Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation Attorney in San Francisco and Marin County

If a parent in California denies the other parent access to their child, this is known as parental alienation and is not tolerated by courts.

Parental alienation is also known as psychologically manipulating a child into feeling unwarranted fear, hostility, or disrespect toward a parent. This behavior is considered to be a form of psychological abuse and family violence. Unfortunately, parental alienation too often occurs during high-conflict divorces in San Francisco and Marin County.

Is the other parent of your child preventing a healthy relationship with your child? If so, they may be engaging in parental alienation. To combat this issue and get professional help, contact Warren Major LLP today at (415) 286-5440.

What Is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation, put simply, is the act of a parent purposefully pushing their child away from the other parent. While this might not seem like a big deal, minor cases of parental alienation are more common after divorce and separation than most people would think. As such, it’s important for any parent to be aware of this problem.

Parental alienation may be committed when a parent strategically and consistently influences a child by:

  • Making negative statements about the other parent
  • Making up stories and telling lies about the other parent
  • Refusing to let a child see or talk to the other parent
  • Bending or breaking custody guidelines
  • Enticing a child with fun activities to avoid planned visitation or custody
  • Comparing the other parent to a new partner
  • Controlling or restricting all communication with the other parent
  • Keeping secrets and information about the child, his or her activities, etc. from the other parent


These behaviors lobbyist a child’s view of the other parent, making him or her feel fear or contempt toward the other parent. The child may refuse to visit or see the other parent, and tell lies about that parent’s character.

Signs Of Parental Alienation

If you suspect that your ex is trying to alienate you from your children, look for these specific signs. There are consistent patterns between cases of alienation, so if you see these signs, it may be indicative of a problem. Keep detailed records and notes so that you can build a strong case against your ex in court.

The following are potential signs of parental alienation:

  • A child who constantly criticizes an alienated parent likely does so for reasons unknown to the parent and without any specific or concrete evidence.
  • Due to the estrangement from one parent and a strong bond with the other, a child views the former as entirely bad and the latter as exclusively good. There are no concrete justifications for these black-and-white perspectives.
  • A child uses terms and phrases borrowed from adult language when describing an alienated parent’s behavior, acts, or character.
  • The child invents stories about the alienated parent, which are untrue.
  • The child’s feelings of hatred toward the alienated parent extend to that parent’s family, including grandparents, children, a new spouse, or others.


Is Parental Alienation A Crime?

Although parental alienation itself is not incriminating, evidence of it can be used to change custody or visitation in the alienated parent’s favor. However, if a crime is committed while attempting alienation–such as physically harming a child and trying to frame the other parent–this could lead to criminal charges.

What Can I Do If My Ex Is Alienating My Child Or Children?

If you think your ex is trying to distance you from your children or have firm evidence that this is happening, reach out to a lawyer now.

Proving parental alienation might not seem easy, but it is doable. Consult an attorney and get the courts involved as soon as possible to improve your chances. The court may order an evaluation of you, your ex, and your children to better understand what’s happening outside of everyone’s view.

If you have your suspicions, other forms of evidence, such as phone records, supervised visits, emails, and social media posts, can back them up.

If you can provide enough evidence, you may be able to get a custody or visitation order modified and enforced. This way, your relationship with your children does not have to continue its downward spiral. You can also seek professional help. So that both you and your children can cope with the aftereffects of parental alienation. With all of this support, you can begin working toward a brighter and more unified future.

Talk To An Experienced San Francisco and Marin County Divorce Lawyer

The lawyers at Warren Major LLP understand how emotionally trying it is to deal with the aftermath of a divorce, especially when your former partner is trying to turn your children against you. If you believe this might be happening to you in what’s called a “parental alienation” case, please give us a call so we can discuss your situation and offer guidance about what actions are available to help improve the outcome–the sooner, the better.


Warren Major LLP

101 Lucas Valley Road
Suite 362,
San Rafael, CA 94903
United States (US)
Phone: (415) 286-5440


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