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Brentwood Divorce Attorneys > Blog > Child Custody > Understanding Parental Alienation

Understanding Parental Alienation


In Brentwood, as throughout the rest of Tennessee, the family courts assume that children are best benefited when they maintain a relationship with each of their parents. Most parents are in agreement with this concept, even when they are going through a divorce, but that is not always the case. In some divorce cases, one parent will try to alienate their child from the other parent, either as the child custody case is being decided or afterward. Below, our Brentwood child custody attorney explains the concept of parental alienation, and its effect on children.

What is Parental Alienation in Brentwood?

Many professionals, including psychologists and therapists, have different definitions of parental alienation. Legally speaking, parental alienation occurs when one parent tries to turn a child against their other parent. The courts in Tennessee view parental alienation as a form of child abuse. The most common examples of parental alienation are as follows:

  • Badmouthing or making disparaging remarks about the other parent in the presence of the children
  • Falsely accusing the other parent of abuse
  • Using guilt to limit the amount of time the child wants to spend with the other parent
  • A failure to comply with the provisions outlined in a parenting plan, particularly when the violation infringes on the time the other parent is meant to spend with the child

Parents often engage in alienation in an effort to maintain control over the relationship between the child and the other parent. When it occurs, the parent that is being alienated can petition the court to modify an existing child custody order, or they can use it as an argument against their spouse during initial child custody proceedings.

How Does Parental Alienation Affect Children and Parents?

Parental alienation is very damaging to both the parent that is being alienated and the child. For the parent, it can make it challenging and sometimes even impossible to continue and maintain a close and loving relationship with the child, which is devastating for most parents. When a child is deprived of the opportunity to have a loving and healthy relationship with either parent, they can develop many issues, including:

  • Feeling isolated
  • Depression
  • Loneliness
  • Anxiety
  • Increasing use of technology, which is used as an escape
  • Conflict with both parents
  • Sleep issues

As children get older, the impacts of parental alienation become even greater. Children may develop a substance abuse problem, improper eating habits, social identity issues, negative body image, eating disorders, and other problems. The courts in Tennessee understand the damaging effects parental alienation has on both the affected parent and the child and so, they look very unfavorably on parents who engage in it.

Our Child Custody Attorneys in Brentwood Can Help with Your Parental Alienation Case

Whether you believe your spouse is alienating your children from you, or you are being falsely accused of alienation, our Brentwood child custody attorneys at Beal, Nations & Crutcher can assist with your case. Reach out to us today by calling our legal team at 615-861-2304 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help during this difficult time.



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