What Is Parental Alienation and What Can You Do About It?

For many parents one of the biggest concerns following separation is deciding how to raise their children. Some parents are able to agree parenting arrangements with minimal fuss. However, there are some who use their hostility to the other parent to influence their children’s opinion. This is called parental alienation.

Parental alienation can include constantly badmouthing the other parent, limiting contact between a child and the other parent and creating the impression the other parent does not love the child causing the child to reject the parent.

Parental alienation is sustained behaviour carried out over a period of time with the ultimate goal of distancing the child from the other parent.

What can you do if you believe that you are a victim of Parental Alienation?

There are two options: mediation or an application to Court.

Mediation can assist both parties to openly discuss the issues in dispute between them and, with the assistance of a trained mediator, attempt to resolve them. It can assist parents to agree who the children are to live with and what contact the other parent is to have. Wendy Campbell is a trained family mediator here at Jordans and is happy to discuss the possibility of resolving your case via mediation with you. She can be contacted on 01924 387 110.

Mediation is voluntary and unfortunately, where there is parental alienation, sometimes the parent exercising parental alienation will not agree to mediation. In these circumstances you will have to make application to the Court for a Child Arrangements Order. The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (CAFCASS) may become involved. Their role is to ensure that whatever the outcome of Court proceedings the child’s welfare is protected and catered for. CAFCASS provide advice and recommendations to the Court during proceedings and the Court acts upon those recommendations.

CAFCASS has recognised that parental alienation is a feature in many cases which progress to Court. It has recently developed an initiative aimed at assisting parents to change their behaviour through a period of intense therapy. For those parents who do not respond to therapy the consequences could be severe ranging from restricted contact for the alienating parent to refusal of contact between the alienating parent and the child. The programme is to be tested shortly with the aim of rolling it out nationwide in Spring 2018.

Jordans can advise you in relation to all aspects of child arrangement matters. If you are having difficulties reaching agreement regarding such arrangements following separation please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you require advice or assistance in relation to child contact matters or other family law matters at Jordans Solicitors we have a dedicated family law team who can help. Please dial 01924 387 110 and ask to speak with a member of the family law team or visit our website and request a callback.

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