The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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How Can Parental Alienation Affect Child Custody Arrangements?

Posted on in Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

DuPage County divorce attorney child custody

Many couples can successfully complete a divorce in a cooperative manner, but when children are involved, things can become a bit more complicated. Most parents can agree that the most important issues to deal with during their divorce are those that concern their children. In many contested or complex divorces that require court intervention, the court will likely appoint a child custody evaluator to determine what would be in the child’s best interests, as far as allocating decision-making responsibilities and parenting time. An Illinois child custody lawyer can help you fight for your parental rights and protect your child’s best interests.

What Is Parental Alienation?

The term parental alienation describes a parent’s behavior when he or she attempts to harm the relationship between his or her spouse and their child by turning the child against the parent. The alienating parent typically uses manipulative techniques to achieve this and can even lead the child into believing that the alienated parent is the enemy. Parental alienation is considered by many psychologists and others in the mental health professions as a form of emotional child abuse, which is why it is taken so seriously during child custody proceedings.

Alienation and Custody Determinations

During divorces that involve children, a parenting plan must be in place before the divorce is able to be finalized. In many situations, divorces that involve parental alienation will end up in the courtroom when it comes to allocating the parenting time and significant decision-making responsibilities. To do this, the custody evaluator will look for a variety of signs and behaviors from the child and the alienating parent to determine whether or not parental alienation is present. In a family dynamic that involves parental alienation, these signs can include the child doing the following:

  • Expressing disdain or hatred for the alienated parent

  • Voicing/mimicking the alienating parent’s words and beliefs

  • Refusing to visit or spend time with the alienated parent

  • Having many irrational or unreasonable beliefs

  • Holding onto anger or hatred that are not from direct experiences but from what others have told him or her

  • Not having the ability to see the good and focusing on all the negative aspects

  • Having little to no capacity to feel guilty about his or her behavior toward the alienated parent

  • Working together with the alienating parent to deprecate the alienated parent

  • Appearing like a normal, well-adjusted child until asked about the alienated parent, which then triggers his or her anger 

Discuss Your Case With Our Oswego Divorce Attorney Today

Divorces can be contentious for many reasons, but it is never acceptable for your spouse to attempt to use your child as revenge or to “get back” at you. If you feel as if your spouse may be trying to alienate you from your child, you should speak to a skilled Kendall County child custody lawyer right away. At the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C., we can help you through any type of child custody determination, including one that involves potential parental alienation. To schedule a time for a private consultation, call our office today at 630-409-8184.




The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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