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As a solicitor specialising in children proceedings, I regularly represent children and parents where the words “parental alienation” are constantly mentioned.
These cases are often very complicated and highly emotive for all parties including the children. It usually stems from the children saying or behaving in way which prevents them from having contact with the other parent without real justification. They can also be labelled as intractable contact dispute.
When faced with a case of this nature, whether it is acting for the parents or the children it is imperative to get to the bottom of the underlying reason for the refusal or reluctance to spend time with the other parent. It is imperative that the court determines the facts at an early stage especially when the refusal of contact stems from allegations made either by the parent or the child.
It is no unusual for the resident parent to hide behind what is perceived to be the wishes and feelings of a child whether they are expressed wishes orally to an officer of the court known as Cafcass or through a guardian appointed on behalf of the child.
The weight that should be given to a child’s wishes and feelings is another dynamic which needs to be considered at an early stage and can the child’s refusal or reluctance to attend contact be alleviated by ensuring that the appropriate safeguards are put into place.
Unfortunately in cases where parental alienation is being alleged, the allegations/reason for the refusal contact or the net effect of contact on the child can be so serious that even with safeguards it would not appear on the face of it in the child’s best interests for contact to go ahead. Professionals involved in these types of cases have to regularly conduct a balancing act between continuing to allow the lack of contact to take place and the prospect of forcing the child to have contact, thus further emotionally potentially abusing the child.
So what should you do if you are being accused of alienating the other parent or you are victim, quite simple, instruct a specialist children’s solicitor preferably one who is accredited to represent children in proceedings.
We at Terry Jones Solicitors are experienced in dealing with cases of this nature. Do not delay in seeking legal advice; call us today for an initial 30 minute interview where all options can be explored including your eligibility for legal aid.
Need advice? Email us firstname.lastname@example.org