Is Parental Alienation a Criminal Offense In Texas?
Parental alienation is a bigger problem than you may realize: Those who work in the mental health professions report hearing concerns from parents and extended family members over a child’s grief and their own frustrations regarding one parent deliberately working to isolate that child from the other parent and/or their family members every single day.
Here, we discuss some of the signs that parental alienation may be occurring. Other signs include any behavior that could indicate that your child is trying to demonstrate loyalty to the other parent, such as destroying gifts that you send to them, becoming unusually defensive of the other parent and/or hostile towards your family members, or making outrageous claims about neglect or abuse by you, etc.
Understandably, many express concerns that severely alienated children may never reconnect with the parents from whom they’ve been distanced, or recover from that alienation. However, there are means of combating the problem; however, it is crucial that you act quickly to address it. Below, we discuss this in greater detail.
Parental Alienation Is Child Abuse
Some experts have recognized parental alienation as a serious form of child abuse—alongside child neglect and physical abuse—and should thus be a child protection concern to the authorities. Although the consequences of parental alienation have not been formally codified into a specific mental or psychological disorder, still, courts have the authority to act and involve psychologists in instances of suspected parental alienation.
How to Address Parental Alienation In Terms Of Child Custody
Not only can parental alienation affect a custody agreement, but it also arguably warrants re-visiting an existing custody agreement. Although it is not technically considered to be a criminal offense, the courts can and will get others involved, such as forensic psychologists, facilitators, and/or guardians ad litem to evaluate the child’s circumstances under the alienating parent’s care.
This is because all family courts are concerned with what is in the best interests of the child, and parental alienation can credibly be argued as detrimental to the child involved. Part of this law dictates that it is a public policy of states like Texas to ensure that the child has a safe, stable, and nonviolent environment.
Thus, if you suspect that parental alienation is occurring, the most important step you can take is to work with your attorney to establish this with mental health experts who can analyze the situation and seek redress from the courts, whether that be through your custody agreement and/or intervention through, for example, a parental coordinator.
Speak With Experienced Texas Custody Attorneys Today
If you are concerned that your child’s parent is alienating or otherwise abusing the child, you should take this call to action seriously. This is an example of abuse that can have increasingly devastating effects the longer it goes on.
At Scott M. Brown and Associates, we can help ensure that the problem is attacked head-on. Contact one of our offices in Angleton, Houston, or Pearland today and find out how we can help.