This is a syndrome more widely acknowledged and accepted in the US. However as a Family Solicitor with over 20 years experience I have unfortunately encountered many cases where one parent is hostile to contact taking place between the children and the other absent parent. When this is done for no reason then parental alienation in my view exists.
Parental alienation occurs when the resident parent exerts such an influence over a child that he or she successfully destroys any relationship that the child might previously have had with the now absent parent.
“Brain Washing” is the term we are all familiar with. It happens…and with devastating consequences.
The child becomes alienated from the absent parent and is effectively turned against them. Children in this situation are in an extremely vulnerable position as they rely on the parent with whom they live to care for them and provide for them and naturally they want to please them.
If you find yourself in this situation you may well be advised to make a Court application to resolve your termination of contact. There is likely to be an independent report ordered by the Court from a body called CAFCASS who may well interview the children direct in an attempt to establish their real feelings and wishes.
Ultimately the Court has the power to order that the children live with the absent parent. Clearly changing a child’s residence is a big decision but on balance this maybe the best thing for the children overall.
Please contact Louise Scott on 0116 2517181 for further discussion. Louise is an Accredited Specialist with Resolution in this area of law.