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How parental alienation can affect child custody cases

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2021 | Family Law |

Parental alienation can be ugly and used by one parent to try to prevent the other from seeing the children by making false claims often in connection with alleged abuse. Family courts in Florida often recognize parental alienation syndrome and use it to determine child custody outcomes. Vengeance of one former spouse against the other by making potentially harmful and untrue assertions typically doesn’t bode well for that parent in front of a family court judge. 

The fallout of false claims 

A Department of Justice study based on data collected between 2005-2014 found mothers are more apt to lose custody of their kids if they tell the court the father was abusive, while the father claims the assertions are false and tantamount to parental alienation. However, this study also showed that 13% of mothers were likely to lose custody of their kids even when the allegations of abuse were proven. On the other hand, when fathers accused the mother of their children of abuse, the chance of them losing custody was only 4%.  

No place for revenge 

When cases did not involve abuse, results were similar across genders when a parent convinced a judge the other parent was guilty of alienation. In any case, there is no place for revenge when sorting out child custody particulars. Parental alienation can have harmful effects on children and is counterproductive to what is in their best interests. 

Although family court judges in Florida tend to favor shared child custody, it could prove difficult when there is credible evidence that one parent has abused the children. A divorce attorney who specializes in child custody cases may be able to help a parent to present his or her case in court to help protect the children. If abuse happens during scheduled parenting time, a lawyer may also be able to help a parent with a post- divorce modification to a custody agreement.