Parental alienation syndrome is a complex and emotionally distressing issue that can arise during or after a Connecticut divorce or separation. It occurs when one parent intentionally undermines the child’s relationship with the other parent.
Identifying the signs of parental alienation syndrome is important in order to address and mitigate its harmful effects on children and the alienated parent. The following are some common signs of parental alienation syndrome.
Negative talk about one parent by the other
A parent speaking ill of the other parent in front of the child is a common sign of parental alienation syndrome. This can manifest as belittling, criticizing or spreading false information about the alienated parent and may cause a child to develop a negative view of the alienated parent. Courts may refer to one parent repeatedly speaking ill of the other in a child’s presence as a “campaign of denigration.”
Unwarranted fear or hostility toward an alienated parent
Children affected by parental alienation syndrome may exhibit unwarranted fear or hostility towards the alienated parent. They might become anxious or uncomfortable in that parent’s presence, often without a valid reason.
Limited contact or communication
When a child suddenly and inexplicably reduces or cuts off contact with the alienated parent, this may be due to the effects of parental alienation syndrome. The child may refuse phone calls, visits or other forms of communication despite having had a positive relationship with that parent in the past.
False allegations of abuse
In some cases, an alienating parent may encourage the child to make false allegations of abuse against the alienated parent. These accusations may lead to legal complications and further strain the parent-child relationship.
Research suggests that parental alienation syndrome manifests in somewhere between 11% and 15% of American divorce cases. Children affected by parental alienation syndrome may need to seek professional help of a counselor to counter the effects of the alienator’s tactics.