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What is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation is a phenomenon that usually occurs in the context of a divorce or separation of parents who share children. While most children desire a relationship with both of their parents, and research shows that a parenting schedule that allows children to spend approximately even amounts of time with each parent is most beneficial to children. However, some children tend to reject one parent in favor of the other and show great reluctance to spend any time with that parent at all. All too often, the child’s reaction toward this parent stems from parental alienation, which can result directly from the attitude and behaviors of one parent toward another.

Although most parents are able to set their personal feelings aside and promote a healthy relationship between their child and the child’s other parent, some parents simply will not or cannot do so. Children who have been alienated from one parent often attribute only negative characteristics to that parent and even rewrite history in an attempt to paint a uniformly bad picture of the parent. They may flatly reject all contact with the parent, threaten to defy court orders requiring visitation with that parent, and may even reject contact with the parent’s extended family.

Proof of parental alienation is not always easy to discover. In some cases, a child may reject a parent on his or her own, particularly if the child is in his or her teenage years. However, in other cases, a child may simply have adopted the views of the parent with whom he or she primarily resides. In extreme cases, the child is literally brainwashed by one parent to the extent that a relationship between the child and other parent is next to impossible.

Parental alienation in the state of Georgia is definitely an issue, as it is in all states nationwide. In fact, the Governor of Georgia declared Parental Alienation Awareness week to occur in the state during the week of April 20 – 26, 2014, by proclamation. The proclamation found that alienating behavior by a parent can not only interfere with a child’s emotional and mental development, but also that it can destroy an otherwise loving bond behind parent and child.

Being involved in a parental alienation case can be one of the most difficult, frustrating, and time-consuming experiences of your life. You need a lawyer who is familiar with parental alienation and the challenges that it can present in a Georgia child custody case or divorce proceeding.

Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.

Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm LLC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.