There is no single definition for parental alienation, however, CAFCASS (The Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service) describe this term as ‘an ongoing pattern of negative attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours of one parent/carer that have the intention or capability to undermine and potentially threaten the child’s relationship with the other parent’.
This behaviour can be displayed in different ways such as criticizing the other parent in front of the child to display them in a bad light, isolating the child from one parent or lying to sabotage the relationship e.g., “your mother/father doesn’t want to see you”.
What should I do?
If you feel as if parental alienation is taking place, it is important to discuss this with the other parent first to attempt an amicable solution.
However, if this is not successful an application can be made to the court. CAFCASS will assist the court by undertaking assessments and providing a recommendation to allow the court to decide what is in the child’s best interests.
Any parent who finds themselves in this situation should seek legal advice immediately as early intervention is required to ensure that the parent is able to maintain a happy and healthy relationship with their child and that the child does not suffer psychological harm because of these behaviours.
If you are being unjustifiably prevented from seeing your child/children take advice from a family solicitor so steps can be taken to avoid any irreparable damage to your relationship or your child’s mental health and wellbeing.
If you feel as if your child is being subject to such behaviours, please contact one of our specialist family solicitors on 0161 624 6811, we would be happy to assist.
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