We Are New Orleans
Family Law & Divorce Lawyers

What is parental alienation?

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2024 | Family Law

Parents who are no longer in a relationship have to determine their parenting arrangement style, if they are both going to continue to parent minor or otherwise dependent children. While some parents are able to work as a parenting team and co-parent, others can’t because their situation is too contentious.

In contentious parenting situations, it’s important to understand parental alienation. This occurs when one parent tries to turn the children against the other parent. This can draw a wedge between the alienated parent and the child, which is detrimental to the child and the targeted parent alike.

Recognizing the signs of parental alienation

Parental alienation can be a deeply painful and complex issue because one parent influences the child to reject or fear the other parent without justifiable reason. For the alienated parent, recognizing the signs of this dynamic is the first step toward addressing the problem.

These signs may include a sudden change in the child’s behavior towards the alienated parent, unjustified criticism and a parroting of the alienating parent’s views. It’s crucial to identify these patterns early, as they can significantly impact the parent-child relationship and the child’s emotional well-being.

Navigating the emotional challenges

The emotional toll of parental alienation extends to the alienated parent and the child. The child may have insecurities that cause self-esteem issues. They may have difficulty trusting and may not understand what constitutes a healthy relationship.

Alienated parents can often feel frustrated and angry. They may mourn the loss of their relationship with their child. Throughout this, they should try to remain calm when they’re with their child. This can often be difficult and it may require the assistance of mental health professionals familiar with parental alienation.

Addressing child custody issues

Parental alienation shouldn’t ever happen. It’s possible that the alienated parent may have to turn to the court to address the matter. The issue is that it’s often difficult to prove parental alienation and trying to rebuild the relationship with the child is going to take time and effort.

Because this is such a complex issue, the alienated parent should seek legal representation to learn their options and determine how to have the situation rectified so they can work on building a meaningful relationship with their child without the other parent interfering.