Parental Alienation

Separation and divorce can breed bad blood between parents and their children if one partner decides to target the other partner using the children. If that happens, it is referred to as parental alienation.

What is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation, or PA for short, is the purposeful actions of one parent to turn a child against the other parent. It is usually achieved through calculated and constant vilification, criticism, and denigration of the targeted parents.

Over time, the child’s view of the alienated parent can be affected severely, possibly even making the child believe that the co-parent doesn’t actually love the child or that the child’s life would be far off better without the co-parent.

The child may start disregarding or disrespecting their father or mother, and may finally come to loathe them to the extent of wanting them out of their life completely.

Parental Alienation (PA) Can Be A Weapon

Simply put, parental alienation is using a child as a weapon for hurting one’s former or current partner. It is a form of child abuse that can have lasting psychological effects on the child and the parent he/she is alienated from.

This is a form of abuse and can psychologically affect both the child and and the alienated parent. Children that are part of an alienation scenario are at a greater risk for future trust and relationship issues, substance abuse, and depression.

The pain can be excruciating for the rejected parent.

At an extreme level, PA often culminates in false allegations of physical, verbal, or sexual abuse. The alienating parent may accuse the other parent falsely or exaggerate incidents that took place in an attempt to brainwash the child into believing that the abuse was real.

How Are PA and Divorce Related?

In a divorce involving children, the primary parent who has the majority of the time, uses parental alienation techniques regularly to push the other parent further away. It is a danger because it is recognized by parents, child and family investigators, as well as the courts.

The standard used by the courts for determining parenting time is what is in the child’s best interests. If one party is actively alienating the child from the other parent, the court will almost always find that such behavior isn’t in the best interests of a minor child.

It can be incredibly challenging to combat parental alienation tactics since it is largely a question of your word against that of your co-parent.

If you are the victim of parental alienation, you may require a family lawyer who’s experienced in fighting the effects of parental alienation in Colorado. We are mindful of the challenges associated with co-parenting with an individual that seeks to damage your bond with your child and will work hard to prevent further harm to your relationship with your child.


Colorado Springs Divorce Attorney Mary Daugherty offers low-cost divorce if you and your spouse are in basic agreement with the terms of a Colorado divorce I can save you a LOT of money! Give me a call to see if a low-cost divorce is right for you!

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I was very fortunate to have Mary as my attorney. Court is a hard enough place to be. Not only did Mary give me a 100% she also listened to me and that was important. Had a great out come. Thank you!
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