Child custody matters are already complicated situations that can be extremely tense and emotional. Parental alienation worsens the situation and can lead to significant harm to children. If you are dealing with parental alienation, you need experienced legal counsel to help you avoid further loss or damage to your relationship with your children.
Our family law & divorce attorneys in Douglasville, Georgia, have over 40 years of combined experience. The legal team at Bardley McKnight Law consists of talented, seasoned negotiators and highly skilled, aggressive trial lawyers. We’ll work hard to protect your parental rights and the best interests of your children.
How Our Douglasville Child Custody Lawyers Can Help if Your Ex Is Engaging in Parental Alienation
Georgia family courts encourage parents to work together to develop a parenting plan that is in the best interests of their children. In most situations, having a strong bond with both parents is best for the child.
Unfortunately, some parents are more interested in putting their interests above their child’s. A parent may engage in parental alienation to turn a child against the other parent to obtain sole custody or to hurt the other parent. The result can be devastating for the child and their other parent.
If you notice a pattern of parental alienation, take action now. Allowing the behavior to continue could cause long-term emotional distress for your child. It could also adversely impact your relationship with your child. You need help from an experienced Douglasville parental alienation attorney to fight to protect your child.
At Bardley McKnight Law, our Douglasville child custody lawyers have experience handling cases of parental alienation. We understand how the courts address allegations of parental alienation and the evidence you need to prove your ex-partner is engaging in this despicable behavior.
When you hire our top-rated child custody lawyers in Douglasville, you can trust we will take care of all aspects of your case, including:
- Intently listen to you to learn more about your children and your situation
- Work with you to gather evidence proving parental alienation
- Consult expert witnesses, including therapists, child psychologists, and mental health professionals
- Interview witnesses, obtain records, and gather other documentation proving wrongdoing by your ex-partner
- Develop a fair settlement proposal and negotiate to achieve an outcome that protects you and your child
- Fight to help you maintain a close bond with your children by seeking court intervention to stop parental alienation
- Use mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution when possible
- Take the matter to trial and argue the merits of your case before a judge
Proving parental alienation can be challenging, especially when the behavior takes place in private with the child as the only witness. Our attorneys at Bardley McKnight Law understand these hurdles and how to overcome them.
Contact our law office to schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced parental alienation lawyer in Douglasville, GA.
What Is Parental Alienation in a Georgia Child Custody Case?
Parental alienation is the use of manipulation and deception to harm the relationship between a parent and child intentionally. The guilty parent consistently works to destroy the parent-child relationship with the other parent. The guilty parent intentionally drives a wedge between the other parent and the child to turn the child against the other parent.
Often, the child is unaware of what is happening. All they believe is what the guilty parent tells them. They are brainwashed into believing their other parent does not love them, wants them, or is good for them. The ultimate goal of parental alienation is to manipulate the child into severing the relationship with their other parent.
Even though parental alienation is not illegal, it could violate the terms of some custody agreements. For example, a parent may interfere with the other parent’s visitation or communication. If so, the guilty parent could be held in contempt of court for failing to obey the terms of the custody order.
However, parental alienation is often more subtle. Therefore, it is important to know the signs of parental alienation so you can document them for court action.
Examples of Tactics Used by Parents To Engage in Parental Alienation in Douglasville, GA
A parent may spend months or years driving a wedge between a child and their other parent. The worst forms of parental alienation are the most difficult to prove because they happen over a long period. The tactics are subtle, so the child and the other parent might have no idea what is happening until the damage has been done.
Understanding parental alienation can help you see the early warning signs so you can take action now to help prevent the damage to your relationship with your child. Examples of parental alienation our Douglasville parental alienation lawyers see in child custody cases include, but are not limited to:
- Asking a child to choose between parents
- Intentionally scheduling activities and other things for the child when the child is scheduled for visitation with the other parent
- Telling the child that their other parent does not want to spend time with them if the other parent has to work
- Using a child to spy on the other parent
- Refusing to be flexible if the other parent needs to reschedule visitation for work or other obligations
- Intentionally concealing a child’s school, medical, and other records to keep a parent uninformed about their child
- Blaming the other parent for a necessary move, breaking up the family, financial problems, or other situations that the child views negatively
- Making a child feel guilty or unfaithful for wanting to spend time with their other parent
- Blaming a parent’s family or friends for causing a divorce or breakup
- Making a child believe that their other parent does not want or love them because they have a new family
- Monitoring a child’s communications with their other parent
- Falsely accusing a parent of child abuse or neglect subjecting the parent and child to a child services investigation
- Not giving a child messages from their other parent so the child believes the parent does not want to talk with them
The above list is not inclusive. Parents can be creative in finding ways to alienate their child from their other parent.
Sadly, children suffer the most from parental alienation. A parent engaging in parental alienation is actively hurting their child. The child may sustain long-term and irreparable emotional harm because of parental alienation.
Signs That Your Child Is Being Manipulated by Their Other Parent
Your ex-partner may be skilled at concealing their actions to alienate you from your child. However, your child might display several symptoms of parental alienation that indicate their other parent is manipulating them.
Signs your child might display if their other parent is engaging in parental alienation if your child:
- Aggressively advocates for their other parent even in the face of parental wrongdoing
- Does not believe you or trust you when you tell them something
- Has unrealistic expectations or beliefs about you that they would not have developed without assistance or guidance
- Expresses dislike or hatred toward you and/or your family members
- Repeats everything their other parent says without hesitation
- Accuses you of neglecting or abusing them when you did not
- Shows no remorse for not obeying or respecting you
Children who are the victims of parental alienation may display signs of emotional or mental issues. They may develop one or more psychological conditions because of parental alienation. Examples of the adverse impacts of parental alienation on children include:
- Self-destructive behavior
- Regression of learned skills
- Hating oneself
- Engaging in unhealthy relationships
- Lack of trust
- Decrease in grades and/or school performance
- Lack of interest in sports, games, and other activities
- Engaging in reckless or dangerous behavior
Knowing what to watch for to spot parental alienation can help you build evidence to prove your child’s other parent is engaging in this manipulative, harmful conduct. Working with an experienced Douglasville parental alienation lawyer can help you build a solid case to take to a judge.
What Should I Do if I Suspect Parental Alienation in Douglasville, GA?
Remain focused on what is in your child’s best interest. It is natural to experience feelings of anger, frustration, and hurt. However, you need to keep a clear mind to protect your child’s well-being.
Contact our Douglasville parental alienation attorney to discuss what to do next. Our legal team at Bardley McKnight Law can help you gather evidence proving parental alienation. We can help you locate professionals to assist in preparing a case proving parental alienation.
Our lawyers work with you to obtain court orders compelling visitation and contact with your child. We can petition the court for court-ordered counseling and therapy to assist you and your child in rebuilding your relationship and restoring the bond your ex-partner tried to destroy.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Douglasville Parental Alienation Lawyers
You and your children should not be hurt because your child’s other parent is not putting the children’s best interests before their own. At Bardley McKnight Law, we stand up for you and your children to protect the bonds you have created and protect your children from the harm caused by parental alienation. Call our office to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced Douglasville parental alienation attorneys.