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Divorce can bring out the worst in people. There are hurt feelings and big life changes happening all at once. The consequences of unleashing all of those tough emotions in the wrong way can be devastating, especially when children are involved. Sometimes divorcing parents will either directly or indirectly disparage one another around the children. They may make comments because they are afraid of what will happen with child custody. They may toss around insults to try and sway a child’s favoritism. Whatever the reason, the insults and disparaging comments can manifest itself in the child as parental alienation syndrome. It is considered to be a form of mental and emotional abuse that courts are starting to take more and more seriously.

What Are the Consequences of Parental Alienation?

Disappointments surrounding the end of a marriage run deep. It often comes out in unproductive and harmful ways that result in things like parental alienation. One parent may exaggerate the flaws of the other parent. One parent may even go so far as to assert that the other parent does not love the child. A parent may say these things in front of his or her child to hurt the other parent or to try and bring the child to his or her side of things, but the damage to the child can be severe and it falls squarely on the shoulders of the child, not the other parent.

If it is possible that parental alienation has occurred or is occurring, courts can take action to address the issue during the custody hearings. A judge may appoint a guardian ad litem to investigate the living situation of a child. A parenting facilitator may be employed to examine parent interactions with the child. In some instances, a forensic psychologist may be utilized to study the mental health of all parties involved, the parents and the children. When these specialists produce a report of their findings, the court can take such actions as ordering therapy. The court may also restrict visitation or reduce parental rights based on the reports.

Courts have come to realize that parental alienation, conditioning a child to hold animosity against a parent, jeopardizes the emotional and mental well being of the child. As such, courts continue to take allegations of parental alienation seriously. Evidence of parental alienation will need to be provided to support any allegations of such. If you suspect that you are being alienated from your child, you can request mental health experts assess your child and our child’s relationship with you and the other parent. Depending on what the experts find, you may have the support you need to have custody modified or a custody arrangement that allows you to always be in contact with your child. Additionally, you may request that the court order interventional therapy.

Helping Families Through Some of the Most Difficult Times

Even under the best of circumstances, divorce is tough. It is a major life change that brings other major life changes that go to the fundamentals of your family structure and everyday life. Navarrette & Schwartz, P.C. is here for you and your family every step of the way. We are proud to serve the residence of Midland, Texas. Contact us today.