Parental Alienation Following the Breakdown of a Relationship

Blog article

24th April 2019

Parental Alienation Following the Breakdown of a Relationship

Often when parties separate the children are the main focus and priority. Sadly, whilst the children’s needs and welfare should be paramount to any discussions and agreements regarding their arrangements, this focus can easily be lost in the anger or resentment one parent feels about the reasons for the breakdown in the relationship and the other parent. Both men and women can demonstrate alienating behaviour.

This form of behaviour is now a common issue that those looking after the needs of children see when parents separate or divorce.  Our report highlights that nearly one-third of the adults surveyed had been in a relationship where their partner restricted their daily activities or controlled which members of their family and friends they could have contact with. The growing interest and concern of the Court, Children’s Services and psychologists have bought this important issue to the forefront.

Parental Alienation is when one parent manipulates a child to behave in a hostile or unwarranted way towards the other parent. This could include constantly putting the other parent down in front of the child making them fearful of that parent, to persuading the child to limit the time they spend with the other parent. This form of manipulation is not currently recognised as coercive or controlling within the draft Domestic Abuse Bill but is something IBB’s family practice are keen to highlight as a form of abuse and controlling behaviour. A recent article in The Telegraph in which our report is highlighted discusses this in detail.  There is also clearly the devastating impact this form of manipulation has upon the child.

The court and other professionals have a difficult task of establishing the harm this behaviour has upon the child and the priority of their overall safety, against the importance of trying to maintain healthy relationships with both parents.

The family practice at IBB has experience of dealing with this sensitive and important issue in family breakdowns and disputes. We feel this behaviour must continue to be recognised and further steps made to protect the people involved in such situations to reduce harm and continuing conflict wherever possible.

Contact IBB's family law experts today

IBB Solicitors’ family law practice provides expert advice for high-net-worth individuals in divorce cases involving assets ranging from £2m to £10m; pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreementsco-habitation agreements and pre-civil partnership agreements; and representing children in private law cases in disputes involving parental alienation, contact and residence arrangements following the breakdown of parental relationships. To contact the family law team please email familylaw@ibblaw.co.uk or call 03456 381381.

contact our family law experts today

Needs Dev Kate Ryan


01895 201769