Understanding the Impact of Parental Alienation

When going through a divorce, parents often hold the best interests of their children in the highest regard. However, it is possible that one spouse may begin to make negative, damaging comments about the other spouse to children. When used to influence the thoughts of children, these comments could go beyond being improper remarks and turn into parental alienation.

Defining parental alienation

Parental alienation syndrome takes place when a parent uses his or her actions to interfere and undermine a child’s relationship with their other parent. Psychologists have deemed parental alienation as a form of emotional abuse. Behaviors associated with parental alienation may include speaking negatively about the child’s parent, not allowing a child to visit with their parent, forbidding a child to discuss the parent at home and manipulating a situation to make the child believe the other parent is dangerous or uncaring.

Impact of parental alienation

This form of abuse may take place at any time, but often occurs during custody battles when a parent may strategically try to sway their child’s loyalties. Parental alienation may result in a child believing that one parent is the only person who can protect and provide for them, and that their relationship with this person will be jeopardized by contact with the other parent. Eventually, the parent’s behavior may cause the child to abandon their relationship with the other parent completely.

This form of emotional abuse has been reported to lead to increased pressure on children. Adults who were impacted by parental alienation as kids are reported be at risk for long-term effects such as depression, drug abuse, divorce and problems with self-esteem and trust.

When a couple is going through a divorce, it may not immediately be apparent to legal and mental health professionals that parental alienation is taking place. This is why it is essential to work with knowledgeable experts who can properly deconstruct a family’s situation.

If your former spouse is exhibiting warning signs of parental alienation toward your children, contact a trusted Long Island divorce lawyer with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C.

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