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Parental alienation syndrome.

In the April/May 1996 issue of LawNow, our family law columnist, Rosemarie Boll, wrote about the Parental Alienation Syndrome, in which one parent consciously or subconsciously, alienates a child from the other parent through the expression of disapproval, criticism or denigration. Justice Langston of the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench in Lethbridge recently based his decision in a custody dispute partly on this syndrome.

The parties involved had been married for four years and had a two year old child. Prior to the hearing, the child lived with the father and the mother had access on the weekends. Both parents sought custody. Justice Langston noted that the father had a negative view of the mother and her parenting skills but the judge found that both were good parents, the child was attached to both and would benefit from continued association with both. However, the judge worried that the father's negative attitude toward the mother could manifest itself in an attempt by the father to alienate the child from the mother through parental alienation syndrome. He therefore ordered joint custody of the child, but with day to day care with the mother and the father to have the child three weekends a month.
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Author:Teresa Mitchell
Date:Jun 1, 1996
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