Parental Alienation Claims in North Carolina Custody Cases

Child custody issues are often emotionally charged, and allegations of parental alienation frequently arise. Parental alienation can occur when one parent manipulates a child to reject or fear the other parent unjustifiably. In North Carolina, courts take parental alienation claims seriously, recognizing the detrimental impact such tactics can have on parent-child relationships and overall family dynamics. However, there are also instances where a mother or father will claim that legitimate problems between them and their child are a result of improper manipulation by their ex and it is important to be able to discern the difference. 

Parental alienation claims can be subtle and difficult to prove. Examples of specific acts that can commonly lead to  these allegations during a child custody proceeding may include the following: 

  • Negative talk — During and after a breakup, it’s not unusual for one party to speak negatively about the other. However, when one person consistently disparages their co-parent in front of the child they share, it can undermine the targeted parent’s authority and relationship with their child.
  • Interference with communication — The alienating parent might limit or obstruct communication between the child and their ex by screening phone calls or withholding messages.
  • False allegations — Fabricated accusations of abuse or neglect against the other parent, often without evidence, can tarnish their reputation and possibly lead to unwarranted investigations from authorities.
  • Undermining visitation —One common tactic in parental alienation cases is to disrupt court-ordered visitation or custody arrangements by citing scheduling conflicts or refusing to adhere to visitation schedules.
  • Manipulative behavior — The alienating parent could manipulate the child's emotions or beliefs to align with their own, creating a sense of fear, hostility or estrangement towards the other parent.

If you believe you are a victim of parental alienation, it's essential to take proactive steps to address the situation and safeguard your relationship with your child. Keep detailed records of instances where parental alienation tactics occur, including dates, times and specific behaviors exhibited by the alienating parent. Strive to maintain open and positive communication with your child. Reassure them of your love and commitment to being a present and supportive parent, even if they are reacting with hostility. Ultimately the Court is determining what is in the children’s best interests, and such behavior by the other parent is clearly not acting in the children’s best interest. 

At The Moore Law Office, PLLC in Asheville, we are experienced family law attorneys who can assess your case, provide guidance on your legal rights and advocate on your behalf in court if necessary. 

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The Moore Law Office, PLLC


The Moore Law Office, PLLC, 1 Oak St, Suite 303, Asheville, NC 28801,
Asheville, North Carolina 28801