Call Us Now To Schedule a Free Ten-Minute Consultation
Reach Out Now

What is Parental Alienation and How Will it Affect Custody in Illinois?

Parental alienation is a term used to describe a situation in which one parent intentionally or unintentionally turns a child against the other parent. It is a common issue that arises in divorce and custody cases, and it can have serious negative effects on both the child and the parent who is being alienated. In this blog post, we will explore what parental alienation is, how it affects divorce cases in Illinois, and what can be done to address it.

What is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation is a form of emotional abuse in which one parent attempts to damage or sever the relationship between the child and the other parent. This can involve a variety of behaviors, such as bad-mouthing the other parent, making false allegations against the other parent, limiting or interfering with contact between the child and the other parent, and encouraging the child to reject or fear the other parent.

In many cases, parental alienation is done intentionally as a way to gain leverage in a custody or visitation dispute. However, it can also happen unintentionally, as a result of a parent's own emotional issues, such as unresolved anger, jealousy, or resentment towards the other parent.

How Does Parental Alienation Affect Divorce Cases in Illinois?

In Illinois, child custody and visitation decisions are made based on the best interests of the child. Parental alienation can be a major factor in determining what is in the best interests of the child, as it can have serious negative effects on the child's emotional and psychological well-being. Children who are alienated from one parent may experience anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and difficulty forming healthy relationships in the future.

If a parent is found to be engaging in parental alienation, it can have a significant impact on custody and visitation decisions. The court may order that the parent who is engaging in alienation undergo counseling or therapy to address the issue. In some cases, the court may even limit or terminate the parent's custody or visitation rights, depending on the severity of the alienation.

What Can Be Done to Address Parental Alienation?

If you believe that your child is being alienated from you by the other parent, it is important to take action as soon as possible. Some steps you can take include:

1.    Documenting the behavior: Keep a record of any instances of alienation, including what was said or done, when it occurred, and any witnesses who were present.

2.    Seeking counseling: Consider seeking counseling or therapy for yourself and your child to address the effects of alienation and to work on repairing your relationship.

3.    Consulting with an attorney: If you are involved in a custody or visitation dispute, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can advise you on your rights and options.

4.    Seeking a court order: If the other parent is engaging in severe alienation or is refusing to cooperate, you may need to seek a court order to address the issue. This could involve seeking a modification of custody or visitation arrangements or seeking an order requiring the other parent to undergo counseling.


In conclusion, parental alienation is a serious issue that can have lasting negative effects on both children and parents. It is important for parents to be aware of the signs of parental alienation and to take steps to address the issue as soon as possible. If you are involved in a divorce or custody dispute and suspect that parental alienation is occurring, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney who can help you protect your rights and interests and work towards a resolution that is in the best interests of the child