Parental Alienation: Signs to Look Out For

Pleasanton CA family law attorneyDefined as behaviors designed to drive a wedge between a parent and his/her children, parental alienation is a form of abuse. When one parent interferes with a child’s relationship with the other parent via manipulation or deceit, this can lead to devastating consequences. Children who are victims of parental alienation can suffer from depression, bonding problems, substance abuse, guilt, and much more. Not only that, but being cut-off from his/her child has a serious emotional toll for the other parent, all at the hands of a selfish or spiteful ex-partner.

What exactly are the signs of parental alienation? For this post, we’re offering an overview of some of the warning signs to look out for when engaging with your child, or with the other parent, and fear that parental alienation is a possibility.

Warning Signs of Parental Alienation

Here are some potential signs that a parent might be manipulating a child and potentially using his/her affections as a weapon against the other parent:

  • A child who previously had a good relationship with the other parent is suddenly reluctant or hesitant to visit said parent.
  • A child categorizes each parent as the “good one” and the “evil one.”
  • A child suddenly begins to lash out or act hostile toward the other parent
  • A child’s tone when speaking about the other parent is hostile, displays contempt, or includes language/terminology that might be above the child’s usual reading/speaking level. 
  • A child fixates on just one or two bad traits or experiences as justification for alienating or showing contempt for the other parent.

If you detect signs of parental alienation, It is vital that you don’t react emotionally or with an “eye-for-an-eye” approach. This can only make things worse and reinforce the idea that you are a “bad parent.” There are many approaches you can explore when dealing with parental alienation, including counseling, mediation, and formal legal proceedings. That being said, the first step in looking over these options should be to consult with a qualified family law attorney in CA.

Consult with One of Our Family Law Attorneys Today

Learn more about how a family law attorney can help you with matters involving parental alienation, child custody disputes, and any other matter involving family law in CA. Call the Law Offices of James P. White at 925-271-0999 to book a free initial consultation with a qualified legal expert.