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Family Dispute Affects Parent-Child Relationship

An Irish man faces tough questions about his habit of spying on his wife, and the effect his alleged paranoia may have on his children.

According to court papers, the trouble began when the husband began taking prescription painkillers following an injury. He alleged that his wife stole them; she admits to the theft, but says she only used the medicine to place herself in a semi-catatonic state prior to sexual intercourse. In response, the man allegedly installed CCTV cameras “in every room and crevice” to observe his wife. Furthermore, according to a social worker, the husband’s unfounded abuse allegations against the mother have made their son afraid to speak well of his mother.

The report, which stated that “The son speaks of wanting to kill his mother in order to please his father,” recommends that the husband undergo psychological counselling.

Parental Alienation Syndrome

PAS is basically a sustained campaign by one (alienating) parent to drive a wedge between the other (targeted) parent and the couple’s children. Most temporary and final orders contain language that address overt PAS, like disparaging the other parent in front of the children, hiding them from the targeted parent, or denying court-ordered access.

In most cases, however, PAS is much more subtle, and the alienating parent may not even have the intention to isolate the targeted parent from the children. Some of these behaviors include:

  • Constantly making last-minute changes to the agreed visitation schedule,
  • Scheduling extracurricular activities that interfere with the targeted parent’s visitation,
  • Extended special privileges to the children,
  • Using the children as emotional confidants, and
  • Posting negative comments about the targeted spouse on social media.

Once PAS takes effect, the damage is often irreversible, at least until the children mature.

What to Do

If PAS is an issue, it is normally best to file a motion to modify the existing temporary or permanent orders. Most Collin County judges routinely refer contested custody matters to social workers and/or appoint guardian ad litems. These professionals are more aware of both the symptoms of PAS and the damage that it causes.

Although there are certainly no guarantees, verified PAS allegations often convince judges that the alienating parent is not an effective co-parent, and such a conclusion is often grounds to change custody and/or visitation provisions.

Parents should always be on the lookout for PAS. To obtain prompt assistance in this area, contact an aggressive McKinney divorce attorney. At the Law Office of Bryan D. Perkins, Our main office is conveniently located near Boyd High School.

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