Finding a way to effectively detect parental alienation is important in any custody or divorce situation. The warning signs that alert a child is suffering from Parental Alienation Syndrome are not always clear, which is why it is important to keep a record of any behavior that is suspect and keep a detailed record including dates, times, things said, behavior issues and note any “secrets” your child may be keeping. I have experienced alienating parents keeping secrets with their child as a way of building a bond with the child and alienating the other parent.

Warning Signs to Help Detect Parental Alienation

Some of the signs that help you detect parental alienation in your particular situation include:

  • Quick to Anger: If a child is actively being alienated, he will be under a great deal of stress and it is unlikely that they have the skills to deal with that stress and will be quick to anger.

An Alienated Child Will Choose a Side

In my experience, the alienated child will choose a side — the side of the alienating parent and will become absolutely certain that the other parent is at fault, a bad parent, a bad person and hate that parent. It is interesting that children usually have difficult times with both of their parents at some point. However, in situations of parental alienation, the child has so aligned with the alienating parent that it is black and white — one parent is all good and the other parent is nothing but bad. The child shows no remorse about shutting the other parent out and it is not uncommon to hear the child say things to or about the alienated parent that are words used by the alienator. Unfortunately, this often leads to the child actually hating the extended family of the alienated parent as well including grandparents, aunts, uncles and even refuse to see them.

False Allegations of Parental Alienation and the Narcissistic Parent

In some cases, it is also possible that the targeted parent is a narcissist which may lead to allegations of parental alienation that does not exist. In these situations, the case studies show that the narcissistic parent is unable to understand why the child does not adore the greatness of the narcissistic parent. The child will withdraw from the relationship and the only answer the parent can come up with is that it must be parental alienation.

Dealing with False Accusations of Parental Alienation

  1. When false accusations of abuse are raised you need to take immediate action.

Alienation of a child against the other parent is taken very seriously by the family court system because it has been shown to have lasting harmful effects on the child. Many states have factors that include “facilitating a relationship between the child(ren) and the other parent” and if this is not done, as in the case with an alienating parent, that parent is likely to lose custody and may even be restricted to supervised visitation.

Asking the Right Questions to Prove or Disprove Parental Alienation

It may be that a parent who has experienced the same “alienation” concept by one of their parents when they were growing up may engage in the same behavior if those feelings or patterns are re-triggered during their own divorce or separation. Unfortunately, the family court system was not designed to look at what is right and what is wrong. The family court system is designed to look out for the best interest of the child.

  1. Remember it is your relationship and your time with your child it is most important to you.

Detecting parental alienation in a parent-child relationship or dealing with false allegations of parental alienation are serious matters with lasting consequences. Please contact our family law attorneys today to schedule a confidential consultation if you have concerns about parental alienation and how to proceed.


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