When most parents in Florida divorce, they make a concerted effort to act in the best interests of their children. Unfortunately, there are cases in which a divorce is so acrimonious that the ex-spouses are no longer able to work together to establish an equitable parenting plan and financial support arrangement.
In some cases, one parent may accuse the other one of attempting to disrupt his or her relationship with the children. This is sometimes known as parental alienation syndrome. This concept is controversial within both the mental health and family law communities. This has not stopped it, however, from being used in custody cases to influence or even reverse court decisions.
A charge of parental alienation syndrome can be particularly challenging to navigate when allegations of abuse have arisen during a divorce. In some cases, the parent accused of abuse has retaliated with a charge of parental alienation syndrome, arguing that the charge of abuse is merely a ruse by his or her ex to turn the children against him or her. It can be difficult for the court to sort out the facts of the case, particularly if the parent who claims to be a victim of abuse has never filed charges against the abuser.
Individuals who are going through a divorce and are worried about child custody issues may wish to consult with a family law attorney. A lawyer may review the case and offer recommendations regarding child custody issues that do not involve litigation and instead depend on a mutually agreed-upon parenting plan. In cases where abuse or parental alienation are factors, an attorney may be able to present the evidence to the court in a way that protects his or her client's interests.