Inadmissibility of "Parental Alienation Syndrome"

last updated March 2015

In partnership with UN Women, The Advocates for Human Rights created the following sections for UN Women’s Virtual Knowledge Centre to End Violence against Women and Girls. This section, along with sections addressing other forms of violence against women and girls, may be found under Legislation at www.endvawnow.org.

 

Inadmissibility of “parental alienation syndrome”

Legislation should state that “parental alienation syndrome” is not admissible as evidence in hearings on child custody or visitation. “Parental alienation syndrome” describes a situation in which one parent is accused of alienating a child from the other parent.  In situations of domestic abuse, behavior that is reasonable to protect a child from abuse may be misinterpreted by a court as a self-serving attempt by one parent to turn the child against the other parent. (See What is Parental Alienation Syndrome, The Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence.)