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Orange County Family Law Attorney

What Is Parental Alienation?

This is one concept that is increasingly being used in Orange County divorce and child custody and visitation cases.  The custody of children can be one of the fiercest bones of contentions between two spouses. Owing to this, will to win at all costs and to keep the custody of the child is what leads to parents using every mean possible to gain themselves crucial advantages.

One such measure is Parental Alienation. Parental alienation is actually a concept for therapists and psychologists, yet the growing use of the term in the Orange County family law court has become very much part of a family lawyer’s repertoire of knowledge. The definition of the word alienation is to isolate something from another. When parental is added with alienation, the definition becomes: the attempts by one of the spouse to isolate the child or children from the other parent.

This isolation can be done through various means. One parent can alienate the child from the other parent using conduct and/or words to create an estrangement, division, or hostility between the victim parent and the child. There are several types of parental alienation:

Disparagement and Parental Alienation

This is the first step on the long road of parental alienation. Identification of disparagement can result in an insight into the process of parental alienation. Disparagement in this context refers to negative and hostile comments being made about one of the parent by the other parent in front of the child. Any such comment given in front of the child irrespective of whether it was directly addressed to the spouse or not is counted as disparagement.

Undermining Authority and Parental Alienation

Alienation is isolation and the undermining of authority of one of the parents by the other is an important part of the parental alienation cycle. In theory, the custody of each parent over the child and in matters of the child that each has autonomy over are respected by the parent. By undermining the authority and the decisions of one of the parents in front of the child, the other parent gives the child the impression that the style of parenting by the victim parent is wrong and needs to be changed.

Parentification and Parental Alienation

The word parentification may certainly seem new to you, but this word, however is dubious, as its spelling may best describe one of the most important weapons of parental alienation. When couples have gone through a divorce, the bitterness may lead to one of the parents manipulating the child to hurt the other. This is what the concept of parentification is all about. Parentification means granting the decision making power to the child when he/she is neither mature nor capable enough of making decisions for themselves. This is then taken advantage of and the manipulating parent manipulates the child into making decision that are against the other parent.

divorce_attorneyGerald A. Maggio is an experienced Orange County divorce and family law attorney and family law attorney located in Irvine, California, serving the Orange County and Riverside areas. Mr. Maggio assists clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, divorce mediation, child custody, prenuptial agreements, stepparent adoptions, and other family law issues. Mr. Maggio has practiced law in California since 1999, and founded The Maggio Law Firm in 2005, focusing exclusively on divorce and family law matters.



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