Parental Alienation Syndrome Law

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What Is Parental Alienation Syndrome?

Parental Alienation Syndrome describes a condition where one parent is relentlessly hostile to the other, and that parent causes the child to express hatred toward the other parent. The child is essentially emotionally abused into thinking the other parent is the enemy without justification. The syndrome is primarily used in child custody disputes in relation to the wishes of the child.

Is Parental Alienation Syndrome Admissible In Court?

It will depend largely on the laws of evidence in the state you live in. Generally, courts differ on the admission of expert opinion on parental alienation syndrome. Some courts have failed to recognize the syndrome as admissible because it is not based on scientific grounds. Other courts, however, admit the evidence, although they don't rely solely on the syndrome as the basis for determining custody.

What Is an Example of Parental Alienation Syndrome Used in Court?

One court used evidence of Parental Alienation Syndrome to find that restriction or supervision of a father's visitation was not in the child's best interests. In that case, the mother's psychologist, whom the court qualified as an expert, testified that on several occasions the child indicated she did not want to visit her father and that the child's stress was the result of visits with her father. The father's expert testified that this was due to Parental Alienation Syndrome from intrusion by the mother into the child's relationship with her father.

Should I Consult an Attorney?

Child custody disputes can be a difficult and emotional time. If you wish to establish or modify child custody or visitation, you should consult an attorney. A family law attorney has experience with parental alienation syndrome and can work to protect your rights with your child.

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Last Modified: 04-03-2014 12:10 PM PDT

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