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Children's issues: Dealing with parental alienation

When parents' marriages end in divorce, often children are caught in the middle. When it comes to children's issues in Alberta, although parents are obligated to children's best interests first, there may be times when one parent pits the children against the other.  This may be something that causes parental alienation and which makes custody issues even more tenuous.

Often allegations against one parent are used against the other in family court where many decisions are made regarding child custody. In fact, 20% of these types of cases end up before a family court judge and many of them include allegations of domestic abuse. For decades judges have had to make the distinction between true parental alienation cases and those where child abuse or conjugal violence has actually been taking place.

Judges have the task of sorting through allegations, some of which may be false and some of which have some truth to them. These issues can be financially and emotionally exhausting for the parent who is caught in the middle. Experts say that financial, sexual or emotional abuse is harder to prove than physical abuse.

A lawyer who has experience with children's issues in Alberta may be able to help a client who is caught up in allegations of parental alienation. Separation or divorce of parents can be emotionally disturbing for children at the best of times. When children are caught in the middle, it can be even more so. A lawyer may be able to help a client to move ahead in the next process after reviewing his or her particular case.

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