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Tennessee General Law Blog

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What is Parental Alienation?

Family law courts in Tennessee presume that children benefit most from the presence of both parents in their lives. While many parents agree with that idea even after divorce, some parents attempt to alienate their kids from their ex-spouse.

The Definition of Parental Alienation in Tennessee

If you ask a divorce lawyer, therapist, and psychologist what parental alienation is, you may hear different definitions. From the legal perspective, parental alienation refers to a manipulative process in which one parent turns a child against the other parent.

Tennessee courts recognize parental alienation as a form of mental pressure or abuse, which can affect both the disadvantaged parent and the child.

Examples of Parental Alienation

Some common examples of parental alienation include:

Parental alienation can be a factor when determining child custody and modifying the existing order. While many divorced parents can make their established parenting plan work, others may seek to control the relationship with children through parental alienation. In that case, the disadvantaged parent may have the right to modify the custody order.

How Parental Alienation Affects the Disadvantaged Parent and Children

One parent’s attempts to alienate children from the other parent may make it difficult or impossible for the latter to continue seeing their kids or maintaining a loving relationship with the child.

As for a child who has been deprived of a healthy and loving relationship with one of their parents through a manipulative process, the child is more likely to develop the following problems:

As they grow older, children may develop poor eating habits, substance abuse, poor body image, social identity problems, eating disorders, and other issues as a result of parental alienation.

The Effects of Parental Alienation on Child Custody in TN

When deciding child custody and visitation, Tennessee courts examine 10 factors set forth in T.C.A. 36-6-106. At least three of them can be affected by parental alienation:

Note : The child’s preferences are generally considered by Tennessee’s courts only after the child is 12 or older. However, there may be exceptions.

Regardless of whether you are accused of parental alienation, or you believe that the other parent is turning your kids against you, speak with our Manchester child custody attorney. Reach out to the Law Offices of Burch, Morrison, & Stewart to talk about your options. Call at (931) 954-1066 today.

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