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Unfair tactics in child custody battles may harm children

It is not unusual for a parent to take drastic steps to win a custody battle. Co-parents in Pennsylvania may be shocked when a former partner makes accusations of abuse or misbehavior to gain leverage in a divorce. However, using unfair methods to win a child custody case may have consequences a parent does not intend.

When a child of divorcing parents suddenly becomes indifferent or hostile toward one parent, it may be a simple reaction to the animosity between the parents. Children may perceive one parent as a victim or the other as responsible for the breakup of the family. However, in some cases, the rejection of one parent is part of a purposeful scheme of the other parent.

Parental alienation happens when a parent convinces a child to reject the other parent. The child may refuse to go with the parent during visitation or may treat the parent with disdain. According to child advocates, this type of psychological abuse occurs in about 80 percent of all highly contentious custody battles. Some feel that the current parenting laws do not do enough to address this problem.

In some countries, parental alienation is a crime because, in addition to hurting the parental bond, it may do psychological damage to the child. Courts in the United States do not look favorably on parents who use manipulation in an attempt to improve their child custody chances. Pennsylvania parents who struggle with parental alienation would do well to contact their attorneys for advice on how to fight against this unfair tactic.

Source:, "Parental Alienation Latest News & Updates: Why Parental Alienation Is Considered As A Form Of Psychological Abuse And A Criminal Offense", Kristine Walker, July 22, 2016

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