What Are the Signs of Parental Alienation Syndrome?

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a disorder in which a child consistently belittles, insults, or otherwise distances themselves from a parent seemingly without reason. This type of disorder can develop in children following the divorce or separation of their parents in reaction to one parent's actions or statements about the other. Children can be manipulated by an alienating parent to reject, fear, and sometimes hate the targeted parent, seeing them as someone who is unworthy of a relationship. While PAS can sometimes be reversed with counseling, unidentified or ignored PAS can worsen can foster lifelong animosity between a child and their parent.

There following are all common warning signs of PAS:

  1. The child sees the alienating parent as good and honest, while the other parent is viewed with animosity: Alienating parents can reinforce and encourage black-and-white mindsets, gradually conditioning a child to harbor contempt and fear for the other parent without remorse.
  2. The child strongly denies being influenced: A telltale sign of PAS is when a child closely mimics accusations and feelings shared by the alienating parent but fervently negates being manipulated by the alienating parent. The child will insist their feelings were manifested on their own without any sort of outside influence.
  3. The negativity extends beyond just the targeted parent: Children afflicted with PAS may begin to foster similar feelings of hate and distrust for the targeted parent's relatives, even if they may have had a previously strong relationship. The child may refuse to visit or contact the other parent's family.
  4. The child has weak or ridiculous reasons for their outbursts: Frivolous, unwarranted, or even delusional reasons may be used by the child as an explanation for their feelings.
  5. The alienating parent is instinctively supported: When conflicts arise involving the alienating parent, the child will side with them no matter how ridiculous or baseless the parent's position may be. The child has no interest in hearing the opposing side's feelings.

Family Law Attorney in Aurora, Illinois

If you believe your child is suffering from PAS and are fearful of how this will affect your right to custody or visitation, it is vital you consult with a knowledgeable child custody attorney as soon as possible. My name is Attorney Michael T. Schulenberg, and I have helped hundreds of clients throughout Aurora solve their various family law issues with my unparalleled commitment and compassionate representation. No matter how complex your situation may be, I am prepared to do everything within my power to help you pursue an amicable solution.

Call (630) 454-4039 or request a free consultation today to review your legal options.