Parental alienation is basically a process by which one parent turns a child against the other parent. This often happens when the parents are going through a bitter divorce and they are fighting over child custody. Some parents have even said that this goes so far that it should be considered brainwashing, tricking the children into making exaggerated or even false claims.
After all, the court wants to find out what is in the child’s best interests, so children are often a big part of the process. They may be asked what they would prefer or told to explain why they’d like to live with one parent instead of the other. This is when brainwashing can come into play.
For example, one spouse may say that the other abused the child while they were together. That spouse could use the alleged abuse as the main reason he or she should get custody and the other spouse should be cut out of the child’s life.
The other parent may then argue that no abuse happened, that it’s being made up just to win custody rights. The child could then be brought up to tell his or her side of the story, and the child may agree with the first parent, saying abuse did take place. The second parent may still argue it, claiming the child was brainwashed into hating him or her and providing false testimonies.
As you can imagine, a case like this can get very complicated as the court tries to sort out what did and did not happen. To avoid this type of scenario in Texas, you must make sure you know all of your parental rights.
Source: ABC News, “Are Some Divorcing Parents Brainwashing Their Children? The Controversial Idea of Parental Alienation,” Lauren Pearle, April 08, 2016