There is no strict definition of Parental Alienation in English law, but it is generally taken to describe a situation where a child has been deliberately manipulated, coerced or otherwise pressured to align themselves to one parent by the other parent. Usually, the consequence of Parental Alienation is that contact between the alienated parent and the child is frustrated, which can be damaging to the child in both the short and long term.
Some of the identifying markers of Parental Alienation are:
There is a presumption in English law that it is in a child’s best interests to know and have a relationship with both of their parents, so the courts are taking an increasingly robust approach to cases where Parental Alienation is alleged. In Brazil and Mexico, Parental Alienation is now recognised as a criminal offence, and in the US and Canada, the courts are very alive to the detrimental effects that Alienation can have on a child. It will be interesting to see whether English Law follows suit to either criminalise Parental Alienation or officially recognise it as a form of child abuse.
If you are concerned that you are at risk of being alienated from your child, it is important to seek specialist advice quickly so please do contact us on 020 3709 8975 today.