In some cases, parents in North Carolina who are going through a divorce wind up projecting their own feelings about their former partners onto their children, and when this happens repeatedly, it can potentially constitute something known as “parental alienation syndrome.” At Parsons Law, P.A., we recognize that, while the parent working to alienate a shared child from the other parent may wish to hurt his or her former partner by doing so, it is often that shared child who winds up suffering the most.

According to Psychology Today, children of divorce typically fare best when both parents maintain an active presence in their lives after divorce, but parental alienation tactics can make this increasingly difficult. More specifically, if one parent repeatedly attempts to encourage or foster a shared child’s rejection of the other parent, it can harm not just the relationship between parent and child, but also the child’s emotional development and mental health.

In fact, most experts on the topic of parental alienation syndrome now agree that one parent’s attempts to turn a child against the other parent is actually a type of child abuse. Parental alienation tactics, which can include anything from speaking ill of the other parent in front of the child to refusing to allow the child to communicate with the other parent, can lead to a wealth of negative effects that can continue long past childhood.

For instance, research shows that children who experienced parental alienation tactics during youth often grow up to have trouble developing healthy and lasting relationships of their own. Children raised under these circumstances are also more likely to have drug or alcohol abuse issues, low self-esteem, depression and trust issues. You can find more about child custody and related matters on our webpage.