Dealing With Parental Alienation (Part I)

Dealing With Parental Alienation Is Not Easy: Contact an Experienced Chicago Family Law Attorney Today

It is no secret that divorce can be especially difficult on the children of the divorcing couple. Even where the divorcing parents are in agreement concerning most (if not all) of the issues in their divorce case – including residential placement of the child, parenting time allotments, and the division of parental responsibilities – children can easily feel as if they are somehow to blame for causing the dissolution of the marriage or that one parent or the other does not love them. Wise, divorced parents together will look for ways to help their children through this difficult time and will frequently remind their children that, as parents, their feelings for them do not depend on how the parents feel about one another.

When one parent or the other engages in behaviors that rise to the level of parental alienation, however, the emotional and mental harm inflicted on the children is often increased, not minimized. That is why many family law judges in Cook County and throughout Illinois take a hard stance against parental alienation.

What Is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation can be loosely defined as the actions of one party designed to create a physical and/or emotional distance between a child and his or her parent(s). In other words, any action (even the act of speaking) that serves to make a childless attached or connected to his or her parents can qualify as an act of parental alienation. In divorce cases, parental alienation is typically carried out by one parent or the other, but other individuals can commit acts of parental alienation. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, family friends – even siblings – can commit acts or speak words that create a physical and/or emotional distance between a child and his or her parents.

Most family law courts are concerned with parents who directly or indirectly attempt to alienate their children from the other parent. This can include:

  • Speaking badly about the other parent to the child in order to make the child resent the other parent or think less of him or her;
  • Physically prohibiting the child from visiting the other parent or otherwise limiting contact between the child and the other parent. Even discouraging the child from visiting the other parent, allowing the child to remain at home instead of visiting the other parent, or prohibiting the child from calling, texting, and/or e-mailing the other parent can cause an alienating effect.
  • Sharing details about family law proceedings with the intention that the child will view the other parent in a negative light.

When You Are the “Other Parent”

If you believe the other parent is committing acts intended to alienate your child from you, you need to take prompt action to bring the matter to the attention of the court. The Cook County family law attorney at Arami Law can help you take the appropriate steps to stop acts of parental alienation. Contact our firm by calling (312) 584-6355 or by completing our firm’s online form.

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