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Can parental alienation syndrome affect a child custody case?

| Apr 4, 2021 | Divorce |

When a divorce splits your California family, few members suffer as deeply as the children involved. A custody battle may arise and you might worry that your ex-spouse will use your children’s emotions against you. According to Healthline, this is a tactic known as parental alienation, and it can seriously affect the relationship you have with your children during and after the divorce.

While not all mental health organizations officially recognize parental alienation syndrome, manipulation of your children’s emotions may have some bearing on any custody case that arises from the divorce.

Identifying parental alienation

If you suspect that your spouse is manipulating your children and making you out as the villain in your divorce, there are a few signs that may help you verify it as fact. When your children visit you, watch for several red flags, including:

  • Mentions of secrets between them and the custodial parent
  • Changes in attitude regarding your relationship with the children
  • False reasoning planted by the custodial parent

This type of alienation can seriously damage your relationship with your children, but there are legal paths you can take if you believe that your ex-spouse is using them against you.

Proving parental alienation

If you want to seek custody of your children during or after a divorce due to parental alienation, it is important to understand California laws and how they might affect your case. The judge who oversees your case may require substantial proof of the alienation, including texts, emails and witness accounts before he or she allows your case to move forward.

Avoid engaging in gossip or emotional games with your spouse if you decide to seek custody of your kids. Not only could he or she use it against you, but it may also damage your court case and further deteriorate your relationship with your children.