What is parental alienation?


As a recently divorced parent in Texas, you may worry about the future. After all, adjusting to a new child custody situation and visitation scheduling is hard for anyone. Certain hurdles often make the transition even harder than it needs to be, too.

And when you are dealing with a spiteful co-parent on top of everything else, you could be in for an unpleasant experience. This is especially true if your co-parent attempts to alienate you.

Causes of parental alienation

Psychology Today examines parental alienation syndrome. They look at its impact on both parents and their children. Parental alienation occurs when one parent decides they do not want their child and co-parent to have a good relationship. The alienating parent may rationalize this in many ways. They often do not think they are doing anything wrong.

Unfortunately, this decision can affect you and your child in negative ways. To you, losing a child to parental alienation often feels like a premature death. You may not be able to continue seeing them and they may claim that they do not want further association with you. This loss often impacts you as heavily as an actual death.

How parental alienation affects your child

As for your child, they could suffer from severe effects. The courts classify parental alienation as a form of child psychological abuse. Children who experience parental alienation often struggle later in life with trust issues. They tend to develop relationship problems. They may experience depression, anxiety or even post traumatic stress disorder. Many develop unhealthy coping mechanisms such as substance abuse.

If you notice signs of parental alienation, you can act early. This may allow you to mitigate some of the damage by taking the case to court and having visitation rights or custody arrangements changed.

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