Updated: May 24
Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) sounds like a loopy medical term, but it's not. It's when a parent, over time, deliberately tries to ruin the relationship between a child and her other parent.
Signs of Parental Alienation
While there are many signs of parental alienation, the most common are:
1. Negative Comments About You: The alienating parent talks negatively to your child, abut you directly or in front of the child. This destructive behavior causes some children to parrot the beliefs of the alienating parent. You'll often hear a child make a negative adult statement that sounds as if it came from an adult.
2. Discussing Court with Children: The alienating parent discusses court litigation with the children. Court matters are between two adults, and children should never be made aware of the details of the court case and conflict between his parents. Any parent who makes children aware that a court case exists deliberately attempts to soil the child's relationship with the other parent.
3. Refusing to Co-Parent with You. Co-parenting is the major part of raising a child. When a parent refuses to co-parent, she's usually not concerned about her child's best interest, but only wants to destroy the bond between father and child.
Why is She Keeping My Child Away From Me?
Parental alienators are not just women. Men can alienate too. High-conflict divorce and custody cases are the breeding ground for parental alienation. But here we're focusing on mothers who alienate.
These mothers are usually bent on destroying their child's strong bond with the other parent. They want to show themselves, the court, and anyone who'll listen to them that they're the better parent.
The 4 Major Types of Alienating Mothers
Type 1 - "I'm Gonna Get You Back!": She want to "get back" at you. She sees herself as a victim because she's been hurt because of the divorce. This behavior can happen even if she filed first for the divorce.
Type 2 - "If I Can't Have You, No One Else Can!": Jealousy over their ex's new
relationship or remarriage is another reason a mother may deny you visitation.
Type 3 - "I'm going to Hit You Where It Hurts – In Your Pockets.": Some alienating mothers keep the children away from their father as a way to get more child support from their ex. If they have the child living primarily with them and block dad's desire to share parenting time, they use it as a way to get more child support than would have been ordered if they shared custody of their child.
Type 4- "What a Tangled Web We Weave When We Practice To Deceive": Some alienating mothers had wrong motives from the beginning. They used you to have a child and started alienating your child early on, during the marriage, because they want to have your child all to themselves.
What you Can do To Fight Parental Alienation
If you're denied visitation with a court order, you can protect your father's rights and your relationship with your children by acting now.
First, get a calendar and mark all the times you've been denied visits with your children in your recent memory since the court order has been in effect. You can even mark the denied visitation in Google Calendar and color code each denial.
Your lawyer and the court will find this helpful in seeing the timeline of visit denials.
Second, text and/or write your co-parent and detail the date, time, and location of your scheduled parenting time. In your text or email, tell the mother you expect her to follow the court's order or and let you visit with your child.
If she doesn't answer your texts or emails, you will have the advantage in court because a judge will see she's purposefully keeping you away from visiting your child.
Third, take all denied visitation texts and emails (and any responses from the mother to them) and compile a three-ring notebook journal. Be sure to have paper in your notebook to write notes about each date she's kept you from seeing your children.
Last, speak with an experienced Fredericksburg father's rights lawyer who'll determine if you have a basis to file a Rule to Show Cause against the mother for contempt of the custody court order.
Protect Your Relationship With Your Children
Fathers, even if they're not the primary custodial parent, deserve to spend quality time with and parent their children.
Don’t let her make you a visitor with your child. If the mother is blocking you from seeing your child, you should go to court and ask for the judge to force her to do so.
Don't wait until it's too late to fight for your rights as a father. A dedicated father's rights attorney will provide you with the information and options you need to get your rights.
Get started today to protect your children and yourself from the dangers of parental alienation and fight for your rights as a dad. Your children will eventually thank you for it.
About Family Lawyer Tori Bramble
Tori Bramble is a certified divorce coach and family law attorney with over 22 years of experience handling divorce, child custody, and domestic violence matters in the courtroom.
Attorney Bramble loves sharing her knowledge about family law matters. She aims to give people information so they can make conscious, thoughtful decisions that will positively affect their families now and in the future.