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Parental Alienation and Custody

Parental Alienation and Custody

In most child custody cases, children do not spend an equal amount of time with both parents. As a family lawyer, I think this is the unfortunate part of the divorce many families face today, especially small children who often feel they do not spend enough time with mom or dad. Then, parental alienation comes in the picture.

divorcee may influence his or her child against the other parent causing the child a lot of emotional distress. Attorneys dealing with these types of cases find it difficult as a parent may request having sole custody of the child or the child having little contact with the ex-spouse. While some parents’ irresponsible behavior may have provoked these harsh battles, collaboration between parents and focusing on the best interests of the child can be very helpful when developing a child custody plan.


Parents who don’t agree during child custody battles can impact their children in a negative way. According to recent studies, children who have been involved in these battles tend to have more mental and addiction problems. Due to the severe impact parental alienation can have on the children, the court may order a change of custody after they find out that one of the parents is trying to alienate the children.

In some cases, parents can be a bad influence on minor children, therefore, the little contact they may have with them is excused. These cases are generally linked to child abuse, domestic violence, and drug abuse. Parental alienation is quite different. This is when a child rejects a parent with no foundation. In other words, someone is influencing the child negatively against the other parent. Another factor that may contribute to the child’s dislike or rejection of one parent is the family social dynamics.

There are different levels of parental alienation. It all depends on the behavior of both parent and child. A good example of parental alienation is when one parent talks about the other in a disrespectful manner, tries to change child visitation arrangements, says that the child was abandoned by the other parent, and interferes in the child’s relationship with the other divorcee. Family law attorneys know how to effectively navigate these complex cases. They may file a motion for a change of custody based on the magnitude of the alienation.

Get Legal Help

Parents involved in child custody disputes should seek legal assistance and be supportive during this difficult time in their lives. Children as well as divorcees can greatly benefit from mutual cooperation. A family law attorney well versed in child custody matters can explain what your options are and achieve a positive outcome on your behalf. You need someone to help you present to the court your suspicion of parental alienation. Some judges may be ignorant of how parental alienation can impact the child negatively, and your attorney may have to educate them. Your attorney will work along mental health experts who can testify in court and diagnose the problem when necessary.


There are many considerations made when calculating alimony in Utah. The court may consider factors such as the earning ability of each spouse, the financial needs of each party and the length of the marriage; but what about the cost of broken dreams? Can a court put a price tag on something like a failure to have children during marriage? And if they could, should an ex-spouse be reimbursed for the lost shot at parenthood?

That is what one lawyer is trying to find out. He is representing a woman who, at the age of 38, does not want to lose her chance at motherhood. With time running out in terms of her biological ability to conceive, she wants to freeze her eggs. As part of her divorce settlement, she is asking her soon-to-be-ex to pay $20,000 to cover the procedure, as well as related expenses.
The lawyer explains that because the couple had unsuccessfully tried in vitro fertilization several times during the marriage, those fertility treatments should be considered a part of the marital lifestyle and maintained even after divorce.

There are likely to be opinions on both sides of the tracks. On one hand, some believe it may make sense to award alimony for eggs, because losing a chance to have a child while married may be seen as a form of sacrifice. On the other hand, there is the worry that putting a price tag on fertility could lead to putting a price tag on other things, such as the price of a face-lift to make up for lost youth during a marriage. Either way, the outcome of this case will likely affect future divorces, as there has been no state case law on the topic thus far.

Free Consultation with Divorce Lawyer

If you have a question about divorce law or if you need help with a family law case in Utah call Ascent Law at (801) 676-5506. We will help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506