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Diagnosing parental alienation could help children during divorce

Parents are demanding that the courts do more to help prevent parental alienation, according to a news report from May 11. Parents' rights groups across the United States brought attention to an annual day to recognize the risk of parental alienation and to begin bringing attention to the risk of this happening in divorce cases.

Parental alienation changes children. It often encourages one to completely reject a parent due to the other parent's influence. Depending on the severity of the case, it could lead a child to reject an entire section of the extended family. The child may not wish to see the parent and may avoid reunification.

As of 2018, parental alienation isn't recognized in the way it should be, leading to some believing it's not something diagnosable. The sad reality is that children who suffer from parental alienation have parents they believe do not care about them. The truth could not be further from what they believe; in most cases, the alienated parent does want to see the children.

Should the courts be held accountable?

In some ways, they should. Parents need to be clear about their relationships and provide evidence if there is a fear of alienation. Judges and attorneys who find themselves in these situations need to be diligent and to think of the child's best interests. Alienation can sneak up on anyone, but if it's caught early enough, it's possible to stop the alienation and get a child back to a healthy relationship with both parents. It's something that has to happen for a child to be secure.

Source: ABC 10, "Parents are demanding accountability in family court," Lila Luciano, accessed May 15, 2018

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