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Parental Alienation Signs and Examples You Should Watch Out

Parental alienation is a serious issue that can have lasting effects on both the alienated parent and the child.

Recognising the signs and taking steps to address the situation can make a significant difference in the lives of those affected.

In this guide, we will identify the 17 signs of parental alienation and discuss how you can help your child navigate this difficult situation.

What are the Signs of Parental Alienation?

The following are the 17 signs of parental alienation that parents should watch for:

  1. A child unjustifiably rejects one parent while expressing extreme loyalty to the other.
  2. Rationalisations for the deprecation and hatred of one parent are often weak, frivolous, or absurd.
  3. Hatred towards the alienated parent lacks the usual ambivalence that characterises healthy parent-child relationships.
  4. The child claims the decision to reject the parent is their own (the ‘independent-thinker’ phenomenon).
  5. The child reflexively supports the preferred parent in parental conflict.
  6. The child expresses guiltless disregard for the feelings of the alienated parent.
  7. Borrowed scenarios exist, where the child uses language or expressions borrowed from the alienating parent.
  8. Animosity is spread to the extended family and friends of the alienated parent.
  9. The child’s recollections of adverse events are grossly distorted or fabricated.
  10. The child loses previously shared passions or interests with the alienated parent.
  11. The child excessively highlights and exaggerates the flaws of the alienated parent.
  12. The child is not ambivalent about their feelings; it’s all hatred, without any ability to see good or recall positive memories.
  13. The child’s feelings are almost exclusively negative, without the ability to feel or express love, pity, or guilt toward the alienated parent.
  14. The child’s perception is not in line with reality or what others know to be true about the alienated parent.
  15. The child wants to avoid spending time with the alienated parent, including rejecting meals, outings, and visits.
  16. The child’s negativity extends to others associated with the alienated parent, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, and pets.
  17. The child’s animosity towards the alienated parent remains unwavering, regardless of the time spent apart from the alienated parent.

These signs of parental alienation can manifest differently in every family. Depending on the situation and the individuals involved, they might present as subtle behaviours or more overt actions.

Also read: How to Win Back an Alienated Child

Can You Give Examples of Parental Alienation?

Examples of parental alienation can vary from subtle manipulations to overt efforts to turn a child against one parent. Here are some examples:

  1. One parent consistently speaks negatively about the other parent to the child, sharing inappropriate information or false accusations.
  2. A parent unreasonably limits contact between the child and the other parent, creating physical and emotional distance.
  3. The alienating parent might manipulate the child to fear, disrespect, or dislike the other parent.
  4. The alienating parent might interfere with communication, prevent the exchange of gifts, or undermine the other parent’s authority and rules.

Are There Notable Cases of Parental Alienation in Australia?

Yes, there have been notable cases. In the 2010 case “Goode v Goode”, the Family Court of Western Australia ruled that the mother’s constant alienation of the father significantly harmed the child’s well-being. The Court awarded the father sole custody, a decision not taken lightly and illustrative of the Court’s serious view on parental alienation.

Dad Desperate to Migrate to the US with Kids Accused Mom of Parental Alienation 

Our client, a devoted mother, came to us at Justice Family Lawyers, distressed and falsely accused of parental alienation by her ex-husband. He was determined to move to the US with their children, despite the Court ruling favouring them remaining in Australia, as it best served their interests.

Her ex-husband’s allegations were cunningly designed to reverse the Court’s decision. He claimed she was turning their children against him and obstructing their relationship. This accusation, she feared, threatened not only her reputation but the well-being of her children by attempting to remove them from their familiar surroundings and support system.

Our child custody lawyers sprang into action. We meticulously gathered evidence, including testimonials from school teachers and psychologists, to debunk the claims of parental alienation. Simultaneously, we built a case highlighting her ex-husband’s ulterior motives.

Our relentless pursuit of justice meant that the false allegations were seen for what they were – a manipulative tactic to subvert a court order. The Court stood firm on its previous decision, safeguarding the children’s best interests.

Are You Seeing Signs of Parental Alienation in Australia?

Don’t face this challenging situation alone. The skilled team at Justice Family Lawyers is ready to support you.

We understand the nuances of parental alienation and can guide you toward the best outcome for your child. Contact us today for a consultation, and let us help protect your family.

2 thoughts on “Parental Alienation Signs and Examples You Should Watch Out”

  1. I am being alienated from my son by his father . How do I gather evidence from my son’s psychologist when she is non reportable and I need my sons fathers consent to get a report done ?

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