What Is Parental Alienation and How Can It Affect Custody?
by cjleclaire
Apr 17, 2015 | 47623 views | 1 1 comments | 423 423 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Parental alienation syndrome is a psychological term that means one parent is turning the children against the other parent, usually due to a divorce or child custody dispute. The syndrome manifests as the child’s denigration of the other parent, but there is no real justification for it. It results from the other parent’s indoctrination of the child and the child’s own contribution to vilifying the targeted parent.

On March 25, 2015, the New York appellate court ruled in the appeal of Halioris v. Haloris , where the father sought sole custody based on the mother’s parental alienation. The mother had appealed the lower court’s decision and requested that the appellate court review the case.

In rendering its decision, the appeals court upheld the lower court’s decision to grant the father sole custody. The court referenced several other cases, quoting previous findings that influenced the court’s decision. This statement in particular was pivotal in the case:

‘Parental alienation of a child from the other parent is “an act so inconsistent with the best interests of the children as to, per se, raise a strong probability that the [offending parent] is unfit to act as custodial parent.” ‘

Clearly, divorce is an emotional matter for many parents, and they can lose a proper perspective when fighting for custody of their children. Even so, there are important legal guidelines to keep in mind. Parental alienation is one of them, and no matter how justified a parental may feel in alienating the child from the other parent, this type of behavior often backfires.

If you have questions about divorce or child custody issues, Chris Palermo is glad to provide you with answers and legal advice. As a Long Island divorce lawyer he is committed to protecting your rights and helping you achieve the best outcome possible.

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Joe Goldberg
April 29, 2015
Do You Know A Lawyer with Parental Alienation Expertise ?

I work as a consultant on cases involving parental alienation

and I often have prospective clients asking me that question.

The truth is there may be a handful of lawyers that advertise

themselves as experienced in alienation but don't be misled.

Every year there are only a few workshops and conferences

organized to provide continuing education on this topic. Ask

the lawyer what CLE's they have on the subject before jump-

ing on their bandwagon. I find very few lawyers actually take

an interest in reading the psychological literature or research

so what they say they know may also be outdated.

Lawyers are not experts and should not be giving advise or

making recommendations to their clients on how to repair a

parent-child relational problem, but they should run through

a list of therapeutic interventions that could be helpful ( e.g.

custody evaluations, conjoint counseling, reunification ther-

apy, etc. )

Unfortunately most family law lawyers are unfamiliar with a

full range of these therapeutic interventions and even more

surprising is that very few lawyers understand the structure

of the most complex interventions like reunification counsel-

ing. For that very reason clients often have lawyers trying to

broker deals about who the therapist will be, and regardless

of the standard of care that children and parents deserve, a

number of court orders are written that limit the way a thera-

pist can help. This only makes matters worse and inevitably

leads to round after round of re-litigation.

Consultants eliminate those errors by ensuring that lawyers

use more specificity within the drafting of a court order, and

they help prepare lawyers for hearings well in advance. If a

client has a parental alienation problem the lawyer must be

vocal in expressing concerns to the court about maintaining

the continuity of counseling, the undermining of the therapy,

empowerment of the alienated child and non-compliance of

the order to follow.

Nobody expects a lawyer to know what a mental health pro-

fessional should know, but did you know that there are a lot

of court rosters full of unqualified mental health LMFT's, LC-

SW's, MFT's, Ph.D.'s working beyond, and outside the area

of their expertise ? Did you know its also unethical for them

to do that, but lawyers help them by being unqualified them-

selves to properly vet them ?

Lawyers often recommend mental health professionals the

lawyer has worked with before telling their clients how much

their opinions and reports are respected by the Judge. The

same is true when lawyers broker deals to appoint GAL's. It

is sad and so true that these are just a few of the reasons I

talk to clients that come to me looking for my help in finding

them a 2nd, 3rd or 4th lawyer to take over the case. And its

also the main reason prospective clients tell me, " I have al-

ready spent $20,000 ...$30,000 and still have not gotten an

outcome I am happy with. "

While many people have gone to the end of the road in the

case they have, a large number of them do not know that a

lot of cases thought to be dead can still be revived. All that

it sometimes takes is the willpower to explore that fact with

a consultant. For those of you that are at the beginning or,

somewhere in the middle of these conflicts try to tune out a

lot of the distortion about the hope for you and your family.

For more information visit my Facebook page at:

Parental Alienation Consulting Services

My website is - www.parentalalienation.ca