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Is Parental Alienation Real? If So, Can I Do Anything About It in Illinois?

 Posted on February 10, 2022 in Child Custody

Naperville parental alienation lawyerMany parents worry that, after divorce, their ex will try to poison their child against them. Efforts to do this are known as parental alienation and while parental alienation can sometimes be obvious, more often the signs are subtle and difficult to pin down. The effects of parental alienation on a developing child’s psychological well-being can be damaging and Illinois courts take this behavior from parents seriously. If you are worried your child’s other parent is trying to turn your child against you, read on. 

Parental Alienation is Real

Whether you call it parental alienation, psychological manipulation, or child abuse, behaviors that unjustly cause a child to feel hostility towards a parent are wrong. Children need both of their parents and even when parents feel hostility and anger towards each other, they should do whatever they can to keep kids out of the conflict. Unfortunately, many parents use their children in proxy battles with each other to get revenge for hurt and disappointment during their marriage. 

Alienating behaviors go above and beyond occasionally saying, “Your mother never puts healthy food in your lunchbox!” Rather, parents who constantly belittle or badmouth each other to the child, forbid the child from mentioning the other parent, or withdraw parental love and support when the child expresses love for their other parent may cause a child to reject the parent who is targeted by this behavior. 

Parental Alienation is Terrible for Children

In addition to the natural grief and sense of loss or betrayal a child feels when they lose a close relationship with a parent, the consequences of coercing a child into hating or distancing themselves from their parent can cause an Illinois family court to be concerned about a child’s long-term emotional development. 

Children who are victims of alienating behaviors may withdraw, lash out, make false accusations, repeat unusual or adult phrases, or know intimate details about their parents’ conflict. None of this is healthy for a young child or adolescent and can lead to further behavioral issues. 

When a case of potential parental alienation is brought before an Illinois court, judges may appoint a guardian ad litem or custody evaluator to independently investigate a child’s home situation. Proving parental alienation can be very difficult but an experienced Illinois family law attorney may be able to help. 

Meet with a Naperville Parenting Time Lawyer

Parental alienation can have harmful effects on a child’s psychological development. If your child’s other parent is trying to alienate your child from you, consider getting help from a Naperville family law attorney with experience dealing in complex custody matters. It is important to act quickly if you are concerned your child may be facing real harm. Call the offices of Pesce Law Group, P.C. today at 630-352-2240 to schedule a free consultation.



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