Is Parental Alienation A Problem Today?
Following divorce and sometimes contentious child custody disputes, parental alienation—where one parent poisons the child against the other parent—has grown to become such a serious issue that programs have now been developed to try and help parents actively work to avoid this phenomenon while moving forward in raising their children. Research has found that it is affecting at least one percent of all children and adolescents in North America.
In fact, it has become such an issue that it is an actual “syndrome” that has its own diagnosis and 17 “primary strategies” that have been identified through research studies. Some of the strategies identified as characterizing parental alienation include brainwashing the child to feel that the other parent has no value, limiting contact between the child and that parent, convincing the child that the other parent does not love the child, turning the child into a spy against the other parent, and several others.
Frightening Signs & Consequences
Many are concerned, as all evidence indicates that this type of child manipulation is exceptionally harmful and on the rise in recent years, in spite of increasing awareness. And once a child becomes a victim of it, it can be difficult for them to overcome the situation; typically, psychological assessments, therapy, and even a change of residence are all necessary in order to rebuild that relationship again between the child and alienated parent. These steps are often unaffordable for many families struggling just to make ends meet.
Some experts have even pointed out that the transition from loving the objectified parent to seeing them as an object of fear and/or hatred can happen almost overnight, and can be followed by false allegations of things the parent didn’t actually do. This can be a sign of the difference between children who are actual victims of abuse versus manipulation; some experts point out that children do not typically reject a parent unless they have been manipulated to do so.
Many of the experts most concerned about the parental alienation phenomenon are particularly concerned that our system of family courts, social workers, and other professionals involved in family services in general are simply still too uneducated about the issue, and this can have severe consequences for child custody and shared parenting.
Contact Us for Help with Family Law Issues
If you share a child with someone who you plan to separate from or divorce, it is best to consult an experienced professional to ensure that you and your family’s rights and best interests are protected throughout the process.
At the law office of Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A., we work with clients in Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas to ensure that they can move forward in these proceedings as smoothly as possible. Contact us today so that we can get started helping you.