Parental Alienation Syndrome is most apparent when a child becomes brainwashed as a result of his or her parent's conscious, or unconscious, efforts to turn the child against the other parent, and in combination with the child's own attempts to cut the other parent down. In extreme cases, a child usually won’t want to communicate with or see the alienated parent.
Though it holds little authority in the legal and psychological world, our office believes that Parental Alienation Syndrome, commonly called PAS, should be recognized because it is something we witness frequently, especially when it comes to accusations of criminal sexual conduct that arise during divorce proceedings between parents. Parental Alienation Syndrome mostly rears its head during divorce proceedings and custody disputes, forcing a child to chose to take the side of one parent or another. Mothers, and fathers alike, make accusations of sexual abuse, or even child abuse, without justification just to prevent the child from seeing the "abusing" parent.
Though no allegations of child abuse or child sexual abuse have been mentioned yet, a custody battle in Oakland County showed extreme signs of Parental Alienation Syndrome according to Circuit Court Judge Lisa Gorcyca. Earlier this year in June, Judge Gorcyca had enough of the behavior of a 15-year-old boy involved in a custody dispute. The boy, and his younger brother and sister, were ordered to spend time with their father and maintain a relationship with him. However, at the next court date, the father reported that the children had not spent time with him. The boy said that he had not spent time with his father because he didn't want to because he thought his father was violent and saw him hit his mother. Judge Gorcyca responded that there was no reason for him not to spend time with his father because his father hadn't been charged and convicted of anything, nor was there a PPO against him.
Judge Gorcyca found the children had been "brainwashed.” To read the full story, click here.
Parental Alienation Syndrome can be acute, or very serious as in the circumstance explained above. It is unhealthy for children to experience Parental Alienation Syndrome and the consequences that can come along with it, such as sending an innocent parent to prison for accusations of child abuse or sexual abuse. The Law Offices of Shannon M. Smith is familiar with handling criminal sexual conduct cases and child abuse cases that arise out of custody disputes or divorces. If you our a loved one is facing charges of criminal sexual conduct or child abuse and believe it could be related to Parental Alienation Syndrome, call our office to set up an appointment.