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Parental Alienation a Crime in Texas?
In: Family Law0

Is Parental Alienation a Crime in Texas?

When two people separate or divorce, it’s rarely amicable. With such strong emotions for each other gone awry, there can be a lot of anger, bitterness, and resentment. When those same two people have children, they can lose sight of what’s important and channel that anger and bitterness into the interactions they have with their children. One parent might say bad things about the other or might take actions that put the other parent in a bad light, like intentionally throwing a wrench in plans. They want their children to have the same anger and bitterness toward their former partner as they do.

Unfortunately, when this happens, the only real losers are the children, not the parent who has been badmouthed or put in a bad light. If you can prove that the other parent is engaging in behaviors that are contributing to your children’s alienation toward you, you may be able to win a larger share of custody or to limit the time your children spend with that parent.

Proving parental alienation can be difficult, especially since the American Psychiatric Association does not formally recognize Parental Alienation Syndrome. It is best to consult with an experienced Fort Worth divorce attorney to prove that the other parent is engaging in unacceptable behavior and to show how they are affecting your children and your relationship with them. While the courts do not consider parental alienation a crime, they do take these behaviors very seriously, and they will alter child custody arrangements because of them.

Some of the behaviors that may be considered to be contributing to parental alienation include:

  • Interfering with scheduled visits with the other parent

  • Interfering with contact with the other parent (or failing to support it)

  • Refusing to let the child take possessions to the other parent’s home

  • Making decisions about the child without the input of the other parent

  • Hiding information about the child from the other parent

  • Sharing inappropriate information about the parental relationship with the child

  • Telling the child that the other parent may hurt the child or do inappropriate things

  • Defying the other parent in front of the child or diminishing the other parent’s importance

Many of these behaviors can be hard to prove and hard to show why they are harmful to the child. For example, you may believe the other parent is interfering with visitation, but that parent may argue that he or she is only responding to scheduling demands for work or other commitments. Our firm works to get the necessary evidence to prove the behaviors are intentional and are contributing to parental alienation, including getting digital correspondence, phone records, eyewitness testimony, and more. We also call on experts who can testify to how the behaviors are potentially damaging to your children.

Call the Law Office of Kyle Whitaker to work with a Forth Worth divorce attorney who can help you prove the damaging effects of parental alienation and get a child custody arrangement that is better for you and your children. Call our office at (817) 332-7703 or use our secure online form to schedule a free consultation.