Parental Alienation Syndrome: An International Issue

Illinios divorce attorney, Illinois family law attorney, PAS, visitation rights, Divided families in Aurora are certainly not the only ones that have problems adjusting to divorce. In Turkey, hundreds of men have come forward, complaining about the unfair treatment they supposedly received in that country’s version of family courts. Most of their objections centered around high alimony payments and procedural barriers. Turkish families are in transition. The divorce rate has increased 38 percent in the last decade. Men, women, children and judges are all struggling to keep up. One of the issues many divorce parents struggle with worldwide is Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS).

Parental Alienation Syndrome

The Turkish dads also told horror stories about women who poisoned the relationships between father and children, or even refused to let dads see their kids. PAS is present in up to 15 percent of divorce cases, and both men and women are equally guilty. Psychologist Richard Gardner coined the term in the 1980s, and the New York native published a number of books and papers on the subject before his death in 2003. His findings were controversial then, and remain so to this day.

Many parents, especially in high-conflict divorces, create an environment which encourages children to “choose” between one parent or the other. Some symptoms of PAS may include:

  • Preferential Treatment: Mom may give a child his or her own room, or Dad may give a child a later curfew.
  • Altered Relationship: Some parents may abandon the traditional parent-child dynamic and elevate a child to spousal status. Instead of “brush your teeth, clean your room and do your homework,” the spouse may use a child as an emotional confidant.
  • Disparaging Remarks: Dad may complain about Mom’s behavior during a recent visit, or Mom may chastise Dad for not keeping up with his support payments. The objections may or may not be valid, but either way, the children do not need to hear them.
  • Roadblocks: Mom may allow a child to attend a friend’s sleepover on Dad’s weekend, or Dad may plan a Spring Break camping trip with the children when Mom is supposed to have the children that week.
  • Make A Choice: In extreme cases, a parent may ask a child outright “whose side are you on?”

Unchecked PAS can result in self-hatred, low self-esteem, depression, and substance abuse. Therefore, some professionals consider extreme PAS a form of child abuse.

Once these symptoms appear, the damage may have already been done, so talk to your attorney straightaway if there is any sign of PAS. For a free consultation with experienced Naperville child custody lawyers, contact Matthew M. Williams, P.C. We have successfully handles thousands of family law cases.

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