16225 Park Ten Place, Houston, TX 77084

English | En español

Call Us832-919-6400

The Foray Firm

What is Parental Alienation?  

Posted on in Family Law

Houston Child Custody LawyerAny divorced or unmarried parents in a co-parenting relationship can tell you how difficult co-parenting can be. Unfortunately, some parents use their children to get back at their ex. In extreme cases, this may escalate into parental alienation. Parental alienation occurs when a parent tries to turn a child against the other parent. For example, the parent may tell the child that the other parent does not love or care about him or her, withhold parenting time, or intentionally violate the custody agreement.

Parents May Try to Manipulate a Child to Gain an Advantage in a Child Custody Case

Parental alienation is most commonly seen in contentious child custody or divorce cases. Essentially, a parent tries to alienate the child from the other parent by damaging the parent-child relationship. The parent may say disparaging things about the other parent, punish the child for having feelings of love or admiration for the other parent, or force the child to take sides in an adult dispute. Parents engaged in parental alienation may also intentionally sabotage the other parent's parenting time by scheduling extracurricular activities or play dates during the other parent’s parenting time.

As you can imagine, parental alienation is extremely harmful to children. Most child experts consider parental alienation to be a form of emotional and psychological abuse. While it is understandable that there can be feelings of resentment between parents who used to be in a relationship, parental alienation is unacceptable and judges do not look favorably upon parents who sabotage their child's relationship with the other parent.


Fort Bend Emergency Custody of a Child LawyerWhen a parent is worried about the safety of their child, nothing is more important to them than getting the child to a safe place. If a parent shares physical custody or "possession" of a child with another parent, they are typically expected to follow the custody plan. However, if circumstances warrant it, a parent may get emergency custody of a child. An emergency custody order gives a parent immediate custody of a child without needing to go through the motions of requesting a child custody modification via the usual route.

When Does a Situation Necessitate an Emergency Custody Order?

The courts seek to preserve the current custody arrangement unless there is a strong reason to deviate from the arrangement, so emergency custody orders are not granted lightly. Texas law states that a temporary emergency order may be issued if the child's current situation would "significantly impair the child’s physical health or emotional development.” Generally speaking, an emergency custody order is appropriate when one of the following situations exists:

  • The child is in imminent danger from abuse or neglect.


Orland Park Parenting Plan LawyerWhether you are an unmarried parent or a married parent considering a divorce, child custody arrangements may be at the top of your mind. It can be difficult to find a parenting plan that works for both parents - especially if one parent is less than cooperative.

Your parenting plan will contain crucial information about the allocation of parenting time and decision-making authority. As you develop your parenting plan, make sure you do not overlook the following key issues.

Parenting Time Schedules on Holidays and Special Events

When you and your co-parent decide on the parenting plan, make sure to put agreements in writing regarding holidays and special events. This is an issue that frequently causes disagreements among co-parents and extended relatives. For example, if a father typically gets the children Sunday through Thursday, does this mean that he always has the children for Easter since Easter is always on a Sunday? It may be best to create a separate parenting time plan for these special days. For example, you may decide to alternate who has physical custody of the children on holidays, birthdays, and other special occasions.


Fort Bend Child Support LawyerIf you are a single parent, you know just how difficult it can be to make ends meet. Child-related expenses like medical bills, daycare costs, and education can really add up. This is why the state of Texas often requires parents to provide child support to the other parent.

If you are carrying the costs of raising your child all on your own, you may be tempted to work out an informal child support arrangement with your child's other parent. For example, you may ask the other parent to give you $200 from each paycheck or to help contribute to the child's medical costs.

However, it is important to understand that informal arrangements can be unreliable and difficult to enforce if the other parent decides not to comply. It is highly recommended that those seeking child support have a formal and legally binding order in place.


Sugarland adoption attorney

Deciding to adopt a child is life-changing for both you and your future child. Your family grows in size, and you can learn from your new child’s background and life experiences. Many adoptive parents already have an “adoption plan” in their head when they decide to take this journey. They may have an idea of the preferred gender, race, or birth location of their new family member. However, it is still important to research the different types of adoption before deciding which one is best for you. In some cases, finances and convenience take priority, while in others, adopting from a particular culture may play a bigger role. Regardless, future parents should put their preconceived notions aside and explore every avenue available to them before committing to one type of adoption over another.

The Different Types of Adoption

Various types of adoption are available to those who wish to expand their family in this manner. Many people have a general understanding of the different types of adoption, but some may not recognize the different benefits that come with each one.

state bar of texas The National Bar Association AILA Fort Bend County HLA
Back to Top