With the term parental alienation (PAS), or parental alienation , the Court of Cassation refers to the situation that arises when one of the parents, after a separation, discredits the other in the eyes of the minor child, provoking for the purpose of revenge a inevitable adverse reaction .
The alienating parent can make use of disparaging expressions or even false accusations, building a fictitious family reality that generates a deep feeling of hatred in the child towards the ex-spouse.
The psychological consequences for a child in the face of this vindictive strategy can seriously compromise his inner balance . Often, a minor forced to undergo a similar influence by one of the parents, moves away from the other (usually it is the non-cohabiting parent) coming to totally reject him and not going to the meetings established by the judge.
Psychological conditioning towards the minor child
Cases of parental alienation are very frequent, and more often to the detriment of the father. This prevalence is due to the fact that, in separate couples, underage children generally live with the mother. It may happen that the foster parent psychologically conditions the children, with the intention of excluding the figure of the other parent.
The strong influence of the maternal (or sometimes paternal) figure in conflict with the father (or mother) induces a child to develop a sort of hatred towards the other parent , up to eliminating any possibility of interaction. The expulsion of the child is therefore desired by the foster parent himself, who takes his revenge by depriving the ex partner of both the affection and the presence of the child.
what is parental alienation
What is parental alienation and what are the legal consequences
According to the law, the parent who discredits the ex-spouse in the eyes of the minor child can suffer serious consequences: from the simple warning by the judge, to the obligation to pay compensation , up to the revocation of the shared custody . The mother or father who compromises, or even destroys, the emotional relationship between the other parent and the child can therefore be prosecuted by law .
Parental alienation represents serious psychological damage towards both the child , who according to the law has full right to parenting , and to the alienated parent , who has the right and duty to contribute to the growth and education of the child and participate in decisions that affect him. Indeed, this type of behavior prevents the child from enjoying the presence of both parents and the alienated parent from responsibly performing their role.
The judge is obliged to verify the existence of alienating behaviors using various investigative tools , including the testimony of the minors themselves. Indeed, the magistrate should consider the ability of a parent to preserve the interaction of the cohabiting child with the ex-spouse.
This is because both the father and the mother, in the presence of the child, must avoid any occasion of confrontation , committing themselves to foster family harmony and to maintain mutual respect, without showing rivalry.
Restart the dialogue and the emotional relationship with the alienated parent, the solution
In the case of PAS ascertained, entrusting the child to the alienated parent as a penalty is an inadequate solution , considering that the child has already developed a strong aversion towards him. Instead, it is necessary, first of all, to restore and encourage the interaction and the emotional relationship through social and psychological support, then the judge will determine whether to warn the guilty parent or impose compensation for having compromised the child’s emotional relationship with the child. ex-spouse.