Rhode Island Divorce Attorney
Parental alienation – sometimes called parental alienation syndrome, or PAS – occurs when a child intentionally or subconsciously pushes away one parent in particular during or after the parents’ divorce. Sometimes PAS is caused solely by the emotions of the child; sometimes it is the direct result of the non-alienated parent’s meddling. In either situation, TJC • ESQ and our family lawyers in Providence, Rhode Island can help.
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Recognizing Signs of Parental Alienation Syndrome
It is not unusual for a child to become confused, upset, or emotionally distant as a divorce pans out. It is unusual if such behavior becomes predominant or starts to degrade the child’s relationship with their family and personal happiness. Parents must be mindful of PAS symptoms and signs and react accordingly, especially if they are divorcing while their children are teenagers, who can already be emotionally sensitive.
Signs that a child may be alienating one parent include:
- Always agreeing with or disagreeing with one parent.
- Trying to join in and pick a side during parental arguments.
- Showing outward aggression towards a parent.
- Isolating themselves in their room for extended periods of time.
- Destroying the property of one parent.
- Blaming the divorce on one parent after they are told no one is to blame.
When PAS originates just from the child’s own perceptions of the divorce, the solution might be hosting heartfelt discussions with them. If both spouses can work together, presenting a unified front is all the better. Familial counseling may also be considered if the problems are considerable.
When PAS is Caused by a Parent
In many PAS cases, the problem starts with a problem parent who wants to “get back” at their ex-spouse by manipulating their children. By steadily coercing their child into thinking the other parent is the “bad” parent and has caused the divorce, they can attempt to gain more child custody or visitation time. Parent-encouraged PAS in a child is often accompanied and forewarned by a heated contested divorce that does not end amicably. If you have been through one such divorce, pay close attention to your children’s behavior and that of your ex-spouse.
If it can be proven that your ex-spouse has tried to make your child despite and isolate you, legal actions could cause their plan to backfire. Mental and emotional manipulation can be seen as a form of domestic abuse. A judge may take away custody and visitation rights from the spiteful parent in order to remove the child from a caustic living situation.
Move Forward with a Compassionate Team
There is no better time than now to contact TJC • ESQ and talk to our Rhode Island divorce lawyers about your child’s parental alienation syndrome. With our assistance and legal counsel, you may be able to determine what is causing your child to push you away and how to set things right again. Our goal is to see you and your family happy once more.
TJC • ESQ is now a part of Burns & Levinson, one of the largest and most respected family law firms in the nation. Learn more.