What Should I Do When I Suspect Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation is a distressing situation that can deeply affect both parents and children involved. Recognizing the signs and taking appropriate action is crucial to protect your relationship with your child.

What Is Parental Alienation?

If you unfamiliar, parental alienation is a situation in which one parent attempts to harm or sabotage their child’s relationship with a co-parent. This typically occurs when co-parents have a difficult relationship that makes it challenging to work together; it can also occur when one or both co-parents doesn’t believe the other is suited to be a parent.

Parental alienation is a serious issue that can have devastating effects on both parents and their children. It’s important to be aware of the signs of parental alienation so that it can be addressed early.

Here are some of the key signs to look out for:

  • Sudden changes in behavior from either parent or child
  • One parent expresses negative feelings about the other
  • The child expresses fear in the presence of a particular parent
  • Altered stories or “lies” when talking about one parent to another
  • The child perceives one parent as an enemy
  • One parent attempts to limit contact between the child and the other parent
  • The child demonstrates extreme loyalty toward one parent and is hostile toward the other
  • One parent is excluded from important events or decisions
  • The child shows extremes of either compliance or defiance to one parent

Below, we’ll discuss steps you can take when you suspect parental alienation and how you navigate this challenging situation.

Navigating Parental Alienation: What You Should Do in This Situation

Document the Behavior

When you suspect parental alienation, it's essential to keep a record of any incidents or behavior that may indicate this issue. Document instances of negative comments, interference with visitation schedules, or any attempts to undermine your relationship with your child. These records can serve as valuable evidence later on.

Communicate Openly

Initiate open and honest communication with the other parent. Express your concerns about potential parental alienation and discuss the impact it may have on your child.

Be calm and respectful during these discussions, focusing on the well-being of your child. Document these conversations to ensure you have a record of your efforts to address the issue.

Focus on Your Child's Well-being

During this challenging time, it's crucial to prioritize your child's emotional well-being. Encourage open communication with your child, emphasizing that they are loved unconditionally.

Engage in activities that promote a healthy parent-child relationship, such as spending quality time together and supporting their interests. By providing a stable and nurturing environment, you can help counteract the effects of parental alienation.

Seek Professional Help

Consulting with a family law attorney who specializes in parental alienation cases can provide you with valuable guidance and support. They can help you understand your legal rights, provide strategies to address the situation and represent your best interests in court if necessary.

Kay Polk, Attorney at Law, is an experienced family law attorney who can assist you in navigating parental alienation cases. If you are concerned about addressing this issue, you can always reach out to us to learn more about how we can help.

Contact Kay Polk, Attorney at Law today to learn more.