When you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are battling over the custody arrangements for your minor children, one of the factors that could affect a court’s decision is the allegation of parental alienation. Courts have been known to award custody to the parent who is making the allegations of alienation against their former partner or spouse.
This remains a controversial issue, however, and according to at least one study, there appears to be some bias against the mothers when the fathers allege that their children’s affection has been alienated from them. This bias appears irrespective of any abuse allegations which may or may not have been made by either parties.
In fact, one conclusion from the nine years of studied data was that “alienation trumps abuse” accusations when both are factors in a custody case. This even applies when credible allegations of child sexual abuse were leveled.
The situation could develop where an actual child abuser is rewarded with physical custody of their children because they allege that the children’s mother attempted to alienate the children from their own abuser.
Bound by the standard of best interests of the kids
When you consider that all Louisiana family law courts are bound by the directive that their decisions must reflect the best interests of the children, that seems like a dicey proposition at best. No child should ever have to live with the person who abuses them.
But when both parents show up in court with “he said, she said” allegations, the court must do its best to wade through the drama and scurrilous accusations and get to the truth of the matter.
Do kids have a say in their custody?
Depending on the ages of your children and the level of their maturity, the court may consult them. This could occur privately in chambers or on the witness stand in court. The courts can generally be counted on to determine the truth of the matter and can tell when kids have been coached into giving false testimony by one of their parents.
Seek guidance when fighting for custody
If you are committed to fighting for sole or shared custody of your children in your divorce, it cannot be stressed enough how vital it is to seek competent legal representation. Your attorney can introduce witnesses who can bolster your case for custody.