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Alienation is unnecessary in custody and visitation litigation

by | Jan 7, 2015 | Child Custody, Firm News |

However well one attempts to choose his or her moment, there is no good time to raise the subject of divorce. It is known that the first Monday in January usually heralds a large surge in the initiation of divorce proceedings, and coming so soon upon the heels of the holiday season, this may invoke some especially bad feelings. One may even feel aggrieved enough that he or she may choose to use the child as a pawn. Some California residents may have to deal with acrimonious fallout in the form of parental alienation, which can muddy the waters of custody and visitation litigation.

When one is gathering all the relevant information for the divorce, he or she may also have to pay close attention to the behavior of the child. Whether the parent is the instigator or respondent in the proceedings, the estranged spouse may begin to use the child as a pawn. Signs that parental alienation may have been employed could include the reversal of a previously close relationship. It is natural for a child to feel anger or sadness, but if the child begins to say things — or make accusations — that are unfounded, it may be a sign that he or she has been indoctrinated by the estranged spouse.

There may be other indicators, such as phrases or suggestions that do not naturally occur to a child of that age. It is important to discuss the child’s concerns with him or her, but one may also wish to take careful note of the beliefs and language being used by the child. These factors may have a bearing upon one’s ability to formally secure an ongoing relationship with his or her child.

In matters of custody and visitation litigation, the welfare of the child is paramount. If the situation where a child has to choose sides can be avoided, discussions may progress more smoothly for all concerned. Appropriate advice and guidance will assist one in negotiating this area with his or her spouse. Additional help may also be available to California residents if the two parties cannot connect amicably.

Source:, “Parental Alienation Syndrome: Researchers Say The Struggle Is Real“, Amy Schaeffer, Jan. 5, 2015


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