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What is Parental Alienation?

Oftentimes, attorneys hear from clients or prospective clients that parental alienation is occurring in their case. According to the World Health Organization, parental alienation is not a health care term but rather a term used in legal contexts, generally in the context of custody disputes in divorce or other parenting cases. Also, known as parental estrangement, parental alienation is not just a child favoring one parent, or one parent bad-mouthing the other to the child.

5 Parental Alienation Factors to Consider

According to the American Bar Association, there are five factors that attorneys use to determine whether there is parental alienation:

  1. A child refusing contact with a parent.
  2. A prior positive relationship between the child and rejected parent.
  3. A lack of abuse, neglect, or seriously deficient parenting by the rejected parent.
  4. The favored parent exhibiting alienating behaviors, such as coercion.
  5. The child showing certain behavioral signs

Not all parental alienation cases include all five of the factors, but these are an important base to look at when determining if parental alienation is present in a case.

How Does Parental Alienation Impact a Case?

A child’s best interest should be a decision-making factor for a judge. Guardian Ad Litem’s are often appointed in cases to investigate parental alienation and to assist the judge in determining what would be in the child’s best interests. Sometimes, reunification processes are necessary in parental alienation cases, which may be ordered by a judge. If parental alienation is alleged, sometimes an expert is appointed to determine if there is truly alienation involved.

Contact Us Today

At Morneau Law we have family law attorneys who understand the determinantal effects parental alienation has on a family. If you feel you parental alienation may be happening in your family, and are interested in speaking with a family law attorney, please contact us at (603) 943-5647 or fill out our online form here:

Katherine J. Morneau