Parental Alienation


Parental alienation is where one parent keeps their child or children from seeing the other parent, or otherwise tries to undermine the child’s relationship with the other parent. This is often done in retaliation to the other spouse during divorce in hopes of hurting the other spouse, or in hopes of strong-arming them into acting in accordance with certain wishes. Parental alienation can be done in the form of talking badly about the other parent to the children, or in the children’s presence, in a way where the children themselves do not want to spend time with the other parent. Or sometimes a parent will try to interfere with the other parents’ quality time with the children through phone calls, or showing up late or early for custody exchanges.

Parental alienation mostly hurts the children, and seldom ends with the alienating spouse really getting what they wanted to begin with. And unfortunately for the perpetrator of parental alienation, it is very common for children to recognize this behavior when they reach young adulthood and experience resentment as a result. In essence, in the long-run it often “backfires” on the perpetrator of alienation. Whether you need help communicating with a stubborn spouse or putting an end to their abusive behaviors, it may be time to consult with a family law attorney.

If you’re being bullied by your spouse’s attempts to keep you from your children, there are immediate steps you can take. A family law attorney can provide you with crucial guidance on how to adequately and appropriately document each incident, and if necessary, file an emergency motion on your behalf requesting the court to order the alienating spouse to cease such derogatory actions.

Authored by IRWIN & IRWIN.

IRWIN & IRWIN Family Law is located in Fullerton, California. We provide a full suite of family law services from divorce litigation, divorce mediation, child custody issues, domestic violence restraining orders and representing minors in court. “Every situation is different, and some come with very complex financial issues. Our legal team is here to support you during a very troubling time and prepare you for court, or to at least help negotiate or mediate the issues out to establish an equitable legal resolution,” says Kelly Irwin, Senior Litigator at the firm.