Parental Alienation Syndrome and Child Custody

We’d like to believe that kids will be properly cared for after a divorce – that the custody arrangement will be ideal, and they’ll get the most love and support possible out of the situation. Sadly, it isn’t always that easy.

Many kids are put into the custody of a parent who ends up being abusive in some way. While certain types of abuse can be identified quickly (e.g., physical abuse leaving bruises and scratches), there are some that are invisible and often never get discovered.

One form of emotional child abuse that sometimes flies under the radar is parental alienation, which leads to long-term damage in the form of parental alienation syndrome.

What is Parental Alienation Syndrome?

Plenty of divorces are ugly, with toxic meetings and tense courtroom sessions. By the time the divorce is finalized, one of the spouses actively hates the other, or they both strongly hate each other.

While some people can set aside their resentment for their ex-spouses in the name of co-parenting or giving their children healthy upbringings, there are plenty of people who let their rage at their ex seep into their parenting.

Parental alienation is when a parent intentionally tries to pit their child against their other parent. They do this through manipulation and brainwashing strategies that include lying about the other parent.

As a result of these tactics, the child might suffer from parental alienation syndrome, which means they show irrational negative behavior toward the targeted parent.

One sign of this syndrome could include the child actively hating the targeted parent despite that parent not demonstrating any abuse or other negative conduct that could potentially justify the behavior. A few other signs could include:

  • Anger towards the parent’s entire extended family
  • Breaking gifts from the parent or other items associated with them
  • Refusal to see the targeted parent
  • Lashing out in school
  • And much more

Beyond the immediate ramifications of parental alienation, children who suffer from this syndrome could suffer from detrimental long-term effects that include low self-esteem and self-respect or aggressive, delinquent behavior.

If you suspect your child might be getting abused in the form of parental alienation, please review this overview to learn more about parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome.

Child Custody and Parental Alienation Syndrome

If your ex is subjecting your child to parental alienation, you have the right to seek out legal recourse. It’s possible that you could have the custody or visitation orders modified to give yourself more time with the child. Depending on the severity of your specific situation, it’s also possible to terminate the alienating parent’s custody.

Contact Our Custody Attorneys in Fort Worth, Texas

If you suspect that your ex-spouse is abusing your child through parental alienation tactics, you may have the right to take action. The experienced Fort Worth, TX custody attorneys of the Schneider Law Firm are here to help you. Call 817.755.1852 or send us a message to request your free consultation.