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Ex Partners and Parental Alienation Syndrome

By: Additional Article - Updated: 13 Oct 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Divorce Children Parental Alienation

At its heart, Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is where one parents attempts to turn the children against the other parent. Where divorces are less than amicable, it’s sadly not uncommon, and generally used by mothers in an attempt to ensure little or no contact between their exes and children.

Done subtly, it can be hard to prove, and at its worst it can produce Allegations Of Child Abuse Against The Fathers. Even when not pressed to those extremes, it causes anguish for thousands of men (which isn’t to say fathers haven’t used it against mothers, but in general it’s mothers who are the perpetrators).In court the result can be devastating, resulting in minimal or no contact for fathers.

How it Works

PAS is a kind of brainwashing. If the parent with custody can convince the child that he or she doesn’t want anything to do with the father, that carries weight in court, since one of the factors taken into account regarding contact is the wishes of the child. For obvious reasons, it works better with younger children, who are more easily swayed and subject to emotional pressures. In difficult situations, they naturally want to please the parent they’re with.

It can happen for any number of reasons, from fear of losing the children to the other parent to revenge. Sometimes trying to establish the root cause can be impossible.

Is it Legal?

If it could be proven that a parent had used PAS, there could be legal repercussions. In practice, however, establishing that can very difficult. Using it on a child is a form of abuse in medical terms, and legally it becomes a type of coaching, both of which are illegal.

What would tend to happen, though, is that the custodial parent’s assertions of the child’s wishes would end up being ignored when it came to contact. A few courts might order family therapy, but would be unlikely to prosecute beyond that. That said, authorities do recognise it happens.

What Can the Victim do?

For the victim, generally the father, to prove PAS is very difficult. You’ll need a good solicitor, a Child Welfare Officer who’s willing to go beyond the surface to investigate your side of the story, and the willingness to pursue this, probably at County Court level, which means expense.

You’ll need extensive notes on conversations with the other parent, a diary of time spent with the children, and their excuses for not spending time with you. Note instances where the other parent has gone to schools or clubs to say you should have no contact with your children there (if that has happened), or if the other parent has stopped the child communicating with other members of your family.

The stronger the body of evidence you can build, the greater your chances of proving PAS and re-establishing contact. The problem, though, is that eventually the children can believe it really is their wish not to see you.

Where there is a contact order, try to make sure you see your kids. It keeps a line open, and acts as assurance that they don’t really hate you. It also opens the door for more contact. If it’s possible to Keep Communication With The Mother – which in many cases it won’t be – then do so; minds can change, and it all becomes more ammunition if you have to go to court.

Divorce Resource

This article is taken from our sister site: www.DivorceResource.co.uk. For more information on access rights, child support and looking after your dependants following a split, take a look at this section on divorce resource.

