Often times, the hostility between parents creates an uncomfortable environment while the family is going through the throes of separation. This environment may be conveyed, unwittingly, by either parent, making the child uncomfortable. It also may result in the child becoming polarized in avoiding a parent. Even though this may not be deliberate, the offended parent often accuses the other parent of deliberate “parental alienation.” This unintentional result gives rise to more difficulties and stressors for the child, and lengthens the litigation unnecessarily.
There are some instances where a custodial parent will deliberately alienate a child to such an extent that the child refuses to see the non-custodial parent. In some rare and extreme circumstances, this may be a desired outcome for the sole purpose of protecting the child. However, in the overwhelming majority of cases, the courts not only frown upon this conduct, but if need be, will forcefully intervene and compel visitation. The Judiciary is very sensitive to any conduct by either parent that would adversely affect the child. Thus, parental alienation should be avoided at all costs either in or out of the courthouse.
If such parental alienation occurs and the court finds it is unwarranted, such conduct by that parent would certainly polarize the Judge into rendering further adverse inferences to that offending parent. Parental alienation, as a practical rule, should be avoided if at all possible.