Berman & Asbel, LLP

Dealing With Parental Alienation & Manipulation In Child Custody Disputes

When it comes to child custody disputes, parents sometimes put their own wants and needs before their children's. Additionally, some parents use and manipulate their children to hurt the other parent.

Parental alienation and manipulation can have negative consequences not only on the parent-child relationship, but also on the child custody arrangement.

Signs of parental alienation and manipulation may include the following behaviors:

  • Threatening to hurt themselves if their kids don't love them enough
  • Lying about the other parent's intentions or behaviors
  • Demanding the child stay in contact with them all the time, even (or especially) when they are with the other parent
  • Withholding affection as punishment
  • Engaging in scapegoating or favoritism
  • Blaming a child for the divorce or separation
  • Sabotaging the child's time with the other parent

If you suspect a parent is alienating or manipulating your child, you should consult your attorney right away about your legal options. For example, you may be able to secure a temporary or permanent custody order that drastically changes the current custody arrangement. Additionally, the court may order the parents to attend co-parenting counseling sessions to help the parents work together. Further, the court may also order a custody evaluation or other counseling to assess your child's well-being.

It can be very difficult to assess this type of delicate situation when you are in the heat of a bitter child custody action. Consulting your attorney to discuss your suspicions as soon as possible can help you examine the legal options in front of you and take the appropriate steps to protect your kids.

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