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Parental Alienation: Legal Strategies and Support in Family Law

This blog post takes a look at the unfortunate phenomenon known as parental alienation and discusses the legal strategies and support available within the realm of family law. Parental alienation occurs when a parent undermines or manipulates the relationship between a child and the other parent, often resulting in hostility towards, or the rejection of, the alienated parent. It is a distressing situation that can have long-lasting effects on both the child and the targeted parent. Read on to explore the legal avenues and support systems in place to address parental alienation.

Understanding Parental Alienation

Parental alienation can manifest in various forms, such as denigrating the alienated parent, limiting contact between the child and the targeted parent, or instilling fear and anxiety in the child about spending time with the alienated parent. This behaviour can stem from a variety of factors, including unresolved conflict between the parents, unresolved emotions, or attempts to gain control over the child.

The Role of Family Law

Family law plays a crucial role in addressing parental alienation and safeguarding the child's best interests. Courts recognise the detrimental impact of parental alienation and aim to foster an environment that promotes healthy and meaningful relationships between children and both parents. Some legal strategies employed in cases of parental alienation include:

Court-Ordered Counseling

The court may require the family to undergo therapy or counselling to help address any issues that may be contributing to the situation. This can help restore communication, promote understanding, and provide a safe space for the child to express their feelings.

Parenting Plans

Family law courts often create detailed parenting plans that outline the roles and responsibilities of each parent. These plans can include provisions to prevent further alienation and encourage regular and meaningful contact between the child and both parents.

Mediation and Dispute Resolution

Mediation is used to help resolve conflicts and find mutually agreeable solutions. Trained mediators can assist parents in reaching compromises and developing strategies to counteract parental alienation.

Enforcement Measures

Family law provides mechanisms for enforcing court orders and parenting plans. If one parent consistently obstructs the other parent's access or engages in alienating behaviours, legal consequences may ensue, such as fines, modifications to custody arrangements, or supervised visitation.


Parental alienation is a distressing issue that requires attention and intervention within the legal framework of family law. If you are facing parental alienation, consult with a family law practitioner to explore your options and protect your parental rights.