Understanding Parental Alienation

Divorce Attorney in Las Vegas

Parental alienation is when one parent gets a child to turn against the other parent, which in turn causes a broken relationship between the child and the then estranged parent. This happens when couples are going through divorce, legal separation, or are in a high conflict marriage.

This type of behavior can damage a child's mental and emotional wellbeing. The child is essentially being mentally manipulated or bullied by one parent into believing that the other parent is the enemy. The parent who is alienating the other parent may demonstrate verbal or non-verbal behaviors that coax the child into turning against the other parent. Many specialists view it as a form of brainwashing, because the child's hatred towards the other parent is unjustified and is instilled by the other parent. The rejected parent may approach the situation with a lack of empathy, which may then further the child's hatred towards them.

Who is more likely to suffer from parental alienation?

Fathers are most often the rejected parent. In general, men have the tendency to lack emotional connections, engage in rigid parenting, and can also be passive, depressed, and withdrawn after a divorce. This may encourage the child to reject the father. The parent that the child sides with, or the "aligned parent," may undermine the rejected parent.

As mentioned before, this can be a conscious or unconscious act. The aligned parent may not be aware that their actions and feelings have such a major impact on their child, or they could be saying negative things because they are aware that the child will feel the need to side with the aligned parent. The aligned parent may also fail to ensure that the child keeps in touch with the other parent and may accept negative remarks by the child towards the other parent without disagreeing with or discouraging such comments. Making derogatory remarks or blaming the other parent for the divorce is seen as direct alienating behavior.

Signs of Parental Alienation

A child may demonstrate a negative attitude towards a parent in the beginning stages of parental alienation. The child may seem uneasy around a parent and may only commit to single-word answers when asked questions. The aligned parent may not follow court ordered visitation in an effort to minimize or completely cut off the child's interaction with the other parent. The aligning parent may also allow the child to choose whether or not they want to visit the other parent and may give the impression that, if the child wants to visit the other parent, it would hurt the aligned parent's feelings.

Discussing details about the divorce and financial issues to the child may also warrant hatred against the other parent. The aligned parent may also refuse to give the other parent access to a child's medical records, school records, and the child's extracurricular activities' schedule. These are all signs of parental alienation.

How an Attorney Can Help

Finding a divorce lawyer in Las Vegas with extensive experience in the family law field is imperative when dealing with child custody issues. The attorneys at the Gordon Law Offices have almost 60 years of combined legal experience, and are prepared to fight even the toughest custody battles in or out of the courtroom. We do not only wish to reach a goal that the client has in mind, but create an environment where issues can be safely resolved between parties. Whether a client is dealing with child support issues, child custody concerns, or any type of divorce apprehensions, we have the ability to help. Contact our firm as soon as possible to see how our firm can help you.

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Las Vegas, NV 89101
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