Divorce and the Dangers of Parental Alienation

shadow of married couple fighting with child covering her face

Divorce can be a difficult situation for families to overcome, affecting both parents and their children. However, that challenging situation becomes even worse when one parent tries to force the children to take sides.

This kind of situation leaves one parent feeling like an outsider amongst their own children, something most parents cannot even fathom. This is called “Parental Alienation,” a term that was coined back in the 1980’s.

Parental alienation typically occurs in a high-conflict, highly litigated divorce and involves repetitive verbal denigration of the alienated parent. This could include:

  • Interference with visits such as making excuses the child is sick, has too much homework, etc; exaggerated or unfounded claims of abuse/neglect
  • Denying positive memories, or
  • Exaggerating the negative ones and forbidding or shaming the children into not discussing their other parent

The long-term effects of parental alienation on the children are well-documented. Studies have shown that adult children who endured parent alienation can suffer from:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Self-hatred
  • Abandonment issues
  • Lack of trust
  • Depression
  • Guilt over their allegiance to one parent and hatred for another
  • Trouble bonding with either parent
  • Feeling confused over their feelings for their parents

Parental alienation is a situation no parent wants to be in, and one Shah & Kishore sympathizes heavily with. If you are a parent seeking custody of your child, Shah & Kishore can help. We advocate for a peaceful separation, putting your child’s needs first.

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