parental alienation child

As I’ve mentioned in other blogs, parental alienation is not a crime in and of itself. However, if a judge determines a parent is deliberately keeping a child from the other parent and going against court orders, he or she could be held in contempt of court and face punishments set forth by the judge. Many believe it should be a crime and there is a push in the United States and other countries to make parental alienation a crime. Many have argued the case that parental alienation is a form of child abuse by way of child grooming.  When one looks at the definitions of parental alienation and child grooming the similarities are uncanny. In fact, they are interchangeable.

Parental Alienation

Child Grooming

Consistent manipulation of a child by an adult to get them to think and do things that serve the manipulator.

Consistent manipulation of a child by an adult to get them to think and do things that serve the manipulator.

Giving a child special attention for the sole purpose of gaining their trust that they are the only one that cares for them.

Giving a child special attention for the sole purpose of gaining their trust that they are the only one that cares for them.

Eventually, actions by the manipulator lead to the child being isolated from people that truly love and care about the child’s best interest.

Eventually, actions by the manipulator lead to the child being isolated from people that truly love and care about the child’s best interest.

The manipulator’s actions lead to devastating and lasting psychological scars on the child.

The manipulator’s actions lead to devastating and lasting psychological scars on the child.


In the United States, child grooming is considered to be a federal offense pursuant to 18 USCS § 2422. One caveat is that the law is geared towards enticing, persuading, inducing a child to travel in interstate or foreign commerce or the United States to engage in prostitution or sexual activity. Most cases of parental alienation are mostly geared towards hurting the other parent and thankfully don’t lead to sexual abuse. It does happen, but generally speaking, it is not the norm.

Whether or not parental alienation is ever made a crime is certainly a hot topic and one worth discussing to further protect children. At this time, it is not a crime, but there is no denying the lifelong trauma it causes a child. Experts have proven that children that suffer from parental alienation struggle with relationships as adults, insecurity issues, and much more. In addition, it is impossible to make up the time they have lost with that parent. The lost years and memories can never be replaced.

Parental alienation is a serious matter. You should watch for these signs if you suspect it is happening to you or someone you know:

  • Influencing the child to disrespect the alienated parent.
  • Limiting contact with the alienated parent.
  • Make false claims of abuse against the targeted parent.
  • Makes belittling statements about the alienated parent to the child.

Contact Hickey and Hull Law Partners to help you fight against alienating your child from you. Our River Valley law office number is 479.434.2414 and our Northwest Arkansas office number is 479.802.6560.

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In the River Valley:
502 Garrison Avenue
Fort Smith, AR 72901
Phone: (479) 434-2414
Fax: (479) 434-2415

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In Northwest Arkansas:
1750 S. Osage Springs Drive, Suite 210
Rogers, AR 72758
Phone: (479) 802-6560
Fax: (479) 802-6561

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