Parental alienation means that one parent has sought to influence and manipulate their child, so that the child develops negative feelings toward, rejects, or feels afraid of their other parent.
Essentially, it’s a type of psychological manipulation that may take place when parents separate or divorce, and are in dispute about matters related to their children, such as who the child should live with and/or spend time with.
Where parental alienation occurs, it can have drastically negative consequences for both the parent who has been alienated, and the child. These situations can be incredibly challenging to deal with, and the alienated parent will likely need to access legal support. They may also need support from professionals such as therapists, to remedy the situation for them and their child.
If you believe that your child’s other parent is attempting to turn your child against you, our solicitors can provide the specialist support that you will need.
Our experts can assist in many ways, including:
- Parental alienation legal advice
- Alternative dispute resolution for parental alienation
- Parental alienation Court proceedings
Get in touch with our friendly, experienced parental alienation solicitors.
Or fill in our online enquiry form and we will be in touch shortly.
How we can assist with parental alienation
Parental alienation legal advice
If you believe that you are experiencing parental alienation, and you need support to resolve the situation, our solicitors can carefully assess your unique case, and provide bespoke legal advice.
At Heringtons we understand how difficult it can be to experience parental alienation. Feeling like your child has been turned against you can provoke an incredible amount of anxiety and stress.
Rest assured, we have dealt with a diverse range of parental alienation cases, including mother parental alienation and father parental alienation. We can explain your options to you in simple terms, supporting you to move towards a positive outcome.
Alternative dispute resolution
In certain cases, alternative dispute resolution methods, such as family mediation, may be suitable to resolve parental alienation cases.
The mediation process is less expensive and formal than Court proceedings, and as such, it can be less stressful for families, and their children. Not all parental alienation cases will be suitable for mediation, your solicitor will be able to help you make this assessment, once they have an understanding of the case.
Mediation can help to remedy parental alienation cases in many ways. It can provide a useful space to allow parents to express their perspectives and communicate, with the support of an impartial and qualified mediator. Mediation sessions can help the disputing parties to work on the issues at hand, and avoid misunderstandings.
Applying to the family Court
Not all parental alienation cases are possible to solve with out of Court processes, where matters are high conflict, taking the case to the family Court may be the only option for resolution.
Depending on the situation, the family Court may pass a Court order in attempt to resolve the matter, focusing first and foremost on the child’s best interests, as well as those of the alienated parent.
Rest assured, when you work with our team at Heringtons we will make certain that you have the robust legal support that you need every step of the way.
Frequently asked questions about parental alienation
What is parental alienation?
Parental alienation refers to circumstances where a child, usually whose parents are going through a divorce, is manipulated by one parent to ‘turn against’ their other parent. One parent seeks to influence the child to develop negative opinions and feelings toward the other, so that the child resents, or fears the other parent.
Parental alienation involves different behaviours committed by the parent who seeks to alienate the other. These behaviours might include speaking badly of the other parent, imposing limitations on visitation and child contact, or even inventing false allegations. False allegations cases can be incredibly serious. If you are experiencing a parental alienation case like this, it is paramount to seek specialist legal advice as soon as possible.
Is parental alienation illegal in the UK?
In the UK, the act of parental alienation is not against the law, regardless, the family Courts do take instances of parental alienation seriously, closely considering the harmful effects that it can have on the child, and the parent who has been alienated.
If parental alienation has occurred, the Court are likely to consider it when making decisions regarding child residency, formerly known as child custody, and child contact and visitation arrangements.
What can a judge do about parental alienation?
If a judge believes that parental alienation has taken place, there are various different actions that they might take, to deal with the circumstances, and ensure that the child in question is well protected and put first.
A judge might pass an Order which requires the family to take part in mediation sessions, or family therapy. This type of support can help to remedy the negative feelings that the child has developed towards the alienated parent, and encourage positive communication.
If appropriate, the judge may also choose to impose or alter child residency (formerly known as child custody) or child contact arrangements. Such actions may include ensuring that the parent who has been alienated now gets to spend more time with their child.
When dealing with parental alienation cases, the judge may reference The Children Act 1989. The act focuses on protecting children and ensuring their welfare, covering areas such as parental responsibility and child residency.
How do you prove parental alienation?
If you believe that you are experiencing parental alienation, you are advised to collect evidence if you can, and document what has occurred. You should keep a record of behaviours and incidents which are examples of parental alienation.
For example, if there have been instances where one parent has prevented or discouraged visitation and contact between the other parent and their child. Other examples might include false accusations or negative comments, intended to manipulate, or influence the child.
Proving parental alienation can be difficult, and so, if you are experiencing this, it is important that you get in contact with a specialist solicitor. Your solicitor will assist you to gather evidence, build your case, and plan the most appropriate steps. Expert legal support is the best way to protect yourself, your child, and resolve matters quickly.