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What are the signs of parental alienation?

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2020 | Divorce |

Once a divorce has been finalized, both spouses must work together to ensure they can co-parent effectively. This requires adhering to the custody agreement laid out by the court, which can include information on visitation rights if one parent was awarded sole custody. 

While many parents try to work as a team to raise their kids, others may put up roadblocks out of spite or malice. This can lead to allegations of parental alienation, which entails trying to turn the child against the other parent. The following are a few common signs of parental alienation, which ensures you can take the proper steps to have the issue addressed. 

The child uses “adult” language or repeats things the alienating parent has said

For the most part, children should be left out of adult disputes. If your marriage ended because of infidelity or money issues, your child does not need to know the exact details. With parental alienation, one parent will provide these details to the child in an effort to sway his or her opinion of the other. As a result, the child may repeat these claims to others, even using the same language or phrases. 

The child is not confused about his or her feelings

Even when a child feels wronged by a parent, they are still likely to feel love and affection for them. With parental alienation, children often claim to have no love for the other parent and only express negative sentiments when talking about them. This level of negativity is usually an indicator that a child is being “coached” or influenced by the other parent. 

The child cannot provide evidence of their intensely negative feelings

Strong feelings of anger are usually backed up by examples of wrongdoing. When a child is being alienated by a parent, examples may be in short supply. Instead, the child will expect their strong feelings to be reason enough for their claims. This is because the child lacks definitive evidence of parental wrongdoing, and is instead just parroting what the other parent said. 


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