Information about Parental Alienation

Children are often made collateral damage in a divorce. It is not unusual for one or both parents to ask the children to take sides in a divorce. This can go further, when one parent tries to “turn the child against” the other for some perceived gain. Despite the motivation for this approach, it is never in the child’s best interest to be caught in the middle of a divorce. Although it is not always possible to prevent all negative talk about the other spouse, there are measures that can be taken by an experienced family lawyer that can protect the other spouse from engaging in parental alienation.


Parental alienation can occur when one parent speaks negatively about the other parent or shares with the child the bad things he or she believes the other parent has done. This may have the effect of poisoning the relationship between the child and his parents, but it also creates a situation where the child believes he only has the option of choosing one of the parents. The child may be greatly concerned that if he doesn’t take sides, he will lose both parents.  The parent who is attempting to create the alienation is known as an alienator, and some of the most common signs of parental alienation are as follows:

1. Lack of independent thinking from the child, who imitates the alienator’s thoughts and feelings

2. Destroying mail or presents from the alienated parent

3. Cutting off communication with the alienated parent

4. Insults from the child or shows of disrespect for the alienated parent in front of the alienator

5. Placing the blame for everything that has gone wrong with the child on the alienated parent


Chernoff Law is a family law firm dedicated to fighting parental alienation in the Houston area. When we are contacted by a client who is being subjected to parental alienation, we meet with the client and work out a strategy. We are ready with a range of options depending on the seriousness of the alienation. It can involve orders of protection, restraining orders,  modification of custody, monitored visitation or the appointment of an ad litiem to the child to determine whether alienation is occuring. In extreme cases, the alienator may be barred from visitation.

We have helped many parents effectively fight parental alienation. Contact the firm for a free phone consultation with an experienced attorney at our firm.