Fighting for Parents in DuPage County, Wheaton & Will County, IL
Parental alienation is a set of tactics that a parent uses to encourage a child to reject the other parent. Children subject to these tactics will grow to hate, fear, despise, and reject the targeted parent. This can result in psychological harm to the child as well as heartbreak for the targeted parent. Parental alienation can also dramatically impact the issue of child custody and parenting time.
If you have been victimized by parental alienation tactics used against you to harm or destroy your relationship with your child, you will need the services of a law firm that is versed in this issue, how it can influence custody decisions, how Illinois courts deal with it, and how to fight back in court to establish or regain the custody rights and privileges to which you are entitled, and how to stop the manipulation of your child. At Kazmar Feely, you can rely on a team that can do all of the above and has demonstrated competence on this issue in the courts.
Parental alienation can occur in various ways, such as the following:
- Telling the child false and damaging stories about the targeted parent
- Consistently fabricating a narrative about the targeted parent that he/she is mean, unsafe, uncaring, inadequate, or unloving
- Restricting the child’s access to the targeted parent by phone, text, or direct contact
- Impeding the targeted parent’s designated parenting time with the child
- Exaggerating the complaints a child might have about the targeted parent
- Coaching the child into believing that the targeted parent has abused him or her or the alienating parent
- Threatening, intimidating, or manipulating the child in any way to create hostility, suspicion, or negativity toward the targeted parent
Indicators of Parental Alienation
Psychologists have identified several indicators of parental alienation. They include the following:
- Alienated children are filled with antipathy toward the targeted parent, denying positive experiences, and rejecting contact and communication.
- Alienated children are unable to justify their hostility with explanations that correlate to the magnitude of their antipathy. For example, when questioned about the cause of their resentment, the child will identify behaviors that are trivial, exaggerated, or vague. The child may complain about the parent’s food preparation or make vague accusations of “meanness.”
- Alienated children display what psychologists term “lack of ambivalence” about the alienating parent. The targeted parent will be all bad with no redeeming qualities, whereas the child will be at a loss to identify any negative traits in the alienating parent. All parents have strengths and weaknesses. All children have mixed feelings about their parents. Where the child thinks and speaks in absolutes, parental alienation could be the cause.
- Even though clearly influenced by the alienating parent, alienated children will adamantly deny their influence, and maintain the views are theirs alone.
- Alienated children will be unrepentantly cruel, hurtful, and mean toward the targeted parent, and will fail to display gratitude for acts of parental kindness.
- Alienated children will reflexively and consistently side with the alienating parent; the child will not display any impartiality or interest in hearing out the targeted parent’s side.
- Alienated children make use of arguments and phrases clearly traceable to the alienating parent, using borrowed words and adult concepts.
- The child will reject the targeted parent’s targeted family.
- The child will make false claims about the targeted parent.
Studies suggest that, independent of other marital issues, acts of parental alienation may be harmful to children. While not all adults who experience acts of parental alienation during childhood report negative consequences, many report outcomes that they attribute to parental alienation, including low self-esteem, addiction, substance abuse, trust issues, and relationship problems.
How Parental Alienation Can Impact Custody
One of the factors that courts review when determining child custody is each party’s “willingness and ability to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship” on the part of the child with the other parent. Parental alienation tactics clearly violate this factor. Moreover, the manipulative tactics of parental alienation used on a child may be seen as a form of child abuse. Thus, when these tactics are exposed to the court, it may restrict the alienating parent’s parenting rights.
Why Turn to Us for Parental Alienation Cases?
Unfortunately, parental alienation is becoming more prevalent, particularly in high-conflict custody situations. Parental alienation either leads to divorce or is used by a parent during a divorce to gain leverage. Parents who are the victims of parental alienation are particularly vulnerable in a custody fight. They pose unique challenges as they are consistently provoked by the other parent and feel powerless to stop the bleeding.
If you are the victim of parental alienation, it is especially critical that you retain attorneys that are experienced in alienation cases and have successfully exposed alienating parents. Our custody lawyers have this precise history of success and are skilled in devising and implementing strategies to combat parental alienation.