The first thing to remember is that every family is different and there are different dynamics of each case.
During Court proceedings, the Court will have regard to the child’s ascertainable wishes and feelings but whilst also considering the child’s age and understanding.
Whilst it is important that the Court take into account the child’s wishes and feelings, this does not necessarily mean that the child’s wishes and feelings genuinely reflect their best interests.
In parental alienation cases, the Court and any other experts involved have to be prepared to override the child’s wishes and feeling in order to meet the child’s needs, otherwise the child’s “wishes and feelings” will align themselves with the parent they most gear or the parent they regard as most unstable.
In fact, placing this burden on a child who is experiencing parental alienation may cause them greater harm with the fear of upsetting the parent who is causing the parental alienation.
Whilst parental alienation is fairly new within case law, there are recent cases whereby Judges have picked up on parental alienation and the devastating effects that it can have on a child, even recognising parental alienation as a syndrome.
In the case of Re H (Children), Lady Justice Parker made it known that the emotional harm of a child through parental alienation is substantial:
“Parents who obstruct a relationship with the other parent are inflicting untold damage on their children and it is, in my view, about time that professionals truly understood this”
As mentioned in my recent article on parental alienation, there are measures in place to test whether parental alienation exists and which includes testing those who are coercive and may try to manipulate the child’s true wishes and feelings.
If you have any concerns in relation to parental alienation, you should seek advice as soon as possible to ensure that the situation does not worsen.
The information provided in this article is not intended to constitute legal advice and you should take full and comprehensive legal advice on your individual circumstances by a fully qualified Solicitor before you embark on any course of action.
Penn Chambers Solicitors
0207 183 4595