Child custody cases are incredibly stressful for every party involved, and proper preparation can ensure a good result. Courts will decide who gains child custody based on a variety of factors, including the best interests of the child. One of the factors that plays into the child custody decision is parental alienation. Parental alienation is whether one parent has “unreasonably denied the other parent access to or visitation with the child,” according to state law. How can this practice affect the outcome of a child custody case?
Parent vs. Parent
Parental alienation frequently comes up in cases where both parents are very upset with one another. If one parent speaks negatively about the other parent in front of the child, including on social media, it can contribute towards parental alienation. It also manifests in cases where one parent goes out of their way to unfairly block access to the child. Many parents involved in child custody battles are surprised to learn that not encouraging a child to contact the other parent can also count as parental alienation. A large factor in being granted shared or sole child custody is whether or not a parent can actively support their child’s relationship with the other parent.
Parental Alienation 101
Parental alienation isn’t just a legal term. The condition was actually first described by a psychiatrist who noticed it in children with parents who were in the process of divorce. Parental alienation arises when a child’s relationship with one parent is damaged or terminated solely or partially as a result of psychological manipulation by the other parent. It can arise in a variety of ways, whether it is a child only hearing negative things about their other parent or a parent encouraging a child to view a missed visit as a slight. Sometimes, parental alienation is the negative consequence of a parent treating their child as an ally in a divorce case, when they should not be involved at all.
Parental Alienation in a Child Custody Case
Custody and visitation rights often hinge on whether or not a parent can encourage a child to have a relationship with both parents. Courts take parental alienation very seriously, so it is important to pay attention to how you speak about your ex-partner in front of your child.
Child Custody Case Guidance from The Carlberg Law Firm
The Carlberg Law Firm has been guiding clients through all of life’s difficult situations since 1970. We have a wealth of experience in family law, whether you are seeking pre-marital agreements, working through your will, or seeking a divorce. We serve all of our clients with dignity, dedication, and determination. To hear more about us and what we do, contact us online or give us a call at (703) 549-5551. For more legal tips and to see what we are up to, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.