The Role of the Family Court System in Addressing Parental Alienation – Parental alienation is a serious issue and is one that is becoming increasingly common with divorced or separated parents. In these cases, one parent withholds contact of the children from the separated parent and attempts to subvert the opinion of the children emotionally and psychologically against the alienated parent. This can cause the children to reject the victimised parent without cause, often leading to serious mental health issues that can severely impact both the child and the rejected parent. In short, it is a form of psychological manipulation often seen in the case of separated or divorced parents and their mutual children. If you would like more information about the causes, signs, and mental health effects of parental alienation, this information can be found though additional blog posts on the Horizon Plymouth website.
Mental health professionals now recognise parental alienation as a form of emotional abuse, so it is important to be alert for the signs and get help as soon as possible in these situations. At Horizon Plymouth, we work with many families and individuals who are dealing with the ramifications of parental alienation situations, and our experienced counsellors work to rectify the emotional and relational tolls, but often one of the most taxing and draining elements of a parental alienation situation is navigating guardianship of the children through the family court system. Although Horizon Plymouth are counsellors and not legal experts, we are aware of the mutually beneficial roles that both therapists and the family court system play in addressing the serious matter of parental alienation. While counsellors help to navigate mental health, emotional, and relational issues that come about as a result of undergoing such difficult experiences, the family court system seeks to protect the interests of the children involved in the situation.
The role of the family court system
The following information is not meant to be legal advise, but rather to provide a better understanding of what the family court system can and cannot do when it comes to the issue of parental alienation. While there is no law against parental alienation specifically, the family court system is designed to act in the best interest of the child’s welfare and can step in during such situations.
Parental alienation is difficult to prove, as most instances occur behind closed doors through subversive messages that are difficult to prove as abuse or unfair treatment. However, keeping a record of any instances that you feel qualify as parental alienation, such as saving text messages, emails, or other pieces of evidence can help to prove your case in court later. Additionally, precedent exists for the court ruling favourably in parental alienation cases after a thorough review of the situation by a qualified expert. Although the court historically prefers both parents to have access to the child, legal methods that can be used in parental alienation cases include child arrangement orders, which outline a contract for where the child will live and how custody will be split, and prohibited steps orders, which prevents one parent from keeping the child away from the other, among other benefits. If you suspect parental alienation and feel that legal action is needed, please contact a solicitor for legal advise.
If you feel that you or your children are victims of parental alienation, seeking legal and counselling assistance can help to ensure that you and your family have the support that you need in such a difficult time. Horizon Plymouth counsellors are experienced when it comes to the struggles and issues that surround parental alienation situations and can help you to better process your feelings, cope with your situation, and move on in a healthy manner. Don’t wait to get help, contact Horizon Plymouth today to schedule your initial consultation.