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Understanding Parental Alienation in an Illinois Child Custody Dispute

Posted on in Child Custody

DuPage County divorce lawyer for parental alienationDivorcing or divorced spouses are not typically on great terms with each other. While some divorces are relatively amicable, other divorce cases are filled with hostility and revenge-seeking behavior. Sadly, children are often the ones who get hurt in extremely contentious divorces. Sometimes, a parent even intentionally attempts to turn a child against the other parent. This is known as parental alienation, and it can happen when an adult uses brainwashing and other manipulative strategies to damage the child’s relationship with their parent. If you have been a victim of parental alienation, you should know that you have certain rights under Illinois law. The alienation may even be cause for restriction of the other parent’s parental responsibilities or parenting time.

Types of Parental Alienation

Parental alienation is a controversial subject. However, the phenomenon is very real. The term was conceived in 1985 to describe undue influence on a child that causes the child to fear or despise his or her parent. Some experts have suggested that parental alienation can cause an actual psychological disorder called Parental Alienation Syndrome, but this disorder is not listed in the Diagnostic Statistical Manual or recognized by the American Psychological Association. Nevertheless, there have been many documented cases in which a parent or other party willfully attempts to destroy the parent-child relationship, and these types of actions can have a direct impact on child custody issues.

Parental alienation may include actions such as:

  • Fabricating negative stories about the other parent.

  • Interfering with or impeding the other parent’s court-ordered parenting time.

  • Coaching a child to believe that he or she has been a victim of abuse at the hands of the other parent.

  • Using threats, intimidation, or manipulation to make a child feel negatively about the other parent.

Can Parental Alienation Affect Child Custody?

Although Illinois courts do not typically use the phrase “parental alienation,” alienating actions can have a major impact on child custody and parenting time. According to Illinois law, one of the factors considered by courts during child custody determinations is each parent’s “willingness and ability to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing relationship” between the child and the other parent. Furthermore, psychological manipulation of a child can be considered a form of abuse. If your child’s other parent has falsely accused you of abusing your child, makes up lies about you to discredit you in front of your child, or attempts to hamper your relationship with your child, this could have a considerable impact on your child custody case. It may even lead to a restriction of the other parent’s parental responsibilities or parenting time.

Contact a Wheaton Parenting Time Lawyer

If your child’s other parent has falsely accused you of domestic violence or tries to obstruct your relationship with your child, you need a strong legal advocate on your side. Contact a DuPage County child custody attorney from The Stogsdill Law Firm, P.C. Call us at 630-462-9500 for a free, confidential constitution today.

Source:

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

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