Divorce can be extremely tough on families. It can be particularly difficult for children. However, when both parents approach divorce in a cooperative, positive way, much of the pain associated with divorce can be alleviated. Unfortunately, though, parents sometimes behave in ways that are unproductive and harmful. One example is a process called parental alienation. Parental alienation is common, and it can cause tremendous harm to children. Below is an overview of what parental alienation is and how it affects children. For additional help, please contact a Georgia divorce attorney.
What is Parental Alienation?
Parental alienation is a form of abuse in which one parent manipulates his or her child into having negative feelings about the other parent. Parental alienation can cause a child to fear, hate, and resent the parent who is the target of the practice. Georgia doesn’t have any laws that specifically address parental alienation. However, evidence of parental alienation by a parent can be used by the other parent to support a claim for custody, parenting time, or supervised visitations. There are a number of behaviors that can be categorized as forms of parental alienation, and a parent will often use several of them in combination in order to inflict the maximum damage possible on the relationship between the child and other parent. Parental alienation can take the form of any of the following behaviors:
- Convincing the child that the other parent doesn’t love him or her
- Speaking poorly about the other parent in the child’s presence
- Reducing the frequency of contact between the child and the other parent
- Forcing the child to choose one parent over the other
- Going to extremes to win the child’s love
- Forcing the child to speak poorly about the other parent
How Parental Alienation Harms Children
Parental alienation is a form of psychological abuse. Unfortunately, however, parents who take actions that constitute parental alienation rarely consider the effect that this behavior can have on their children. And although people who witness this type of behavior often understand that it is harmful, most fail to recognize it as a form of abuse that can result in serious psychological damage. In fact, parental alienation can result in low self-esteem, mood disorders, self-loathing, and even substance abuse when a child gets older.
Contact a Georgia Family Law Attorney
If you believe your ex is alienating you from your children, you need an experienced Georgia family law attorney on your side. Whether you want a divorce or need assistance with another family law issue, Carter/Pilgrim is here for you. At Carter/Pilgrim, our experienced family law attorney will guide you through the legal process and work diligently to ensure that your legal goals are achieved. Attorney Amy Carter has the knowledge and experience necessary to obtain the results you desire in your Georgia family law case. Please contact us today for a consultation.