window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-0E9FQV169Q');

What Are Parental Alienation Laws in South Carolina?

Child custody cases are among the most emotionally combative in all of family law, with parents fighting to determine which one will get to spend the most time and have the most influence over the child. Although children are inevitably affected by custody disputes, judges frown upon parents who intentionally involve their kids in their cases. Parental alienation syndrome is one of the most egregious examples of this.

If you believe you’re a victim of parental alienation, you will need serious legal counsel to protect your rights and attempt to reverse any damage done to your relationship with your child. Our Greenville, SC child custody lawyer at Turner Family Law is ready to serve you.

What Is Parental Alienation Syndrome?

It is fairly common for parents involved in a heated custody dispute to have verbal altercations with each other. Sometimes this even happens in front of the child, which itself is bad enough.

Parental alienation takes this a step further. It is the deliberate attempt to turn a child against the other parent and damage the parent-child relationship between them. This can have detrimental effects on the child, who may come to exhibit parental alienation syndrome.

Parental alienation is not accidental. Although each case of it is different, there are numerous behaviors that can cause alienation:

  • Criticizing, insulting, or berating the other parent with the child present, sometimes by making false or exaggerated allegations
  • Sharing details about the custody proceedings or allegations with the child
  • Blaming the other parent for breaking up the marriage or relationship
  • Withholding information about the child, such as an injury, from the other parent
  • Excluding the other parent from extracurricular or academic activities involving the child
  • Refusing to share the child’s educational, medical, and other records with the other parent
  • Allowing the child to decide whether to visit the other parent, especially if a custody order guarantees such parenting time
  • Trying to make the child feel guilty for visiting or communicating with the other parent
  • Monitoring or interfering with communications between the child and the other parent
  • Threatening legal action over minor disagreements
  • Rigid enforcement of visitation time, which may include threats to call a lawyer if the other parent is a few minutes late returning the child after visitation

What Are Signs of Parental Alienation Syndrome in Children?

Children who are subjected to parental alienation suffer a unique type of abuse and manipulation. The following may be red flags that your child is a victim of this behavior:

  • Your child exhibits resentment towards you.
  • Your child doesn’t want to spend time with you.
  • It’s difficult to speak with your child.
  • Disciplining your child becomes more challenging.
  • Your child’s attitude towards you undergoes a dramatic change.
  • Your child shows signs of distrust or fear around you.
  • Your child mimics the behaviors and arguments made by the other parent.

These are not the only symptoms of parental alienation syndrome, so be sure to let your attorney know the exact details of your situation. Problems such as these may require extensive family counseling to reverse and should therefore be addressed immediately.

Can You Sue a Parent for Parental Alienation?

In deciding child custody matters, judges must determine what is in the child’s best interests. Suing for parental alienation requires an understanding of the parental alienation laws in South Carolina.

This is a short summary:

  • In creating or modifying a child custody order, family courts can consider evidence of parental alienation.
  • A judge may evaluate whether a parent encourages or hinders the child from having a relationship with the other parent.
  • Any evidence that a parent has failed to follow prior orders can be taken into account when child custody modification is at issue.
  • Modifying a custody order requires that a significant change in circumstances has taken place since the previous order, so parental alienation allegations require strong evidence.
  • Judges can impose restrictions on parenting time, such as supervised visitation, to minimize the likelihood of continued alienation.
  • Parents cannot prevent their children from visiting the other parent in violation of the custody order.
  • Parents who refuse to follow custody orders may be subject to contempt proceedings and other enforcement actions.

Proving Parental Alienation Syndrome in South Carolina

Whether a custody order is being established for the first time or it is being modified, courts expect compelling proof of any claims pertaining to parental alienation. The following could help bolster your case:

  • Communications with the other parent: These may include emails, text messages, and messages on social media make evident an intent to alienate the child’s affections from you.
  • Social media posts: Parents who engage in alienation often overshare their opinions and feelings on social media, so this may serve as supporting evidence.
  • Your child’s communications and social media activity: Children who experience parental alienation syndrome may express their feelings in private writings (e.g. a diary), communications with their friends, and posts and comments on social media.
  • Eyewitness testimony: If third parties, especially neutral individuals such as teachers and coaches, have observed the other parent engaged in alienating behavior, their testimony in court could prove valuable.

Our Greenville, SC Family Lawyer Can Put an End To Parental Alienation

If the other parent in your custody case is actively attempting to damage your relationship with your child, it’s imperative that you take quick action. The sooner you do, the more likely it is that the harm can be undone. Reach out to Attorney J. Michael Turner, Jr. at Turner Family Law in Greenville today.

Get Started TodayContact Us

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
100% Secure & Confidential

Get Started Today Contact Us

Contact Us
100% Secure & Confidential

Working With Us

It's Easy To Work With Us
Initial Consultation

First, we will conduct an initial consultation and we will go over all the facts and details of your case.

Filing and Negotiations

We submit a Complaint to the Court, or help you respond to one. Hearings and negotiations take place.

Final Order

Following mediation, all unsettled parts of your case will be determined by the trial judge who issues final rulings.

Contact Us
100% Secure & Confidential
Get Started TodayContact Us

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.