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Is Your Ex Guilty of Parental Alienation?

 Posted on November 16,2022 in Child Custody & Allocation of Parental Responsibility

Kane County, IL parental alienation lawyerParental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) has been recognized by some in the medical community since 1985 when one child psychologist identified the similar behaviors that children exhibit when they have been exposed to parental alienation by one or both parents. In the decades since, the syndrome has yet to be recognized by the American Psychological Association or the American Medical Association.

Despite the debates over whether PAS per se actually exists, there is no debate about the existence of parental alienation. Unfortunately, it occurs far too often in divorce and child custody situations.

What Is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation is when one parent disparages the other parent to their child, deliberately manipulating the child’s perceptions of the parent, with the goal of turning the child against that parent. For example, a father may tell his children that their mother will stop loving them just like she did him or a mother tells her children that their father is going to forget all about them now that he has a new girlfriend.

While it is not uncommon for there to be some residual acrimony between parents after a divorce, parental alienation is a consistent and deliberate attempt to undermine the child’s relationship with the other parent.

Signs of Parental Alienation

Although it may not be recognized as an actual syndrome, family court judges do not look favorably at parents who engage in parental alienation. When a judge determines child custody, one of the factors they consider is how well a parent will encourage the child’s relationship with the other parent. Engaging in this type of behavior can cause great emotional damage to a child and even result in changes to child custody.

Some of the signs that your ex is waging a campaign of parental alienation include:

  • The parent tells the child details about the parents’ relationship and divorce conflict.

  • The parent monitors all phone calls, text messages, etc. between the child and the other parent.

  • The parent tries to prevent the child from seeing or even talking to the other parent.

  • The parent insists that all of the child’s belongings (i.e., favorite toy, clothes) stay at their house and the child is not allowed to bring any to the other parent’s home.

  • The parent plans “fun” activities during the other parent’s parenting time and tries to entice the child to stay with them instead.

  • The parent refuses any flexibility with the custody agreement in place when issues arise, i.e. father’s birthday is on a day that the child is supposed to be with the mother.

  • The parent interrogates the child about the other parent’s life.

  • The parent keeps information about the child from the other parent, i.e. report cards, school events, medical issues, etc.

Contact a St. Charles Family Law Attorney for Legal Help

If you suspect your ex is guilty of parental alienation and see the impact it is having on your child, do not delay in contacting a Kane County child custody lawyer to find out what legal options you may have. Call Weiler & Associates, Inc. at 630-331-9110 to schedule a confidential consultation.


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