Robert W. Davis, Jr.,
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Parental alienation in high-conflict child custody disputes

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2021 | Child Custody |

One of the main goals of any Mississippi parent going through a divorce is to secure a custody and visitation order that allows for a strong relationship with his or her kids. This means allowing both parents to have liberal access and parenting time. In high-conflict custody situations, one parent could engage in behaviors that may ultimately be harmful to their kids’ mental and emotional health.

Identifying factors

When one parent intentionally sabotages the relationship the child has with the other parent, that is parental alienation. Mental health experts believe parental alienation can have a significant and real affect on a child by harming an important relationship in his or her life. When determining if parental alienation is happening, experts look for the following:

  • The child is actively avoiding a relationship with the parent.
  • The now-rejected parent used to have a strong and health relationship with the child.
  • There is no legitimate reason, such as abuse or neglect, for the relationship to deteriorate.
  • The favored parent is displaying alienating behaviors.

If a Mississippi parent’s relationship with his or her child is suffering because of parental alienation, there could be grounds to pursue a legal resolution to these concerns.

Enforcement and repair

If part of the parental alienation problem is refusal to cooperate with the terms of a custody order, a parent has the right to take action. A judge may compel enforcement through various means, and he or she may mandate things such as counseling or make-up visitation time. It may be beneficial to learn about legal rights and how to preserve and repair this important relationship.


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