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Parental Alienation Syndrome

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  • Parental Alienation Syndrome

Many clinicians and psychological experts have since identified this syndrome and given it any names .However Richard Gardner in 1985 coined the name Parental Alienation Syndrome(-PAS). PAS is a very basic issue when couples are going through a process of separation or divorce. This can be very difficult times for the couple and even more difficult for the child conceived during the marriage. Syndrome has been observed in child custody disputes during an ongoing divorce process.

PAS happens when one parent actively puts-down, verbally insults and criticizes his or her spouse while they are with the kids. It could also be observed when one parent is treating or referring  to a former spouse’s  new  partner in a derogatory manner. The parent who is doing the derogatory defamation of his or her spouse is the alienating parent, while the other parent is referred to as the alienated parent since he or she is the one that the child would eventually resent if this syndrome is confirmed.

The objective of the alienating parent is to frustrate their kid’s association with the alienated parent. Over time and with continuous rubbishing of the other parents character, the kid’s perspective of the alienated parent can be extremely influenced. The child may develop a lack of respect and nonchalance for their mom or dad, and may in the end come to detest them and totally not want them to continue to be a part of their lives. PAS is essentially utilizing one’s youngster as a weapon to hurt one’s present or previous marital partner. It is considered a form of child abuse, and can have enduring psychological implications for both the youngster and the individual he or she has been alienated from.

Alienating parents can utilize various strategies to harm their kid’s perspective of his or her mom or dad. They may frustrate custody arrangements and also encourage the child to do same. They might also reject or ignore agreed guidelines rightfully stipulated by the parent who does not currently have custody. They may punish the child for attempts made to reach or contact their mom or dad. They may also take this a step further by encouraging such an affected child to verbally attack or insult the other parent (alienated parent) or even give false witness against the parent.

PAS today is yet to be officially perceived as a mental issue by the American Psychological Association. Be that as it may, it has been considered by judges amid child custody debates. Judges have on occasions referred to an absence of observational proof as the reason why PAS is legally inadmissible. There is likewise a worry that claims of PAS can be abused by damaging parents whose exes are right to keep their youngsters far from them. This makes a complicated mental and legitimate debate. A few individuals do utilize their youngsters against their mates or exes, and this should not be neglected amid separation procedures. Notwithstanding, judges ought to be mindful so as not to be taken in by bogus cases of ill-use.

It is important that an ideal environment is created especially for the children during a divorce process. In such an environment anger or any emotion can be expressed freely and dealt with in the proper manner. This can be achieved via mediation, whatever feelings to be expressed are done in the presence of a mediator who can offer advice and conflict management guidance which is relieving. Essentially it keeps the children protected from the emotional complexities of the divorce.

Children should never be used as tools for obtaining any partners selfish goals; they are highly impressionable especially when they are young. They are the real causalities of custody disputes and the emotional burden and confusion is too much of a heavy load for any child to carry. Thus parents undergoing divorce should not overlook the existence of this phenomenon .Over time the courts would give better acknowledgement to this syndrome; however till then parents are enjoined to handle their disputes independent of the child’s development and emotional growth.


Michael Busby Jr. is a divorce & family law attorney,  who practices in Harris and Fort Bend Counties, Texas. He has been in practice for over 14 years and has tried over 300 cases.  He is familiar with the policy and procedures of the Harris and Fort Bend County Texas family law courts.   Our office is open until 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for working folks. Michael Busby Jr. 2909 Hillcroft Suite 350 Houston, Texas 77057 (713) 974-1151 Visit me on the web at www.busby-lee.com