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Is parental alienation a form of abuse?

Texas parents often struggle to adjust to life in the aftermath of a divorce. After all, you must juggle your own personal issues on top of handling your child. This period of adjustment behaves as a crucial link between your pre and post-divorce life. 

Unfortunately, some people are callous enough to take advantage of this situation. In a time when everything is uncertain, your ex-spouse may try to poison your child against you. This is just the tip of the iceberg with parental alienation. 

How parental alienation happens

Healthline discusses parental alienation and parental alienation syndrome (PAS). Parental alienation occurs when one parent – the alienating parent – works to turn their child against their ex-spouse. If you are the alienated parent, you may find your child resisting spending time with you. This often happens in a jarring, sudden way and your child cannot offer explanations when pressed about the change. 

Trauma and lasting effects your child may struggle with

Children can suffer from mild, moderate or severe forms of PAS. Many of these children grow up to have prolonged mental health struggles. They cannot stay in relationships for long due to trust issues. They struggle to bond with their peers. They may also struggle with issues like depression and anxiety. 

This is due to the trauma parental alienation can cause. Some courts classify parental alienation as a form of child psychological abuse. This is because the manipulation tactics used against them often leave lasting scars. For example, your child may forever feel guilty for turning against you at the behest of the alienating parent. They may even recognize manipulation even if they cannot defend themselves against it. 

Understandably, you do not want to suffer through parental alienation. Nor do you want your child to struggle with the effects for years to come. For this reason, people in your position may consider taking the case to court.