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SMP Law – Parental Alienation Series Part 1

 

The concept of “Alienation” has a grounds for reversing parenting rights has been receiving increasing attention over the last few years. As stated in SMP Law’s post on parental alienation “What is Alienation?”  a common theme of alienation is “a child is expressing extreme negative feelings about a parent that are not supported by their experiences”.  In plain language, this essentially means that one parent is influencing the feelings of the child toward the other parent in a negative way.

Reunification therapy has become a much sought after treatment for parents who feel they have been alienated from their children. Programs such as Family Bridges provides direct treatment, either attending their facility with your child or receiving therapeutic treatment in the community, however, these programs may be difficult for some families to access due to finances, as they tend to be expensive.

An alienated child can be defined as a child who unwarrantedly does not want a relationship with a parent and the child’s behaviour is rewarded by the parent who the child has aligned with. The typical result of this alienation is the child’s disengagement from the alienated parent.  To address this alienation, the alienated parent is usually forced to seek the court’s assistance to obtain a reunification therapy order. In more drastic cases, the courts will remove the parenting rights from the alienating parent and give them  to the alienated parent, if the reunification therapy does not occur.

Prior to making allegations of alienation, one should understand the difference between alienation and realistic estrangement.  SMP Law’s post “What is the Difference between Parental Alienation and Realistic Estrangement” provides some information on the difference between these two terms to help clarify for parents how they might be contributing to the situation, either as the alienated parent or the alienating parent.

In a recent case, the courts refused to order an adult child to attend reconciliation therapy with her mother, stating that it was unlikely the adult child would make any real effort or comply with the order. It is important to note that in this case the child was deemed an adult and the issue had been going on for four years. In my opinion, this case confirms the message that if you feel you are being alienated, the best thing to do for you and your child is for you to act quickly in and effort to have the issue resolved in a timely manner, as waiting will be detrimental to your child and your case.

SMP Law is always here to help SiMPlify your legal matter and answer any of your questions. Contact us anytime at SMP Law to help SiMPlify your legal matter at 905-565-9494 or email info@smplaw.ca if you have any questions or would like to book an appointment to meet and discuss your situation and how we can help.

 

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