alienation. Unfortunately, parental alienation is common, and it ultimately harms the children of divorced parents. Below is an overview of the behaviors that constitute parental alienation and the ways that it affects the children of divorce.

Parental alienation defined with examples

Parental alienation is a process by which one parent psychologically manipulates his or her child into showing unwarranted hostility, fear, or disrespect towards the other parent. And although Georgia has no specific laws addressing parental alienation, evidence of this behavior by a parent may be used by the other parent to support his or her claim for parenting time, custody, or supervised visitations. There are several common behaviors that constitute parental alienation, and an offending parent will often utilize several of them to inflict maximum damage on the relationship between his or her child and the other parent. Examples of parental alienation include:

  • Speaking badly about the other parent in front of the child
  • Manipulating the child into believing the other parent is hurting his or her feelings
  • Limiting contact between the child and the other parent
  • Convincing the child that the other parent doesn’t care for him or her
  • Telling the child to choose one parent over the other
  • Going to extremes to win the child’s love
  • Forcing the child to say bad things about the other parent

Effects of parental alienation on children

Parental alienation is extremely harmful to children. However, parents who use such tactics rarely consider the effects that they have on their children. And while those who witness such behavior may disapprove, people rarely take the time to report it, as many people don’t believe parental alienation rises to the level of abuse. Make no mistake about it, though, parental alienation is abusive to children, and it can lead to mood disorders, self-loathing, low self-image, and even substance abuse in a child’s later years.

Contact Our Lithonia Divorce Attorney  

If you are considering a divorce, you need an experienced divorce lawyer to represent your interests. E.N. Banks-Ware Law Firm LLC works to help clients achieve positive outcomes in divorce proceedings. Equally adept at managing highly contested divorces or negotiating settlements, our primary concern is protecting your interests and the well-being of your children. In addition, when a satisfactory settlement cannot be reached, we are fully prepared to represent our clients in court. Therefore, if you are considering a divorce in Lithonia County or elsewhere in Georgia, please contact us today for a free consultation.