Signs of Parental Alienation Syndrome

Posted on in Child Custody and Support

parental alienation, child custody cases, Geneva family law attorney, parental alienation syndrome, child custody disputes, visitation schedule, non-custodial visitationParental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) occurs when a child is being turned against a parent by the other parent, typically in child custody cases. It was officially recognized as a syndrome by forensic psychiatrist Richard Gardner, who defined it as “a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child’s campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification. It is caused by a combination of a programming (brainwashing) parent’s indoctrinations and the child’s own contributions to the vilification of the targeted parent.”

Some early signs of one parent’s campaign in order to alienate the child from the other parent include:

  • Sharing with the child all of the details of the marriage breakup and divorce battle. This leaves a child feeling as if they need to choose a parent with whom to side;

  • When either parent asks the child if they want to deviate from the court-ordered visitation schedule, or if there is interference or cancellation of a non-custodial visitation time;

  • Withholding important information about the child’s medical, education, social, or other activities from the other parent;

  • Interfering or limiting the amount of contact outside of visitation, such as phone call, text messages and emails;

  • Making important decisions that affect the child without consulting with the other parent; and

  • Going totally against the other parent’s authority.

When a child who had a loving and good relationship with a parent suddenly becomes angry and hostile with that parent, yet cannot articulate what they are angry about, this is a strong indicator that they are suffering from PAS. These children will also often extend their anger and hostility towards the parent’s extended family members.

If you suspect your ex-spouse has been manipulating your child in order to turn the child against you, please contact an experienced Geneva family law attorney today to discuss your legal options.

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