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Parental alienation and child custody rights

California parents could lose custody of their children even if they present evidence that they were victims of spousal or partner abuse. In many cases, it is because the other parent claims that he or she is a victim of attempted parental alienation. In other words, that individual is saying that the abuse allegation is nothing more than an attempt to keep that person away from a son or daughter.

It is important to note that there is no widely accepted evidence that parental alienation is a real phenomenon. However, research has also found that parents who make an alienation claim could be more likely to receive custody of their children. This is true even after facing allegations of abusing their spouse. A study funded by the Department of Justice (DOJ) looked at 4,388 custody cases throughout the country that took place between 2005 and 2014.

In 44% of those cases, a woman lost custody of her children after the father alleged that she was engaging in alienation. Conversely, a father lost custody of his children in 28% of cases in which a mother claimed that she was the victim of parental alienation. If a woman claimed that she was abused by the child's other parent, she was twice as likely to lose custody if the father made an alienation claim.

The best interests of the child are of primary concern in a child custody case. Therefore, parents may lose custody or visitation rights if they have a history of mentally or physically abusing their former spouses or their children. Individuals might also lose custody rights if they interfere with the relationship between the child and the other parent. An attorney may help a person establish that having parental rights is in a child's best interest.

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Law Offices of Catherine A. Schwartz
6877 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92506

Phone: 951-335-0510
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