How Can I Spot Parental Alienation?

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Divorce can be a complicated and emotional process. This can be especially difficult when children are involved. Unfortunately, some parents will attempt to use this to their advantage, manipulating their children in order to turn them against their ex-spouse. This is known as parental alienation. Read on to learn more.

What Does Parental Alienation Involve?

Parental alienation occurs when one parent interferes with the other’s ability to spend time with and parent their children. This is most typically conducted by the custodial parent, and can involve telling the children negative things about the other parent and making concrete efforts to limit the other parent’s ability to see and spend time with their children. Sometimes this behavior includes making passive verbal comments, and other times it involves outright manipulation. This behavior has been known to lead to childhood trauma and can severely impact a child’s relationship with both parents.

What Does Parental Alienation Look Like?

Parental alienation can be difficult to see. Sometimes, you may not be aware it is occurring. Some signs to look out for are changes in your child’s behavior. For example, children affected by parental alienation may become violent or distant when interacting with the targeted parent. Additionally, parental alienation can involve the parent making passive remarks about the other parent, openly badmouthing the other parent, and more.

What Can I Do About Parental Alienation?

The topic of parental alienation can be highly controversial. This is because it can be difficult to prove, making it especially difficult to use as a defense in court. That being said, judges may recognize this form of abuse if the marriage between two individuals was especially toxic. Some steps to take in order to help prove your case include documenting any disparaging texts or emails from your ex. Additionally, if your ex posts about you on social media, you should screenshot these posts. It can also be helpful to keep a journal and note any relevant things your child says. 

If you can prove that parental alienation is occurring, the judge may rule to modify your custody agreement. A New York court may rule to limit the other parent’s time with the child. By engaging in parental alienation, your ex may be violating the core of your child custody agreement, which is to do what is in the child’s best interest.

Contact our firm today to speak with an experienced attorney.


Peter V. Mandi, Esq. is an experienced divorce and family law attorney located in Bohemia, New York. Our firm understands the impact a divorce can have on your life. If you require strong and dedicated legal representation in Long Island, New York, please do not hesitate to contact Peter V. Mandi & Associates, Inc. today.

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