Parental alienation can often be one of the most damaging effects of a difficult, highly contested divorce. It occurs when one parent purposefully encourages a child to disengage with the other parent and/or denigrate the other parent.
Typical methods include, but are not limited to:
- Badmouthing the other parent
- Blocking contact with that parent
- Using the psychological threat of detachment
- Forcing the child to reject the other parent
- Forcing the child to choose between parents by threatening withdrawal of love and affection
- Creating the impression that the other parent is dangerous
- Belittling and limiting contact with the extended family of the targeted parent
With potential negative long-term impacts on your children that can include everything from low self-esteem, depression and self-hatred to substance abuse, it is important to enlist the services of a qualified parental alienation attorney if you believe the issue may be occurring during or after your divorce or separation.
So what questions should you ask your parental alienation attorney? Here are a few suggestions:
- How can I gather evidence to prove parental alienation? Since parental alienation is a result of brainwashing a child, the alienation may be difficult to prove in court. Typically, it requires enlisting the services of a forensic psychologist to act as an expert on your behalf or a neutral expert on can be appointed by the court. Your attorney should have recommendations for trusted and experienced specialists in the area.
- How can I stop my estranged spouse from saying negative comments about me to our children or within their earshot? Your attorney may have strategies for reducing the alienating behavior before the case reaches a courtroom.
- What is your experience with parental alienation cases? This is one of the most critical queries you should make. Find out what qualifies them as a knowledgeable and experienced in this area. Ask how many cases they have handled that involved parental alienation. Also ask what type of strategy they have developed to use when dealing with parental alienation.
- Is it okay to say negative comments about my estranged spouse in front of my children? If you are the victim of alienation, it is very tempting to retaliate by saying something negative or derogatory about the other parent to your children. Your attorney will walk you through why that is a not a good idea – both…from a legal standpoint and an emotional one.
- What do you think are the keys to fighting parental alienation? Let them identify what they believe it takes to successfully address this serious issue both inside and outside a court of law.
A good attorney welcomes questions and the opportunity to discuss both their experience and approach to dealing with parental alienation. Be sure you are comfortable with the attorney you select as they will be your advocate in the process as it relates to this serious issue.
Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss divorce in Florida, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A.The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. or call 561-478-0312.