Connecticut Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is an increasingly familiar term, especially in contentious child-custody disputes, and its effects can be very damaging to children, families and targeted parents.

Connecticut Parental Alienation Syndrome

Forensic psychiatrist Dr. Richard A. Gardner first identified PAS in the 1980s. According to Dr. Gardner, there are three main characteristics of PAS:

  • It arises primarily in child-custody disputes.
  • It is manifested by a child who denigrates one parent with no justification.
  • It results from manipulation by a parent who vilifies the target parent

A website focused on PAS,, defines three categories of PAS: mild, moderate and severe. The most prevalent forms are mild and moderate parental alienation.

Mild parental alienation involves a parent who loses control and makes negative comments or exhibits negative behavior to the other parent in front of the child, but later feels remorse. Many parents involved in contested child-custody cases engage in this type of behavior at some point, but their heightened emotions fade and they realize that a healthy relationship between the parents and the child is best for the child.

In more severe instances of PAS, one parent will disparage the other parent to the child and manipulate the child to believe the target parent does not love him or her. The goal of the manipulation is to make the child not want to spend time with the target parent, resulting in more parenting time for the manipulating parent.

The Effects of Connecticut Parental Alienation Syndrome

Often, children affected by PAS have negative opinions of the target parent that have no apparent justification once investigated. They also express extreme and one-sided feelings toward the target parent, instead of fluctuating levels of like and dislike that more commonly occur during a divorce.

This is painful for the target parent, unfair to the child and detrimental to healthy relationships. In addition, it may cause the target parent to receive less parenting time because courts also consider the wishes of child when making custody determinations. Therefore, it is important to recognize the signs of PAS and work to prevent or stop its harmful effects.

Source Parents Who Have Successfully Fought Parental Alienation Syndrome, Not in front of the children.

Please contact me if you and your children are the victim of parental alienation in Connecticut.

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