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

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Me a ex were having an amicable agreement ,I'd have my son every weekend so she could go to work.on last weekend visit 4 weeks ago .I found out she was with another ignoring calls from me to speak to her 3 yr old son as he was I'll.it all blew up I chased other guy. Kept my son for extra day.now she's refusing me access not telling me anything about him totally shut.i know I kept him without permission but I sent pics texts every couple hrs.so she didn't wory.i feel I've played right into her hands and I'll lose him forever.i honesty believed keeping him was right if she's willing to something else before our son!?!..were about to start mediation But think she's only interested in ticking box on c100 form.have no idea wat to do!? Do know if iam being alienated, pushed out son's life.cant prove any of it.hes only 3 the little fella will forget me. Just some advice please .
Charlie's angels - 13-Oct-19 @ 4:14 PM
I note you don’t accept comments from women, however my attempts to communicate on this forum regarding parental alienation & spousal abuse have been ignored. This is discrimination. Why are men given so much support but there is no obvious support for women. This is discrimination & unlawful. As you are refusing to support me due to my gender & all the websites relating to this abuse are aimed at supporting men, perhaps you can provide details of an organisation who supports WOMEN.
Ju - 28-Aug-19 @ 8:17 PM
In 2 occasions my comment has been removed. No surprise, my view is not valid or believed. 48 years no one has helped me, why should I expect you to be any different. It’s ok for people to abuse me. I deserve it. Continue your good work to support everyone else.
Ju - 27-Aug-19 @ 11:33 AM
So years ago I was married to a girl when I was 19 we end up getting it annulled because she cheated and then I moved away and she was pregnant is she got pregnant around the time she began to cheat so she wasn't aware or she wasn't sure who the father was her and the gentleman she cheated on me with ended up being together for many years she tells me she has miscarriage so I'm under the impression I don't have a daughter then I've been told that I do have a daughter and I go out there to see her when she was a baby her mother only allow me to see her for one day when I was out there for 5 days in Colorado after that visit her mother ended all communication with me again and I was paying child support but I couldn't find or check the mother down need to establish custody or to try to gain some visitation at that time I was still young and financially it didn't have the means to be able to provide for myself and my new young family and also fight a court battle in a state across the country throughout the years I would try to reach out to her mother via social media try to get some type of connection or establish connection with my daughter and her mother would constantly deny each one of my requests 2 years back my daughter's mother reached out to me and tells me that she has told my daughter that the man she believes is her father is not her father it was kind of a important at that time because my daughter is like me very fair-skinned and her siblings are very dark skin cuz their father was African American and she was wondering why her complexion didn't match theirs so fast forward until now what's my daughter and I had re-established connection her mother again cut out communication I didn't know where they live they changed the numbers I didn't know how to get ahold of them or even what city to look them up in so yeah and I just been waiting hopefully hoping that one day I would hear from my daughter again recently last year to be exact my daughter's mother reached out to me telling me that they want me to sign over my parental rights so that the man that has been raising her could adopt her. my daughter wants his name on the birth certificate since he was the one that's been raising her and then all the sudden I didn't hear from him for a year until today when they once again asked me my daughter asked me if I would sign over my rights. No I totally feel like this is parent alienation syndrome I've been denied the right to be a parent to my daughter her entire life. I feel very torn about this decision that I must make soon part of me Chase give her what she want if this is your daughter's wish give her what she wants. But then I see it as me saying to her yeah sure whatever you're not that important to me anyway so y'all just signed you away and that's not how I feel at all. the other part of me saying that if I don't sign my rights away and I say no I don't want to I want to have relationship with you I don't want t
glawrence - 14-Aug-19 @ 2:25 AM
So bit of a long story really, my ex and i separated in April because of his disgusting behaviours, anyhoo we had a disagreement and police were called the following day he went and made other alligations, police came arrested myself and left my child with him, Social Serviceswere called and then placed my child on a Child Protection Plan. Now im fighting to get my child back.Has anyone ever been through this that can help. Thank you x
Desperate mum - 6-Aug-19 @ 12:10 AM
My ex and his family try to do this to me all the time. Luckily my kids are getting older and see it for what it is. My problem is a little different in that they started to get upset having been around there and not wanting to go. I would never and will never stop him from seeing them as the relationship is important. I was fed up of forcing them to go so I sat down and asked them what the problem was. I then called ex husband and told him. I merely suggested a few changes he could make to make it better or I could see a point where they wouldn't want to go there at all. He shouted and screamed at me to mind my own business, it's nothing to do with me and even suggested I was trying to ruin his relationship with his new partner. He told me the kids had to accept he has a new family and they have to lump it. (This was not the issue). Then he cut me off altogether. He now makes arrangements without my knowledge and the first I hear is when his car is outside and they go off. He basically treats me like I don't exist. He only ever takes them for fun days out. Never does the mum dad taxi thing, listens to their emotional issues. He is now stopping maintenance because he is taking them on holiday for a week. I feel he is still controlling everything even though we are not together. Am I wrong?
