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Maryland Family Law Lawyer

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Maryland Family Law Lawyer

When a couple is going through a divorce or separation, the entire family is affected and those affects can be lasting and significant. Children are often times the most affected because they have not had the years of experience that it takes to understand and deal with emotional trauma. In the same way that their young minds are more susceptible to emotional stress, they are also far more susceptible to manipulation.

Parental Alienation is the process, and the result, of the psychological manipulation of a child into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect or hostility towards a parent and/or other family members. Although parental alienation can occur naturally within a child’s mind, alienation as a result of manipulation by one parent or party during a separation is an all too common occurrence, and it is completely illegal! Maryland family law attorney at the Burton Firm is experienced to detect and combat the malevolent strategies that are often employed by the less morally obligated during divorce or child custody hearings and we will fight for you.

How Does Parental Alienation Occur?

Parental Alienation does not happen overnight, and is rather the collection of hundreds, even thousands, of manipulative comments or actions designed to create a negative sentiment regarding the targeted family member in the mind of a child. These comments or actions can represent just about anything – they could be a mother telling her son that his father doesn’t really love him and that he’ll never be there for him like his mother will. While a child’s mother is traveling for work, the father could instead tell the child that their mother is just avoiding the house because she doesn’t want to see them anymore. A child could be wrongly convinced that their father represents a physical danger to them and their mother. In other instances, an entire side of the family could be targeted, and a parent could create a sense of paranoia within the mind of their child regarding certain extended family members.

It should be noted, however, that alienation of one parent or family member can be the product of only the child’s thoughts as well. It can also be a complete accident that a parent causes alienation of their spouse in their child’s mind. Off-hand comments and thinking out loud about a spouse’s shortcomings can create the same sentiment within a child. In other words, malevolent and planned manipulation is not required to instill a sense of alienation within the mind of a child. It is important to distinguish between these scenarios, and to be well aware of what you say in front of your children – your child’s mind is a fragile place, and it will soak up ALL of the knowledge and experiences going on around them, the good and the bad.

Why Does Targeted Parental Alienation Occur and What Should I Do If I Suspect It To Be Taking Place?

The malevolent form of alienation occurs for a multitude of reasons – it could be used to help secure a favorable outcome during divorce and child custody hearings and could also be used as a form of personal retribution to inflict emotional pain on a spouse or other family member. Regardless of the reason it is always wrong, and treating a child’s mind like a pawn during some twisted chess match is downright repulsive. If you suspect this type of action is being taken against your child, or another child in your family, it is imperative that you act immediately!

Every single manipulative comment made is causing further damage to the child’s psyche and time should not be wasted. If you suspect this type of activity to be occurring, please call an experienced litigator immediately. Maryland Family Law lawyer at The Burton Firm has been practicing family law for years and have the experience necessary to help. Call for a consultation today!


The Burton Law Firm understands how divorce can affect you and your family’s life indefinitely. Having years of experience handling all types of family law cases throughout the state of Maryland, you can trust us to handle your case with care. Give us a call at (301) 420-5540 to speak with a family law lawyer in Maryland.


Contact our office as soon as possible so our team of Family Law attorneys can properly evaluate your case and protect your rights.