In a typical custody case, both parents are represented by counsel. They argue over the best interests of the child and attempt to prove what is in the best interests of the child. They can prove that the child will benefit from time spent with a parent, or that the child would suffer harm if deprived of contact with a parent, and they can even prove that the parent was a contributing factor in causing the child’s emotional harm. There are some cases, however, Houston child custody lawyer child custody attorney when a parent will not accept the fact that the other parent is actually the best parent for the child. There are cases where parents will try to convince the judge that the other parent does not have the best interests of the child in mind.
This is where parental alienation is becoming an issue. Parental alienation, also known as the “hostile-parent syndrome,” is a condition in which a parent attempts to alienate a child from the other parent by using any means available to him or her. To do this, the parent may attempt to:
Receive child support payments late or not at all.
Deprive the other parent of contact with the child.
Put lies in front of the judge.
Not visit the child.
Control the child’s education.
Restrict the other parent from seeing or speaking to the child.
Stalk and harass the other parent.
Alienate a child from the other parent through inappropriate or inappropriate communications.
The parent who alienates a child from the other parent is said to be “the alienator.” The child is said to be “the victim.”
Parental alienation is becoming a bigger problem in the family law courts. A recent survey conducted by Dr. Gail Zacharias of the University of San Diego found that:
41% of all children with custody disputes had one parent who was the victim of parental alienation, and
17% of all children had two parents who were both victims of parental alienation.
While parental alienation is a growing problem, it is not always easy to prove. Often, the only way to prove parental alienation is through the use of testimony. When a parent is a victim of parental alienation, he or she will not speak out for fear of having their own child taken away from them. So it is up to the court to prove that the other parent is not a victim of parental alienation. That’s where the expert witness comes in.