Parental Alienation In Texas Divorce

Most parents do as much as possible to minimize the emotional impact of a divorce on their children. Sometimes this effort is undermined, however, when one parent attempts to alienate the child from the other parent.

The term "parental alienation syndrome" (PAS) was coined by a forensic psychiatrist in the 1980s to describe the effort to negatively impact a child's affection for the other parent. PAS frequently includes routine barrages of negative comments about the other parent, as well as lies about the alienated parent's actions and encouragement to the child to spend less time with that parent.

If you suspect that you are the victim of child alienation, either during or after your divorce proceedings, prompt intervention is critical to protect your relationship with your child. The law firm of Lisa E. McKnight, P.C., in Dallas, Texas, has experience advocating for individuals who have been targeted for parental alienation by a former spouse.

Dallas Attorney Combating Alienation Syndrome

Children exposed to high-conflict disputes between their parents suffer tremendously. Family court judges will attempt to discern whether the allegations made by a parent claiming to be a victim of PAS are based on genuine concerns or if they are overreaction. Symptoms of PAS include:

  • A child is offered the choice whether or not to visit the other parent.
  • A parent blocks the other parent's access to or contact with a child.
  • A significant and sudden deterioration in a child's relationship with his or her parent is noticed.
  • The child gives frivolous reasons as to why he or she doesn't want to see the alienated parent.
  • The child excessively insults and disrespects the alienated parent.
  • A parent shares significant information about the divorce proceedings with the child, especially information regarding child support arrearages or the reason for the breakup of the marriage.
  • The parent suggests to the child that the child is not safe with the other parent.
  • The child or other parent makes allegations of verbal, physical and sexual abuse that are unfounded.

In some situations, it may be necessary to appoint a guardian ad litem — a qualified mental health professional who can diagnose parental alienation syndrome and testify in court on behalf of your child. The courts will not tolerate parental alienation because it is detrimental to the health and well-being of the child and his or her relationship with the other parent.

If you are being unjustifiably alienated from your child following a divorce or separation, our Dallas lawyer for parental alienation can fight for you and your child's right to have a meaningful relationship. Call 214-528-4191 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment.