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Sopping Parental Alienation

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Submitted By willf34
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Stopping Parental Alienation Syndrome
Divorce and Child Custody is a battle or war, and it can be an extremely emotional time for everyone involved, especially children. With the way that the Judicial system has made divorce, it has become a battle, and parents feel that there are a winner and loser during these trials. These parents will stop at nothing to be on the winning side of the case, and this causes them to use the children as pawns to get an advantage over the other party involved. Claiming that the other parent is physically abusive or a drug/alcohol abuser to gain control of the child until it goes in front of the judge, is one of many dirty tricks that can be played to alienate the other parent.

As Attorney Kendra R. Jolivet (2012) stated "parental alienation is the creation of one relationship between a child and one parent, to the exclusion of the other parent" (p 178). She later explains that there are three main reasons for alienating the other parent: "to meet personal emotional needs, as a vehicle to express his or her intense emotions, or as a pawn to inflict harm on the other parent" (Jolivet 2012). With the many reasons for the divorce or custody dispute, it is highly imperative for the parents to get along for the sole purpose of what is best for the children.

“There are three categories of parental alienation, mild, moderate, and severe” (Jolivet 2012). Mild alienation is where the alienating parent fails to encourage visitation and communication with the targeted parent. An example can be neglecting phone calls from the other parent and refusing the child to contact the targeted parent. Moderate alienation happens when the child is not able to talk about anything positive about visits with the targeted parent. Causing the child to feel as if they may have to live multiple lives, and causing antisocial behavior, depression, and low self-esteem. Severe alienation occurs when the child has taken on the alienating parent's hatred, emotions, and does not have any positive feeling for the targeted parent. The most severe because the child no longer wants any contact with the targeted parent because of the brainwashing that the alienating parent has done to the child. The hardest for the targeted parent to have any relationship with the child, and in most cases finally give up on having anything to do with the child.

Although according to Rebecca Thomas and James Richardson (2015), "there is no data to support the phenomenon called parental alienation syndrome, in which mothers blamed for interfering with their children's attachment to their fathers" (p 22). The two later explain "it's a problem relationship parent-child or parent-parent. Relationship problems per se are not mental disorders" (Thomas 2015). James Richardson a Professor of Sociology and Judicial Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno (2015) stated, "The National Council of Juvenile and Family Courts, advises judges, due to lack of scientific merit, the court should not accept testimony regarding parental alienation syndrome, or PAS. The theory positing the existence of PAS has discredited by the scientific community" (p 23).

With little studies conducted concerning Parental Alienation Syndrome, and the effects that it has on the children, the courts and the scientific community needs to take a deeper look into PAS. More research will help clarify what the impact of PAS can have on the children because they are the ones who suffer the most. It is the Family Courts Judges job to rule on what is in the best interest of the child/children, and they are not able to judge properly because there is little evidence to prove that PAS can affect a child. The judges need to start ordering that both parents encourage the children to want to spend time with the other parent. It is highly important that the parents recognise the fact that it is their Ex-partner, not the children's Ex-parent. Keep all negative feelings and thoughts about the other parent away from the child. No matter how ugly a divorce or child custody case gets, remember to leave the children out of it, they will have plenty of hardships without adding in the stresses of these battles. More attention needs to be brought to Parental Alienation Syndrome so that more people are aware of it. The importance of the children should be the most important thing for everyone to consider. Remembering that it is your Ex-partner and not the children's Ex-parent, needs to be explained to anyone who is thinking of a divorce. The courts need to do more to stop parents from alienating the other parent. The only true winners in a divorce and child custody battle will only be the lawyers because they are getting paid on your hardships.


Thomas, R. M.; Richardson, J. T.. (2015, Summer). Parental Alienation Syndrome: 30 Years On and Still Junk Science, The Judges’ Journal, 54.3, p. 22-24
Jolivet, K. R. (2012) The Psychological Impact of Divorce on Children: What is a Family Lawyer to Do?, American Journal of Family Law, 25.4 p. 175-183

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