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Whenever a relationship breaks down, the welfare of any children must come first. Ideally, separating parents will reach an arrangement that suits everyone. Unfortunately, we are seeing more cases where the relationship has broken down to the point where children are being dragged into their parents’ fights.

What is parental alienation

Parental alienation is a form of psychological abuse against both the child and the rejected parent whereby one parent consciously or unconsciously influences their child to form a negative view of the other.

To highlight the complexity of these cases we look at two similar cases below with very different outcomes. In both cases, the mother was found to have attempted to alienate the children from their father.

The Cases

The first resulted in the judge ordering that the child be removed from his mother’s care to live with his father. This followed a report by a psychological expert who found that the mother had deliberately tried to alienate the child from the father.

It was reported that the child was suffering emotional and social harm because of the father’s absence after a period of nearly 18 months of no contact. The only way the child would have a chance to enjoy a meaningful relationship with both parents was for him to be moved out of his mother’s care and to live with his father.

In the second case, the Judge was sadly left with no alternative other than to make an order for the father to have no contact with his children. After the decision, the Judge apologised to the father who had clearly demonstrated that he was an intelligent and loving parent.

As with the first case, experts were appointed and reported favourably about the father and found that the mother was clearly attempting to alienate the children against their father who, despite the mother’s allegations, was not a risk to the children.

The Implications

The only major difference between these two cases was TIME. The latter took place over a period of eight years. Unfortunately, the prolonged and constant attempts to alienate the children had irreversibly damaged their view of their father to the extent that they would not even acknowledge cards or presents sent to them. 

The Judge highlighted that the children were likely to suffer significant long-term emotional harm and that the blame here lied squarely with the mother. The court was unable to make any other suggestions to remedy the situation because the damage had already been done.

Here at asb law we have a team of family solicitors who deal specifically with cases of parental alienation and the key message to any parent who is concerned about this is to act sooner rather than later. The courts and other professionals are alive to the issue and, with the help of early intervention, outcomes such as the latter can be prevented.

To start a conversation about how we can help you to get the outcome you want

Call us on +44 (0)345 521 4545 or send an email.