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What is parental alienation and how can you avoid it?

Jul 20, 2018 | Family Law

This happens when the behavior of one parent harms or destroys the relationship between the other parent and a child or children. It can have devastating consequences for both the kid and parent.

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In a limited poll of North Carolina parents more than 10 percent reported being alienated from a child. But of those nearly 50 percent rated the level of alienation as severe. And it often starts early in the divorce process. In this post, we will explain what it looks like and how to fight back.


Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)

The DSM-5 is a tool used by psychologists to diagnose mental health disorders. The most recent version includes a term “child affected by parental relationship distress.” This broad term covers the range of parental alienating behaviors.

Preventing you from spending time with a child or constantly texting or calling during parenting time are often some of the most overt signs of issues. Another behavior to watch is negative comments parroted by a younger child that might indicate the other parent has started badmouthing you or revising past experiences to make you look bad.

Parental alienation can even lead to a situation where a child no longer wants to spend time with one parent for unjustified or untrue reasons.

A trigger can be an ex- who refuses to accept the relationship is over. Another relationship or marriage can also be a triggering event for parents who have successfully c0-aprented for some time.

What remedies are available through the Texas courts?

Addressing the behavior as soon as it starts is crucial. The court handling divorce or paternity and child custody decisions can order the other parent to stop certain conduct. It might also by necessary to loop in a counselor or psychologist early to document what is happening and share it with the court.

The more difficult situation can when you are several years from a divorce and about to remarry. Modifying child custody through mediation or by going back to court might be required depending on the degree of the conduct.

Get legal help from a team of established Houston litigators who will go to bat to protect your relationship before long-term damage results.