9.7Susan M. Hais

Parental Alienation Syndrome or PAS is a legal and psychological term that describes a deliberate, ongoing process of psychological manipulation when one parent uses the child as a weapon against the other parent. This is a course of action seen too many times in divorces with psychological consequences to the child who’s used to hurt the targeted parent. The resentful spouse displays this kind of behavior in response to the offensive and hurtful action taken against them when divorce proceedings begin. This is an undertaking executed for retaliation by turning the child against the targeted parent to hurt them in return for divorcing them.

Parental Alienation Syndrome is often seen in high conflict, volatile divorces in which the alienating parent indoctrinates the child to reject and become estranged from the non-custodial parent as a way of getting vindication from them.

Some motives for this calculated behavior by the alienating parent are:

– revenge
– feeling rejected by the targeted parent
– anger
– jealousy
– to get more money in a divorce settlement

Some identifiable behaviors showed by alienating parents attempting to turn the child against the targeted parent are:

– slandering or debasing the targeted parent in front of the child
– vilifying the targeted parent to others within earshot of the child
– informing the child of the reasons the divorce had occurred and blamed the targeted parent for it
– complaining to the child about ongoing conflicts, legal proceedings concerning the divorce, and financial difficulties
– telling the child they blame the targeted parent for lifestyle changes, their miseries, their declining emotional state and their incapability to function

The alienating parent doesn’t realize that this manipulative and damaging process has very serious repercussions. Not only does this action have serious psychological implications for the child involved, it can also have legal ramifications. Attorneys representing the parents who are the targets of this cruel treatment would like the alienating parents to face some kind of legal punishment because the child that becomes a pawn to help their parent achieve retribution has experienced mental and emotional damage that may be irreversible.

When the child experiences exploitation as the weapon against their other parent, they experience confusion, fear, sadness, fear, hopelessness, and insecurity. Mental health authorities consider PAS child abuse and the parent who subjects their child to that kind of mental maltreatment is unfit as a parent. Lawyers believe the alienating parent should lose custody of the child for involving them in their scheme to get revenge from their spouse. Lawyers also believe these abusive parents should pay for counseling for their child to fix the psychological damage they caused them.

If you believe that your child is experiencing Parental Alienation Syndrome, please contact us and we will assist you with this sensitive issue.