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Parental alienation is a topic that’s often only discussed in post-divorce situations. But what happens when the divorce is still in progress — possibly taking longer than anticipated — and you find that you’re experiencing parental alienation? 

Many family law firms, including the expert team at Hickey & Hull, have witnessed numerous cases where parents face similar challenges. Navigating parental alienation during an ongoing divorce requires a unique approach and effective strategies to protect your relationship with your child.

What Is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation is a complex phenomenon that can take various forms. It involves actions or behaviors that seek to erode the bond between a child and one of their parents. 

This can include negative comments about the other parent, limiting contact or visitation, and influencing the child’s perception through manipulation or false accusations.


It’s essential to recognize the signs of parental alienation, such as a child expressing consistent negative views or exhibiting a sudden and unexplained change in behavior towards the targeted parent. 

Learn more about parental alienation here. 

Can You Strategically Deal With Parental Alienation During Divorce?

Yes, you can. But be aware that this requires patience: You’re not only dealing with alienation from your spouse, but your child may be suffering, too. Here are some key tactics to strategically cope and discourage parental alienation during your divorce.

Foster Open Communication

Effective communication is key to addressing parental alienation. Create a safe and open space for your child to express their feelings and concerns without judgment. Listen attentively, validate their emotions, and demonstrate empathy. By actively engaging in dialogue, you can understand their perspective and work towards resolving any misunderstandings.

Seek Professional Support

Consider involving a family therapist or counselor experienced in divorce and parental alienation cases. They can provide valuable guidance and support to help navigate the complexities of parental alienation.

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You may also decide to attend counseling with your child and spouse: Therapy sessions can also offer a neutral environment where all parties involved can work through their emotions and develop healthy coping mechanisms.

Promote Cooperative Co-Parenting

Despite the difficulties, maintaining a cooperative co-parenting relationship is crucial. 

Communicate respectfully with the other parent, focusing on the child’s best interests. Collaborate on decision-making, establish consistent rules and routines, and encourage a healthy and nurturing environment for the child. 

By demonstrating a united front, you can mitigate the effects of parental alienation and provide stability for your child.

Are There Legal Considerations?

When it comes to parental alienation, consider and understand the available legal options. No matter the severity, it’s always recommended that you consult with a family law attorney to assess your situation and determine the appropriate legal steps to take. 

Document incidents of parental alienation, such as inappropriate comments or interference with visitation, as they may be useful in potential legal proceedings. Learn how to effectively document alienation.

Hickey & Hull Law Partners Can Help You Today

Though the journey is emotional and hard, know that you are not alone. Many other parents have successfully overcome parental alienation and rebuilt their relationships with their children. It takes time, dedication, and unwavering love, but the rewards are immeasurable.

Remember that seeking professional help is not a sign of weakness but a testament to your dedication as a parent. A skilled family attorney can guide you through the complexities of parental alienation and provide valuable strategies to restore harmony.

With Hickey & Hull Law Partners, you’re never alone. Contact our team today for a free consultation. Fill out our online form or contact us today to learn more. Our River Valley office number is 479.434.2414, and our Northwest Arkansas number is 479.802.6560.