Helly - 30-Jul-19 @ 11:22 AM
I am feeling the effects and understand your pain Ally.I attempted suicide three weeks ago after a sudden alienation of my 12 year old son.I was married to his father for 17 years he was controlling and emotionally abusive. I tried to leave him on multiple occasions. He convinced me that I ‘ pushed his buttons!’I divorced him 7 years ago and am not happy with a loving new partner. I road has been tough and my ex has dragged me back and forth to court over finances.I settled on the minimum in the hope that he would leave me alone however this hasn’t happened.I have two older children age 21 and 17 , both boys.They all get on well with my new partner who they consider as there step dad.We had a religious blessing ceremony two years ago ( after my new partner had a diagnosed long term serious health condition.It was a beautiful day that my boys and family and friends loved.My ex has repeatedly told my youngest son not to take any notice of my partner and that he will never be his step dad.While my older boys where around during there weekend visits we just about kept on top of this emotional manipulation however my sons behaviour dramatically deteriorated two months ago when his brother left to go to college.He has now said he hates my partner and wants to live with his father.My ex ( his father has limited phone contact and totally brainwashed him.I have texts and emails to say he is cross and angry with me.My son came out as gay before Christmas last year and his father is homophobic . My son is aware of this and has been subject the negative comments.My ex husband told my son that if he ‘ had evidence of him poncing ‘about then he would take me to court to stop being able to take him to Musical Theatre classes.My partner and I have always support my son and his creativity and preferences and encouraged him to be himself.My son has expressed to both my partner and I that he wanted his father to accept him for who he is.We have encouraged him to maintain contact a keep up visits dispite some difficult times.I know wish I hadn’t as the situation has been turned on us and I have lost my son. I am so concerned for his mental and emotional wellbeing as I know he will have to mask his true personality. My ex husband is so controlling.I have evidence that this is financially motivated . My ex told me he would ruin my life and me financially when I told him I wanted a divorce.On the last contact I had with him when attempting to talk to my son he told me I should wake up and take responsibility for my actions and reminded me that I was still living in the marital home. ( I worked really hard in a job I hated to remortgage the house to pay him half of what I owe him . The court agreement was until youngest child was 18.He has done this to stop child maintenance and force me out of our home .He has no care for me only hatred.He has shown no thought at all for my extreme upset.My sons school and social servic
Fay - 12-Jun-19 @ 6:44 PM
I lived with domestic violence, mental abuse and coercive control for 40 years at the hands of my husband, the situation became serious that I had to leave, I left July 2018 my 15yr old son and 13yr old Daughter had already being brainwashed by their narcissistic, abusive father in preparation for a split knowing I couldn't. exist like this for much longer. He has since controlled, isolated them from me, their 2 older brothers 2 nieces and 2 nephews, this is serious abuse but the system has let my kids down, they say because of the ages of the kids and they are saying they dont want contact with me or their brothers, that the court has to listen to them. The judge did say that this WAS parental alienation and said it was extremely distressing but failed to do anyting about it..........THIS SYSTEM IS FAILING OUR KIDS!!!!! heartbroken mother.........Ally
Ally - 12-Jun-19 @ 3:36 PM
I think my son's dad is trying to alienate my son, my son's not allowed to speak about me y he's in his care and my son doesn't dare he says it makes daddy mad, he's got a folder of everything that has happened and all conversations that he's told my son when he's old enuf he will see how stupid I am, he's now saying my son wants to live with him and that there must be something going on at home for my son not to want to come bk to me, yet we have no problems at home and my son is perfectly happy iv got to the point I don't no what to do Can anyone help at all please
Hi - 29-Apr-19 @ 6:37 PM
My said something to me once she said I feel sorry and now I just pity you because she kicked me out off my (own place bye police )and I had to say at her boyfriends place there was a (brawl that night )my father and best mate was right about her I should have (listened).the thing is I feel sorry for her and pity her that’s gods truth she is a messed up person the whole family can’t stand her .now remove my surname she won’t (what a loser )and her (big bad men )won’t come and sort me out (come on big fella I heard you want to rip my jaw off )ha ha you have my address twinkle toes (how does it feel paying for my leftovers my scraps ha ha ).i bet he is not that bright ?
Chris - 5-Mar-19 @ 12:27 AM
Hi just reading this now my partner suffered terrible with his ex partner who is sorry to say it a complete horrible nutter who has used 2 children and wrecked thier lives, she cheated on my partner and then when he left told the young children he left to be with me which is untrue, she stopped him seeing the children and would phone and say give me more money and i will let you see the kids, we ended up going to court but she had a solicitor which we couldnt afford at the time she then later done a runner without paying him but thats another story, the courts and cafcass are against dads they from the start made massive mistakes in reports and had to be replaced by other workers whilst all the time the mother was alienating the kids, the lies that where told where beyond belief eventually my partner got contact for one day an night but was hard as kids came with an attitude from the mother took hours to get them to be normal then we would have a great day an leave on a high note then have to repeat the week later my partner would drop them at school she would send them with dirty uniforms an shoes an without homework etc she eventually wore my partner down to a mental breakdown he ended up on anti depressants, 9 years on we have our own family together but she is still using the kids who are now in 20s and late teens messaging treatening etc its pathetic really shes done her damage shes got what she wants wish she would jst move on with her life an same goes for the grown up Kids now they need to grow up they have made their decisions now although always bought things up until last christmas still the vile comments come how badly done to they are still coming from the mother through the kids. People please think before mentally abusing your children and using them as weapons
