Parental alienation occurs when one parent convinces a child that they should have no contact with their other parent.


Usually this is extremely harmful to the child as children need to feel they are loved and supported by both of their parents in order to become healthy adults.


Courts faced with this problem have limited options. A court can order that the alienated parent have specific access to a child but the enforcement of this order is problematic especially if the child refuses to comply with the court order.


Courts have on occasion ordered that the child be placed in the sole care of the alienated parent with limited or no access to the alienating parent but this can be extremely traumatic for the child.


One of the best ways to deal with alienation is to require both parents and the child to attend counselling in the hope that they will understand the harm which the alienation is causing the child. There is no guarantee however that this will work in an extreme situation.


There often is no good resolution to this problem and the financial and emotional toll it can take on both parents can be overwhelming. Litigation is expensive and even if a court order is obtained it may not resolve the problem.


Deborah A. Todd
Deborah A. Todd