Parental Alienation laws
Although divorce will naturally bring change to a family dynamic, many divorces lead to long battles as parents act with hostility and disparage each other in private and in public. In a California family law, parental alienation law plays an integral part in custody battles when a parent manipulates their child into isolation from the other parent. When parents use their authority to create isolation, it results in years of psychological trauma for the child who has wrenched away from normalcy.
There are multiple ways California Court deals with parental alienation issues. It could be involving a psychologist or therapist or the court order awarding a bigger timeshare to the alienated parent. In some cases, a reunification plan could be recommended to build a proper relationship between alienated parent and child. However, the benefit of such therapy will be nullified if the child would be under the strong influence of the parent who will try to alienate another parent In extreme cases the court might award full physical custody to the alienated parent.
WHAT IS PARENTAL ALIENATION?
WHAT IS PARENTAL ALIENATION
Parental alienation is the situation when one parent is trying to isolate children from another parent.
Disputes of child custody are aggravating for the courts, attorneys, clients, and children. The cases that deal with child custody often have a mental health practitioner or two as it can get quite difficult on the individuals involved, not to mention the expenses that are required in such custody cases.
The biggest dilemma of these cases is the time granted to the parents. The main point of contention is how much time should be granted to each parent for spending time with their child. Earlier, it was believed by the courts that a mother is deserving of the most time with her child but this is no longer the case as laws have changed to allow both parents equal rights when it comes to their offspring, unless in exceptional cases where shared custody is not the best option for the child’s well-being.
While the entire situation of child custody is stressful, it can become more despairing when one parent tries to detach the child from the other parent. For example, Parent A will tell the child something unfavorable regarding Parent B, which will lead to the child isolating themselves from Parent B. To illustrate this situation better here are some examples:
- A father telling his daughter that her mom does not like spending time with her because the mother could not visit her due to an illness.
- A mother continually telling her child that their father does not care for them anymore.
Parenting Alienation and Relocation of the child
Some parents even go so far as to relocate with the child to ensure further isolation from the remaining parent. These “move away” or relocation cases demonstrate dire situations in which one parent with primary physical custody seeks to move their child outside of their city, state, or even country in order to isolate the child away from its second parent. Under Section 7501 of the California Family Code, a parent with primary physical custody of a child has a right to change their residence and take the child with them. However, the parent cannot change the residence of your child without an agreement with the child’s other parent, or the order of a family law court. These types of family custody cases can become complex and therefore any parent suffering alienation or potential relocation is recommended to see a lawyer.
In past cases involving parental alienation law, the court has dealt with a move away matters on a case-by-case basis and analyzed many factors before awarding any parent the freedom to take the child and move far away. For example, in the past courts have decided that a parent may only change the residence of their child if the family law court determines that the move would not prejudice the rights and welfare of the child. In re Marriage of Burgess 25, 13 Cal. 4th (1996). Therefore, the non-moving parent must show that the relocation would be detrimental to the child’s welfare. These are the factors courts look at when determining relocation and parental alienation law, and it is imperative to fight for your right to have a relationship with your child and demand an end to isolation.
Parental Alienation Syndrome
When the child begins to agree with the parents and starts to ignore or isolate from the other parent it means that they have developed Parental Alienation Syndrome(PAS), according to mental health professionals. This happens when the alienating parents start to constantly speak negatively about the other parent, so much that the child begins to believe it and internalize it. Alienation of a parent differs from PAS in the sense that PAS occurs when the child starts to alienate as well after listening to the alienating parent.
Dr. Richard Garnder propounded this term and used it to define mothers who harbor negative feelings towards fathers. However, this term is quite ambiguous and dubious and is usually used by experts in courts to undermine or degrade sexual abuse or domestic violence cases.
The term PAS is also not used by psychologists and psychiatrists as there is not enough evidence to prove this as an actual disorder. Additionally, it is not included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM) due to the lack of proof attached to this phenomenon
Parental Alienation in Court
While PAS is not recognized as a disorder, parental alienation is very much acknowledged and also considered carefully in courts. In cases where parental alienation is evident, counseling is used to mend the relationship between the child and parent again.
there are three levels to parental alienation. Mild, moderate, and severe, namely. In mild and moderate cases, the child is evaluated to determine the extent of the problem. They are then counseled so that this does not occur in the future. In severe cases, the child will be immediately placed in the care of the alienated parent as it probably means that the alienating parents will ruin the child’s mental health and destroy any relationship with the alienated parent, even in the future. However, this is not an instant process. Proving parietal alienation requires psychological assessment which can take anywhere between a few months to a whole year. Even then, custody changes do not happen often as evaluators are of the opinion that counseling sessions can repair the relationship with the alienated parent and prevent further alienation.
While therapy is helpful and has improved the lives of many who seek it, when the child goes back to the alienating parent, eventually, they might turn the child against the alienated parent once more.
When this happens, the court will require a new evaluation or assessment of the child to assess the alienation extent. This process will take many months to one year, too. It is a cycle that will keep getting repeated and will cause harm to the child as the alienation might get worse as years go by,
Child custody battles can get messy for both the parents and children involved. They have the potential to create future psychological trauma for everyone involved. Because these cases are common in the California family courts, we will be able to use a proper approach to parental alienation law for your case and we will fight hard for your child to gain freedom from the psychological burden of manipulation and isolation.
Court cases, attorneys, evaluators, psychologists are extremely expensive. It is barely affordable to go back and forth to court when this happens. This is a problem faced by a lot of parents who are separated. In some cases, a child’s education fund is spent fighting for custody rights.
Hiring an Attorney in parental alienation
If you are an alienated parent who is facing these issues, especially in the case of severe parental alienation, seek a family court lawyer as soon as possible to deal with these complex and emotional situations. It is better to approach the courts quickly so as to prevent further damage, as these cases are complicated in nature and require evidence to prove their occurrence.
call today 714-390-3766