One of the tragic realities of a broken family or an acrimonious and winner-take-all custody battle is parental alienation. Even though the egalitarian approach of shared parenting is widely advocated across the United States, parental alienation remains prevalent.
It is already a given fact that stakes are often high in divorce or separation. In high conflicting cases, a parent could instill negative thoughts or brainwash a child against the other parents hence the parental alienation phenomenon was born.
According to a study published in the journal Children and Youth Services Review, 13 percent of parents in the United States have been victims of parental alienation, with more than 22 million adults have been identified to be at risk to be alienated from their children, High Point University revealed. Based on the statistics collected, the prevalence of parental alienation in the United States has been quite disturbing.
So, how do experts define parental alienation? The Good Men Project has the simplest definition of this tragic phenomenon and it's a "consistent set of behaviors that seek to drive a wedge" on a parent-and-child relationship. Parental alienation is also considered a form of child abuse that should be regarded seriously.
As parental alienation continues to plague the lives of many good families, are the family court lawyers and judges trained to determine the signs of parental alienation? In a separate The Good Man Project report, judges, lawyers and child custody are a "recipe for disaster" when it comes to parental alienation as it often gets unnoticed in court.
With that said, writer Stephen Krasner stressed the lack of specialized training in family court judges and lawyers in the field of psychology, as well as in dealing with children and parenting, is somewhat alarming. That's why, Krasner also wrote why family courts, child custody and father's right can be a broken system, especially when lawyers used their unethical and manipulative strategies.
Meanwhile, there are also challenges in using parental alienation accusations in a custody case. According to The Legal Intelligence, it is often challenging to determine when to accuse the other side of parental alienation or inappropriate behavior without increasing the level of alienation from one of the parents.
Despite the fact that there are cases of unintentional parental alienation, those behaviors can still have damaging consequences to the parent-and-child relationship. As a matter of fact, unintentional behavior can be multi-dimensional, meaning it can be in either verbal or behavioral in form.
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