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What is parental alienation and why is it a problem?

August 13, 2015

Is parental alienation always done on purpose?

Parental alienation can occur consciously or unconsciously. Some parents might not realize what they are doing. They might make negative comments about the other parent without realizing that the child is taking those comments to heart. Even something as seemingly innocent as showering a child with gifts or making promises to the child might be considered parental alienation if those actions are being done to try to manipulate the child’s affections.

Why is parental alienation an issue?

Extreme parental alienation can be construed as a criminal matter if the actions are consistent with child abuse. Severe cases of parental alienation can lead to transferring custody of the children; however, that is usually a last resort. When a court is dealing with a case involving parental alienation, the court has to try to do what is in the best interests of the child.

There are different ways that a parent can help to put an end to parental alienation. Seeking help from the court is one option. Another option is to send a letter demanding that the parental alienation stop. Learning about each available option might help you to decide how to move forward with a plan to make it stop.

Source: FindLaw Canada, “What is parental alienation?,” accessed July 09, 2015

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