Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
(770) 676-1191
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What parents can do about parental alienation

Parental alienation may be a problem for some parents and children in Georgia, particularly if one parent has been diagnosed with a personality disorder. With parental alienation, one parent manipulates the children so they begin to reject the other parent. However, parents can be watchful about signs of it and take steps to stop it.

Parental alienation might be occurring if a child suddenly seems to turn on a parent. This could include requesting that the parent stop attending extracurricular activities or meetings with teachers at school. A child who has never displayed oppositional behavior before might suddenly start to do so. The child might display a sense of entitlement regarding gifts. Despite a warning sign such as using the same language to attack the targeted parent as the other parent did in the past, the child may insist that the opposition does not originate with that parent. The child may also fail to acknowledge positive experiences with the targeted parent.

Parents should respond to signs of parental alienation with love and firm boundaries. They should not allow themselves to be provoked by the child's behavior, and they should also avoid attacking the other parent. Parents may want to talk to a professional about those concerns.

An attorney might be able to assist a targeted parent in putting together a convincing account of the parental alienation. This may be useful if there is a custody battle in court. However, parents can have a contentious custody battle even if there is no parental alienation occurring. A judge who is making a decision about child custody may use a number of different criteria to reach a decision about what is in the best interests of the child. Factors such as what offers the most stable situation for the child may be taken into account.

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Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
4799 Sugarloaf Pkwy
Building J
Lawrenceville, GA 30044

Phone: 770-676-1191
Fax: 770-963-2828
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