Happy life - 4-Mar-19 @ 9:21 PM
Hi just reading this now my partner suffered terrible with his ex partner who is sorry to say it a complete horrible nutter who has used 2 children and wrecked thier lives, she cheated on my partner and then when he left told the young children he left to be with me which is untrue, she stopped him seeing the children and would phone and say give me more money and i will let you see the kids, we ended up going to court but she had a solicitor which we couldnt afford at the time she then later done a runner without paying him but thats another story, the courts and cafcass are against dads they from the start made massive mistakes in reports and had to be replaced by other workers whilst all the time the mother was alienating the kids, the lies that where told where beyond belief eventually my partner got contact for one day an night but was hard as kids came with an attitude from the mother took hours to get them to be normal then we would have a great day an leave on a high note then have to repeat the week later my partner would drop them at school she would send them with dirty uniforms an shoes an without homework etc she eventually wore my partner down to a mental breakdown he ended up on anti depressants, 9 years on we have our own family together but she is still using the kids who are now in 20s and late teens messaging treatening etc its pathetic really shes done her damage shes got what she wants wish she would jst move on with her life an same goes for the grown up Kids now they need to grow up they have made their decisions now although always bought things up until last christmas still the vile comments come how badly done to they are still coming from the mother through the kids. People please think before mentally abusing your children and using them as weapons
Happy life - 4-Mar-19 @ 9:18 PM
Our family has gone through one of the worst parental alienation. We are now 6years down the road. My son’s daughter is nearly 13.We see her every fortnight although this involves a 60 mile round trip, we have retired near our son, and share the driving as this is exhausting for all on a time limit.Our son is married now with a one year old son.His daughter is desperate to spend more time with us all and cries asking when she is old enough to make decisions.She realises if she chooses to see us there is a price to pay with her Mother.So her usual phrase is she doesn’t know when asked anything to do with contact.Not to put pressure on her obviously but contact is all on her mum’s terms and dates are changed frivolous appointments are made and plans, activities decided on contact days.I would appreciate advice we are fortunate in that no matter what is said our granddaughter still wishes to see us all.She has had her friends add us on social media to keep contact.
Bev - 31-Dec-18 @ 12:40 PM
@bellabee.i am super strong .i will see my daughter when she is a (adult )plenty time in the future .I need to Focus on myself and (carry on with my life and make it the best I can and do the best I can with what I have )i went though something( I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy )I can’t explain it .but everything is going to be alright it was meant to be this way. I needed go to that dark place and face the reality and the demons of my situation and truth is there is a lot worse off then me .my mind is clear I have my drive back (I have hope )I will see my daughter as a adult .there is a lot of positives in my life I have full time employment found my true identity and I am hard as a f ing rock I am buttet proof the real McCoy .peace and god bless.
Happy days - 14-Dec-18 @ 9:30 PM
Hi Thinks, I hope you have managed to make progress with your girls. I am sorry you had to go through so much it is an extremely painful for any parent to be alienated against your child or children.I strongly believe in 50/50 parenting should always be a priority and everything else should just be background noise to the child. It is a painful grieving process that a lot of Mums and Dads both go through due most of the time the other parent being twisted narcissist they also make great pathological liars too. Whilst they are headset on destroying you they forget the damage they are planting long term into the child. I'd you have any communication at all with your kids then keep showing them love and happiness. Lovewill eventually conquer all even if bit takes years.I have not seen my Child in three years, I just can't mentally be on the same level as my ex. It is a internal killer for all parents in the same position, so I would recommend when you can try to love yourself too and remember you are stronger than you think as you are still standing and surviving. It is okay too carry on and make happy memories and stories ready to share with the child in adulthood when they are ready to understand.
Bellabee - 13-Dec-18 @ 5:57 PM
@rooster, yes she does but how do you explain that she messaged the day before my birthday to say neither of them wanted to see me didn't hear a word on my birthday then got a message day after my birthday she a said she forgot not sure I believe that. @hen parlour, I have a new partner and have never been treated so good it's hard to get used to. Thing is we all grow up and change doesn't make anything that happened in your past a bad person it's a learning curve x
Tinks - 25-Oct-18 @ 7:30 AM
