Identifying parental alienation amid divorce

When your North Carolina marriage ends, you and your ex may both have hurt feelings. You may work hard to avoid badmouthing or disparaging your ex in front of your shared child, but your former partner may not do the same.

Sometimes, another parent’s actions and efforts to turn your shared child against you may constitute something called parental alienation. Parental alienation occurs when one parent makes repeated efforts to make a shared child feel as if the other parent is dangerous or bad. Judges or attorneys may be able to determine if parental alienation is occurring within your own family by considering the following four areas.

Whether you and your child used to have a positive relationship

For parental alienation to be at play, you and your child who now favors the other parent must have had a solid and loving bond in the past.

Whether you mistreated your child

Whether your own actions could have caused your child to resent, avoid or alienate you is also an important consideration when it comes to allegations of parental alienation.

Whether the other parent practiced multiple alienating behaviors

You may be able to strengthen your allegations of parental alienation by showing that your former partner made repeated and varied efforts to alienate your child from you.

Whether your child appears harmed by the behavior

Courts and attorneys may also consider whether your shared child is experiencing negative effects because of the favored parent’s efforts to alienate you.

If you are able to show that all four factors outlined above exist, the courts may decide that parental alienation is, in fact, impacting the relationship that exists between you and your child. If so, this may impact any custody-related decisions the court must make during your divorce.