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Alienation of non-resident parent

Being alienated from your children can take a high emotional toll. At RVS Solicitors, we strongly believe that in most cases the children will benefit greatly from having both parents present in their lives. Our specialist children’s matters lawyers understand the desperation and frustration of parents who are prevented from having meaningful relationship with their children, as they witness the effects of such behaviour on daily basis. They will work tenaciously to rectify the situation and ensure the alienated parent is able to enjoy meaningful contact once again.

In any case involving the lives of children, our absolute focus is on their welfare and our lawyers will act with that approach in mind. Our specialist family lawyers have vast experience in matters relating to alienation of one parent by another and are able to intervene quickly and effectively to preserve or restore your position. We will spend time to understand the issues you are facing and will offer you clear and frank advice on what steps to take to ensure you will be able to have the quality contact with your child that you crave.

As members of Resolution, we are devoted to assisting clients resolve their disputes in a way that advances improved communication and relationships. We use modern technologies in an innovative way to help us reduce the amount of administrative work we do, so that our specialist child matter lawyers can concentrate on doing what they know best: helping you reconnect with your child. In this manner, we keep the costs of your legal matter low, while not compromising on the quality of legal and client service that you receive from us.

Our experts in Family Law

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)

What is parental alienation?

When our clients first contact us seeking our help with such cases, often enough they don’t even know what they are dealing with. They simply know that things have changed, that they are unable to enjoy the same amount and quality of time with their children and they feel at loss of what to do.

Many mistakenly believe that parental alienation will necessarily manifest through one of the parents, in particular the resident parent, frustrating contact with the other parent. While it is often the case that one of the parents, especially the resident parent, might try to limit the contact between the child and the other parent, whether directly refusing to hand over the child for contact or creating different hurdles for it, there is also another form of alienation, a more subtle, one. This is why, in many cases the parent that contacts us isn’t even able to identify that it is alienation they are dealing with.

Unfortunately, there are cases in which the parents will project their feeling for their ex-partners onto the children, often manipulating them, forcing them to chose sides. This creates terrible conflict for the children that may result in them withdrawing from contact from the other parent, in an attempt to please or appease the parent they are more often in contact with.

If you have started to notice that your child is reluctant to meet with you, they avoid your calls and refuse to communicate with you, then it is likely you are experiencing parental alienation. If you cannot seem to identify why their attitude towards you has changed, or if you know the reasons for it, but not sure what to do about it, we recommend that you give our friendly family solicitors a call, for a free, no obligation short chat. They have seen many cases of parental alienation and will be able to help you understand whether there might be a legitimate reason for the change of attitude of the child or if the other parent is possibly manipulating the child, leading to a growing distance between you and your child.

It is important to remember that it is not only the resident parent who can manipulate the child and cause parental alienation. The parent who enjoys a degree of contact with the child, can also be the culprit, as well as any person who has significant influence over the child, such as grandparents or other close family members.

What to do if my ex is preventing me from seeing my children or alienating them from me?

In any situation involving children, it is always best to try and sort the matter out amicably. Children are very perceptive of the tensions between their parents and become heavily affected by parental conflict. Moreover, unnecessarily escalating a situation will only result in heavy legal costs that normally can be avoided if more collaborative approach is taken.

For this reason, the best family lawyers will always recommend that before starting any formal action, a letter is sent to your ex-partner, detailing your grievances, such as the date contact ceased or was denied, or what behaviour you believe has caused the child to become alienated etc. The letter should also explain the proposed measures and what steps you will take if you cannot see your children or if you notice that the alienation continues.

Our family law Solicitors in London, led by Rakhi Singal, can draft this letter for you.

If the letter elicits no response or your ex-partner will continue on the same behavioural pattern, there are several directions that you can go.

  • If the other parent is refusing contact, you can apply for child arrangement order and request interim contact in the meantime, if a contact arrangement is not in place;
  • If you already have a child arrangement in place and the other parent is in breach of it, we will assist you in enforcing it;
  • If the child’s refusal or reluctance to have contact with you is due to manipulative behaviour of the other parent or someone other close to the child, we can apply for Prohibitive Steps or Specific Issues orders

What is an Interim Contact Order?

The Court can make an Interim Contact Order requiring your ex-partner to allow you to see your children while you are waiting to go to Court to have a long-term contact arrangement decided.

Interim Contact Orders may restrict your contact to certain times and prevent any overnight stays.  When granting Interim Contact Orders, the judge must err on the side of caution as a full hearing has not taken place.

Rakhi and her team will present a strong case when applying for an Interim Contact Order in order to get you the most time with your children prior to the hearing date.

What happens at a hearing for a Contact Order?

At the hearing (or just prior to it), you and your ex-partner will normally be invited to attend a short meeting with a Children and Families Court Advisory Service officer (also known as a CAFCASS Officer).  Experienced in dealing with disputes involving children, a CAFCASS Officer will listen to you and your ex-partner and see if there is any scope for agreement.

If no agreement can be reached at the first hearing, the judge will usually ask the CAFCASS officer to prepare a report.  This can take several months. In the meantime, Rakhi and her team will organise for the Interim Contact Order to be extended.

In preparing the report, the CAFCASS Officer will talk to people close to your children, for example, you and your ex-partner, the school, and other family members.  You will be given a final copy of the report before the second hearing.

At the second hearing, the judge will review the CAFCASS Report and make recommendations to you and your ex-spouse regarding contact.  The judge will consider factors such as the children’s wishes, any danger to the children’s welfare, and how capable you and your ex-partner are at meeting the needs of your children.

A final hearing will only take place if one parent cannot agree on the recommendations set out by the judge.

Our family lawyers in London will be by your side throughout the entire length of the proceedings, advising and representing you.  We understand how stressful contact proceedings are and will provide support and continuous communication.

Rakhi and her team can assist you on all matters relating to alienation of non-resident parent. You can contact us in strict confidence on 020 3372 5125 or complete our online enquiry form to make an appointment.

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