WHEN THE OTHER PARENT COMMITS PARENTAL ALIENATION IN ILLINOIS
When parents come to the decision that living together and raising their children as a couple is not possible, the experience is often emotionally stressful. When the children involved begin to become negatively affected due to the actions of the other parent, however, family lawyers and the Illinois court system frequently become involved. Parental alienation, a syndrome that has impacted the lives of children throughout the United States, is an example of this type of situation.
What is Parental Alienation?
In the state of Illinois, parental alienation is a situation that is created when one parent attempts to destroy the relationship between the child(ren) and the other parent. In most cases, parental alienation is committed by the residential parent, but either parent can be guilty. Illinois courts typically see parental alienation as significantly damaging to the children involved, and rightfully so. Examples of parental alienation include:
- Preventing communication between the child and the other parent
- Not allowing the other parent to exercise his parenting time with the child
- Maliciously attempting to manipulate the child’s perception of the other parent
- Making derogatory remarks about the other parent in front of the child
- Humiliating the parent in front of the child
- Attempting to make the child believe that the other parent does not love or want to spend time with him or her
Unfortunately, children, who end up becoming the ultimate victims of such estrangements, often suffer permanent or significant emotional trauma. According to theParental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO), parental alienation, also referred to as hostile aggressive parenting, often robs children of their sense of security and safety and their right to be loved by both parents. Additionally, parental alienation can ultimately result in irreparable damage to the relationship between the child and his or her other parent.
Parental alienation can have a significant impact on family law cases. As Illinois courts have witnessed an increasing number of parental alienation situations, they have begun to react to such occurrences with the determination that parents who commit these actions are not acting in the best interests of the child. In fact, while intense counseling is sometimes ordered when parental alienation is brought before the court, many times the innocent parent is granted full residential custody (also known as parental responsibility) and the offending parent often ends up with supervised parenting time.
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