Divorce proceedings could turn out very difficult for all involved. Not only do the spouses potentially go through significant stress, but the situation may negatively affect any children at the center of child custody matters. Sadly, the two spouses might have a great deal of ill will toward one another. Here, the possibility arises that a child could suffer from parental alienation syndrome, and the effects may be long-lasting.
Parental alienation and its forms
When one spouse harbors anger and resentment against another, that spouse could attempt to create horrible impressions about the other spouse in a child’s eyes. Lying about the other parent, such as telling a child that the other parent doesn’t wish to see the child, could instill hostilities in a young one.
Childhood alienation could come from a misguided two-pronged harmful approach if both parents attempt to create negative impressions about the other in a child’s eyes. The potential for psychological damage here might be immense.
A parent might even cause alienation inadvertently. One parent may continually complain to the child about the other parent and bring up issues that led to the divorce. Repeatedly venting to the child and using him or her like a soundboard to complain about another parent’s excess spending or poor business decisions might not explicitly state that the parent doesn’t love the child, but doing so may alter the child’s perceptions.
The effects of parental alienation
Parental alienation syndrome does not appear as a recognized disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Still, its impact on a child could lead to psychological conditions, such as anxiety, depression and more. The effect of parental alienation might carry for many years, possibly hurting the relationship between the parent and the child for decades.
Parental alienation syndrome could occur during a bitter divorce. A parent who feels that the other parent engages in alienating behavior may wish to bring the matter up with a family law attorney. The attorney might approach the courts to find a possible solution, such as seeking sole custody.