Five Escalating Signs of PAS
Emotional changes in a divorce are usually inevitable and temporary. Parental Alienation Syndrome is different. These emotional changes are neither inevitable nor temporary. The alienating parent, who’s usually the primary residential parent, tries to emotionally separate the child from the targeted parent, who’s usually the non primary parent. Parental kidnapping, which is rare but not unheard of, is the most extreme form of PAS. Other, more common forms are outlined below.
As mentioned, PAS is preventable and permanent. If a Jupiter child custody attorney intervenes early enough, the judge typically modifies the custody order to prevent PAS. That modification could include a custody change. Only such an order prevents the damage that PAS inflicts on a parent-child relationship. This damage is permanent. Sometimes, after children grow up, targeted parents can re-establish relationships with their estranged children. But that’s by no means a given.
The rise of social media has increased the likelihood of these campaigns. Social media has also made it easier for a Jupiter family law attorney to establish such PAS in court.
Most court orders forbid derogatory social media posts and other derogatory comments. Before social media, proving a violation of such an order was a he said, she said affair. But social media posts give attorneys concrete evidence of such violations.
Third-party communications are relevant as well. Parents can say what they want about former partners, at least within reason. But they cannot say or post derogatory remarks if the children might hear or see them.
Weak, Frivolous, and Absurd Rationalizations
Monkey see, monkey do. If a residential parent tears down the other parent, the child quickly jumps on board. Children often have trouble controlling their emotions. So, instead of disliking the targeted parent, they often feel angry toward the targeted parent.
Then, if targeted parents ask children about the reasons for their intense hostility, their explanations are weak. These children may complain about the parent’s eating habits, food preparation, or appearance. They may also make wild accusations that could not possibly be true.
If the alienating parent’s behavior is clearly affecting the child, a Jupiter family law attorney should intervene before things get worse.
This intervention often includes a polite but firm letter from an attorney. Some alienating parents honestly don’t know what they’re doing wrong and simply need correction. Others need to know they’re on a lawyer’s radar and consequences are coming if their behavior doesn’t change.
Complete Alliance With the Alienating Parent
Children believe alienating parents are completely perfect and targeted parents are hopelessly flawed. This presentation is in contrast to the fact that most children have mixed feelings about even the best of parents and can usually talk about each parent as having both good and bad qualities.
Once PAS reaches this stage, the time for a warning shot has passed. Usually an attorney must be more aggressive and file a custody change request. Even if the judge denies that request, the alienating parent usually gets the message and backs off.
The “Independent Thinker” Phenomenon
Until now, PAS has been mostly between the parents and the effects have spilled over onto the children. At this point, PAS directly affects the children.
Even though alienated children appear to be unduly influenced by the alienating parent, they insist the decision to reject the targeted parent is theirs alone. They deny that their feelings about the targeted parent are in any way influenced by the alienating parent and often invoke the concept of free will to describe their decision.
Absence of Guilt About the Treatment of the Targeted Parent
Sadly, at this point, intervention might be useless. Alienated children typically appear rude, ungrateful, spiteful, and cold toward the targeted parent, and they appear to be impervious to feelings of guilt about their harsh treatment. Gratitude for gifts, favors, or child support provided by the targeted parent is nonexistent. Instead, children with advanced parental alienation syndrome try to get whatever they can from the targeted parent, declaring that it is owed to them.
Reach Out to a Hard-Working Palm Beach County Lawyer
Divorce and related matters almost always involve financial and emotional issues. For a free consultation with an experienced Jupiter family law attorney, contact Caroline Olson, P.A. We routinely handle matters throughout the Treasure Coast area.