@rooster , thank you, friends say oh get on with it etc, I would like to see how they coped if they were in my situation. Thing is he's a great manipulator and led me to rely on him for years because he said I couldn't cope with my kids which is rubbish. Thanks for letting me share x
Tinks - 25-Oct-18 @ 7:27 AM
Sorry last thing I want to add, I was beaten by my first husband I have 2 children with him 18, 20 who are also brainwashed by my ex and no matter how much I hated the man and believe me I did I told him when I moved, parents evening, productions because he is their parent my feelings don't count it's the kids I don't understand why anyone would do this what we're all going through to anyone x
Tinks - 25-Oct-18 @ 6:55 AM
@rooster. Thank you for accepting me I won't but you all too much if I do tell me to get lost. It's so common for dad's and that's all I found on Google was dad's my situation is rare
Tinks - 25-Oct-18 @ 6:52 AM
Ok, I ended my marriage last August should of been over years ago but I finally got the guts to end it and keep it so! We had split twice before 1st in 2013 2nd 2016, the 2nd time in think although he denies that he was having an affair mum's at the school and his family can't all be wrong?! Anyway at that point I lived a single parent life we had to live under the same roof it's council joint tenancy. That wasn't too bad it was always ne and girls with my friends and their kids. Anyway my ex is literally the laziest person you could meet suddenly he was buying my girls affection getting off his backside and doing stuff it was that behaviour change that caused my nervous breakdown i was in a really bad way I presented to my gp shaking and crying she advised me to move out as it was making me so ill so I did. Hands up I messed up I had a mass ball of emotion in my gut it stopped me seeing my girls I didn't want to be a mum so I'm sure that's played a part. Cutting loads out cos I could go on forever! I came home from holiday 6 weeks ago to find he had moved himself and the girls out the family home and in with his girlfriend without saying a word I rang the police and child services neither were interested he can do what he wants cos of being on birth certificate. I message my 13 year old every day she reads on what's app and never replies, my ex said they are scared of me no idea why my friends all think he's turned them against me but it's so hard to prove I don't know what to do I'm still really ill and spend a lot of time crying. He told me he doesn't get notifications on his phone cos it's broken and can only email me from work which I don't believe, he's lied about me to the council and he won't admit that. He works at the school my 9 year old goes to he moved her there and he sold it to me by saying "well look at it this way it's good for you because you won't have to do school run" 1st time I saw it myself, he said that because one as starting to get ill at that time. Ask any questions I'm not ashamed I'm happy to talk or type about it. @rooster thank you ??
Tinks - 25-Oct-18 @ 6:50 AM
@tinks.we are waiting you are the first women to ever come to us for advise .by the the way I respect a women with manners .
Rooster - 25-Oct-18 @ 6:48 AM
@rooster thank you it's appreciated ?? it's long so I'll get started
Tinks - 25-Oct-18 @ 6:36 AM
@tinks.no not the wrong territory we are equalopportunity site We are all ears please tell us your story ?
Rooster - 25-Oct-18 @ 6:35 AM
Wasn't until I commented that I thought maybe I'm in the wrong territory don't want to butt in if not wanted ??
Tinks - 25-Oct-18 @ 6:30 AM
@tinks.share away darling open your little heart up to us .we are here to help I no this site is designed for men but we will make an expection for you .tell us your story ?.
Rooster - 25-Oct-18 @ 6:23 AM
Hi, I'm an alienated mum who misses her girls terribly. No disrespect to you dad's but in Google nothing for mum's I know it's rare and I don't know what to do anymore I've tried everything the police, child services and nothing it's killing me literally any advice would be great. If you want to know my story I'm happy to share. Thanks for reading
Tinks - 25-Oct-18 @ 5:14 AM
I split with my ex partner when my son was four. Since the break up my ex and her parents have led a systematic campaign to turn my son against me and to discredit it to all and sundry within the locality even going so far as to say that I committed fraud and because of it was sacked from my teaching job even though it was from depression this situation and a head teacher using it to his advantage that caused the depression and I decided to leave and was never sacked. My ex parents told my son awful things that weren't true sbout me and told him I didn't want him as did his Mother. I spent what meagre savi he I had to gain contact through court but even though I have won and been back to court subsequently the alienation has continued. It has got to a point now where my son (now 15) treats me awfully despite doing as much as I can for him and with him. If I give him boundaries and demands to go home and tells me his Grandfather is a far better father than me!
Burtnick - 22-Oct-18 @ 5:32 PM
Had the PSO removed at first attempt I was meant to add
Stingrayslammer - 20-Oct-18 @ 12:49 PM
My ex is strongly engaging in PA as I keep winning my case against her and successfully had a false PSO put on me, now accusing me of emotionally abusing my son and saying in court he doesn't want to go, I've started keeping a record and copies of when she stops contact claiming he's I'll and continues to demand reduced contact and supervised contact, I've done a lil bit of research and pointers I found literally all apply and tries to stop me from speaking to medical and educational authorities about him n makes false allegations in court to get contact stopped, twice now n both she lost
Stingrayslammer - 20-Oct-18 @ 12:47 PM
My ex is in Middlesbrough I'm in colne she has had me locked up for going to see my daughter and I didn't do anything I have been to see my daughter since but now she doing what uver people are telling her to do and she is listening to them and her new partner rings me giving me abuse now I cannot see my daughter at alldont know what to do it kills me knowing my daughter is calling someone else dadits not right can someone give me some advice
Karlos - 10-Oct-18 @ 9:00 PM
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