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Best Parental Alienation Lawyer Tips

Best Parental Alienation Lawyer Tips are provided in this article by our senior Calgary family lawyer, Peter Graburn. As we have continually stated in our family law articles, one of the most tragic consequences of family breakdown is its effect on children.  Medical evidence has shown that the stress of divorce can be psychologically damaging to children.  One of these stresses is the unreasonable influence by one (or sometimes both) parent(s) against the other parent, also known as parental alienation. This area of family law has been a contentious battleground for years. Alienation (associated with being caused by the favoured parent) and conversely estrangement (reasonable rejection of a parent caused by lack of parenting capacity issues)

Best Parental Alienation Lawyer Tips -Identifying PAS 1 877 602 9900

The World Health Organization recently (May 2019) added parental alienation to the revised International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Health-Related Problems (ICD-11) index.  Others describe parental alienation as a form of emotional abuse or family violence that can result in long-term damage to the personal growth, mental health and future relationships of a child. We hope our Best Parental Alienation Lawyer Tips will help parents and children avoid this high conflict morass which threatens the healthy development of children with negative impacts on their future.

What is Parental Alienation?

But what is Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)?  Originally named by psychologist Dr. Richard Gardiner in the mid-1980s (Recent Trends in Divorce and Custody Litigation,” Academy Forum, Vol. 29, No. 2, Summer, 1985, p.3-7), PAS occurs when a parent intentionally and systematically attempts (often during high-conflict child custody disputes) to negatively influence the child’s relationship with the other parent, often leading to the complete breakdown of that relationship. The alienating parent may be suffering from a personality disorder, often including either narcissistic or borderline personality tendencies. In previous articles on parental alienation and estrangement, MacLean Law Founder Lorne MacLean Q.C. and Fraser MacLean reviewed the British Columbia case law on parental alienation which emphasized the need for quick legal action to counter the dangerous effects of parental alienation on children. In this 3-part series, we review the topic of parental alienation in Alberta, looking at the following issues:

    ► How to identify Parental Alienation;

    ► How the Alberta Courts view Parental Alienation;

    ► How to best deal with Parental Alienation.

 How do you Identify Parental Alienation?

So how do you identify signs of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) in children? Clearly (as indicated in our previous articles), parental alienation should not be confused with other reasons a child may wish to spend more time with one parent than the other (ie. normal age/gender affiliation, shared interests, different parenting/discipline styles, new partners, etc.). But how can you tell if it is more than this? There are many tell-tale signs that a child may be suffering from Parental Alienation Syndrome, including that the child:

    ► becomes increasingly argumentative, challenging and defiant with the parent;

    ► becomes increasingly critical of the parent (often repeating the alienating parent’s criticisms);

    ► demonstrates an expectation/entitlement to receive things from the parent;

    ► fails to recognize prior positive experiences with the parent;

    ► rigidly refuses to consider the parent’s views or explanations;

    ► rejection / denigration of the parent for trivial / unreasonable reasons;

    ► rejection / denigration of the parent seems rehearsed / planted;

   ► shows little regret or guilt for their rejection/denigration of the parent;

   ► says rejection is their own idea (ie. denies manipulation by the other parent).

Is Parental Alienation Real?

Parental alienation is a complex and controversial topic: psychologists debate over whether there are sufficient data and research on the topic and whether PAS is actually a diagnosable “syndrome”; parents argue over whether mothers or fathers are more likely to engage in parental alienation and may confuse it with other conditions often present in high-conflict custody disputes (ie. alcoholism, abuse, personality disorders, etc.); the Courts are cautious not to accept claims of parental alienation without clear expert (ie. psychological) evidence, often treating it similarly to allegations of sexual or physical abuse (both frequent unfounded allegations in high-conflict family law situations). In our next article, we look at how the Alberta Courts view the concept of Parental Alienation. What everyone agrees with, however, is that once the issue of parental alienation is identified, the reaction must be swift to stop the alienation from having long-term effects on the child. We will look at that in our third article in this series.

Best Parental Alienation Lawyer Tips 1 877 602 9900

As we cautioned in our article on narcissism and divorce Dealing with Narcissists during Divorce, lawyers are not psychologists – we are not trained to identify symptoms or diagnose forms of mental conditions or personality disorders. But we do constantly hear from our clients’ concerns about parental alienation. At MacLean Law, we understand that no matter whether you suspect your ex-spouse is alienating you from your child, or you are being accused of parental alienation, not only is your relationship with your child at risk but also their current and future emotional and social health. 

We hope these Best Parental Alienation Lawyer Tips have helped. Contact us at any of our 6 offices across BC and in Alberta. to discuss our past successes in dealing promptly and powerfully with parental alienation and parental estrangement.