What Is Parental Alienation?

Sometimes, one parent actively tries to undermine a child’s relationship with the other parent. A parent may do this by talking badly about the other parent in front of the child or by taking steps to prevent the other parent from having visitation. This is called parental alienation.

Signs of Parental Alienation

Courts often deal with divorces and child custody disputes that involve allegations of parental alienation. Typically, one side takes action that limits the other side’s parenting time or affects the child’s views of the other parent. The court must assess the situation and determine if the behavior rises to the level of parental alienation.

There can be many signs that parental alienation is affecting your relationship with your child, including:

  • Making negative comments about the other parent to the child
  • Allowing others around the child to make negative comments about the other parent
  • Unnecessarily involving the child in divorce details
  • Making the child unavailable during scheduled visits with the other parent
  • Concealing important information about the child’s schedule and activities from the other parent
  • Monitoring and preventing communications between the child and the other parent

How Parental Alienation Can Affect Your Divorce or Child Custody Case

The State of Texas doesn’t provide legal standards for evaluating parental alienation. However, Texas courts have started to act when they suspect parental alienation, and they’ve been taking matters seriously.

In divorces or child custody cases involving parental alienation, a judge may order that the child receives therapy or that the child may spend more time with the alienated parent. In extreme and serious cases, the parent who is causing the alienation may lose custody of the child.

What To Do if Parental Alienation Is Affecting Your Relationship With Your Child

If you believe that parental alienation is a factor in your divorce or child custody dispute, it’s important to get help. If the situation is left to go on too long, it may permanently damage your relationship with your child. It’s not unheard of for parents to lose months—or even years—of time with their children, just because the other parent shared nasty rumors and false information.

Talk With Our Lawyers About Child Custody

At the Schneider Law Firm, P.C., we work to protect your relationship with your child. For a confidential consultation, call our Ft. Worth office at 817-755-1852 or send us a message. We can answer your questions about child custody and what a judge may consider if parental alienation is involved