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How parental alienation can affect custody

While some Alaska couples are able to work together to parent their child following a divorce, other custody disputes do not go so smoothly. In some cases, a parent may make an accusation against the other parent, claiming that the other parent is abusive. There are high stakes when these types of claims are made. An innocent parent could potentially lose custody or the child could end up under the care of a parent who truly is abusive.

Determining whether a child's claim that a parent is abusive can be difficult. The concept of "parental alienation" is where a parent turns the child against the other parent through constant comments about the other parent's flaws. Children who become alienated tend to pull away from the other parent. They may even fail to hold positive thoughts about the other parent. If the alienation is extreme enough, the child could potentially make claims of child abuse against the other parent.

The problem with this concept is that judges may reject child abuse allegations due to the assumption that the child was brainwashed. In fact, if parents make an abuse allegation and the judge does not believe them, they could lose custody altogether if there is no strong evidence. Several organizations such as The Women's Coalition and Safe Kids International work to raise awareness about child abuse allegations.

When a custody dispute arises during a divorce, there is a possibility that abuse claims or claims of parental alienation may occur. If there is no evidence of abuse, the parent making the allegation could lose custody. A family law attorney might assist the parent by providing evidence that the claims were truthful.

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