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Research indicates parental alienation may not be what it appears

For many couples seeking a divorce in Texas, they are faced with the uncertainty of creating a new life of independency and self-reliance. Often, difficult decisions must be made regarding property division and spousal support. However, the most complicated cases are often those involving couples who have had children together. In many unfortunate circumstances, children may be misled by one parent to believe that the other parent is abusive or neglectful. 

While this may be true in some instances, new research suggests that not all cases of parental alienation may not be what they appear to be to an outside observer. A study of children with divorcing parents revealed that 11-15 percent of minors experienced parental alienation. However, evidence suggests that oftentimes, children may alienate their parents out of their own will, uninfluenced by parent intervention. Additionally, they often have logical and personal reasons for doing so. 

In situations where a child has made the decision to cut off contact with one of his or her parents, intervention designed to rebuild a relationship with that parent can actually be even more damaging and frightening for the child. Rather, noninvasive efforts should be made to understand the child's needs and reasoning, to advocate for the child and discover how he or she really feels. 

For families who are faced with the complicated process of divorce where children are involved, they may benefit greatly from the legal assistance of a trusted attorney. This decision may allow families to receive knowledgeable guidance through an often-tumultuous legal course. 

Source: The Guardian, "Crackdown on parental alienation could do more harm than good," Nov. 29, 2017

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