Over the last few years the Court has seen an increase in the number of cases raising issues of parental alienation. Being prevented from having a close relationship with your child can be a devastating and traumatic experience and it is therefore important to spots the signs and take legal advice at any early stage.
In this article we take a look at the signs to look out for and steps to take if you suspect that your child is being subjected to parental alienation.
What is parental alienation?
Parental alienation is when a child no longer wants to maintain a relationship with one parent which is not justified and is the result of psychological manipulation by the other parent. Examples of parental alienation can include criticising the other parent in front of the child, limiting or stopping contact with the other parent, not sharing important information about health and education and giving the impression to the child that the other parent does not want to spend time with them.
What signs should I look out for?
If a child is being subjected to parental alienation, the child may become withdrawn and not want to spend time with you, express negative views about you and your extended family and not want you to attend school events or activities. Other common signs include the other parent contacting the child excessively during their time with you and making serious unfounded allegations.
What if I suspect parental alienation?
If you suspect that your child’s mother or father is alienating the child it is essential to seek early legal advice. Our family lawyers can discuss your options with you and ensure that appropriate action is taken to avoid the relationship deteriorating further or completely breaking down. In some cases family therapy may be a good starting point however in many cases an urgent application to the Court is necessary. You should keep a record of any unusual behaviour and try speaking to the other parent about your concerns and make a note of their response. School reports and GP records should also be obtained as they can often evidence the parent being excluded.
How do the Courts deal with parental alienation?
Courts are increasingly recognising parental alienation and the harm it can cause to a child. In most cases the Court will order a fact finding hearing to determine the allegations of parental alienation followed by a report from the Child and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) and expert evidence from a psychologist who will assess the child. In some cases the Court may make the child a party to the proceedings and appoint a guardian. Recent case law shows that the Courts are willing to take a robust approach and order a transfer of living arrangements where findings of parental alienation have been made. In very serious cases the Court may order a transfer of living arrangements at an interim stage to prevent further emotional harm to the child.
Cases involving parental alienation are complex and challenging. our team of experienced family lawyers for further advice.
If you have concerns about parental alienation or you are a parent being accused of parental alienation, please contact Dimple directly on 01483 887766, email email@example.com or start a live chat today.
*This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.