Leena Yousefi specializes in custody cases with a distinct focus on Child Alienation. This subject is extremely alarming and painful for many parents, and quite complicated. If your child is being alienated, it is very important that you detect and report it at the very beginning stages of alienation so you can save your child from permanent emotional damage.
What is Child Alienation?
One of the most alarming and perhaps under-acknowledged custody issues is child alienation in BC Family Law. Although recently the courts have started to pay more attention to this issue, it is one of the most damaging aspects of childhood and can harm and destroy children.
In the 1970s, psychologists started to acknowledge and name a phenomenon they saw regularly in divorce cases. The issue was not given as much weight as it should have been given so a psychologist started to call it a syndrome under which children unreasonably sided with one parent to the exclusion or hatred of the other parent for no specific purpose or good reason.
Alienation in Older Children
Alienation is most commonly detected in children who are teenagers and clearly express opinions of the alienated parent and act as a ‘caregiver’ to alienating parent. The alienating parent usually asks the child to ‘choose’ between the two parents, clouds the child’s mind with negative thoughts and opinions about the other parent and sometimes even goes as far as brainwashing the child and threatening to abandon the child if the child decides to have a loving relationship with the alienated parent.
Alienation in Younger Children
More alarming are BC cases of child alienation for younger children or children under 10 years old. In these cases, the alienating parent usually either abducts the child or alleges sexual abuse against the other parent. This is because younger children are not able to properly express opinions. They live in the moment and cannot copy or repeat what the alienating parent says continuously. Young children naturally love back those who love them. It is difficult for them to express hate if they really do not hate.
Therefore the alienating parent will allege sexual abuse of the child to ensure the other parent does not see the child, and at the same time brainwashes the child in to thinking he or he was actually sexually abused. In other cases, the alienating parent just flees with the child to ensure the child’s parent does not get to find or see the child.
Steps to Take When You Detect Alienation
- Talk to your child and continuously tell him/her you love him/her. Do not talk with him/her about being alienated
- Immediately see a lawyer to come up with a quick strategy to make sure you take over the custody of your child and shield him/her from alienation
- Hire a psychologist to do a s.211 report and report to the Court whether your spouse is engaged in alienation
- Immediately take your child to counselling or seek a court order for counselling to stop brainwashing and damage on the child.
Parental alienation cases are extremely difficult, time consuming and need the utmost strategy, care and expert advice on how to bring them to an end and save the child in a timely manner. Sometimes, if the case goes on for too long or the alienated parent does not take action soon, the court might actually find alienation and still let the child stay with the alienating parent because the change might negatively impact the child and make him/her hate the alienated parent even more.
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