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Malicious Parent Syndrome

Dallas Family-Law Attorneys Helping Parents Protect Their Relationships With Their Children

Generally, parents want what is best for their children and recognize that, in most cases, it benefits a child for both parents to be involved in a child’s life. Unfortunately, some parents have difficulty dealing with the end of their marriage or relationship and engage in deliberate and vengeful behavior in an attempt to harm their co-parent. This pattern of conduct, sometimes referred to as malicious parent syndrome, can have significant and lasting negative consequences, and it is essential for anyone affected by such acts to contact an attorney as soon as possible. If you believe your co-parent is exhibiting signs of malicious parent syndrome or have been accused of attempting to harm your co-parent’s relationship with your child, it is imperative to seek the advice of an attorney. The knowledgeable Dallas child custody attorneys of McClure Law Group can inform you of your options and help you to take the measures necessary to protect your parental rights and your child’s interests.

Malicious Parent Syndrome

Malicious parent syndrome is not an actual mental disorder; rather, the phrase refers to a course of conduct a parent engages in during a custody dispute to attempt to harm their co-parent’s relationship with their mutual child.

Four elements define malicious parent syndrome: first, attempting to punish the other parent through alienating their children and involving others or the courts; second, seeking to deny child visitation, communication, and involvement in school or activities; third, engaging in repetitive lying and potential violations of law; and finally, not exhibiting any other mental disorder that would explain these actions.

Combatting Malicious Parent Syndrome

Malicious parent syndrome can be a challenging issue in child custody cases, and Texas, like many jurisdictions, provides legal recourse for parents dealing with this situation.

If a parent believes that their co-parent's actions are negatively affecting the parent’s relationship with the child, they may consider filing a motion to modify the existing custody orders. In order to obtain a modification, they must provide evidence to the court demonstrating your co-parent has a malicious parent syndrome and how it is detrimental to the child's well-being. They must also prove that the modification sought is in the child’s best interest. If the parent exhibiting malicious parent syndrome is violating a custody order, the affected parent may file a motion to enforce the order to ensure compliance with visitation and custody arrangements.

If the party with malicious parent syndrome is making false allegations of abuse, the parent faced with accusations should document all of their conversations with the co-parent and gather any other evidence that will refute these claims.

In some cases involving malicious parent syndrome, the courts will order a custody evaluation by a mental health professional or appoint a guardian ad litem to investigate the circumstances. These evaluations can help the court understand the dynamics of the family and the best interests of the child. Courts may choose to appoint parenting coordinators or order mediation sessions to address the issues arising out of malicious parent syndrome as well.

Confer With a Dedicated Dallas Child Custody Attorney

Parents should always act in their child’s best interests, but sadly, some parents engage in intentional behavior that harms the relationship between the child and their co-parent and, in turn, negatively impacts the child. If you need help dealing with malicious parent syndrome or handling a custody dispute, it is smart to confer with an attorney at your earliest convenience. The dedicated Dallas child custody attorneys of McClure Law Group take pride in helping parents protect their relationships with their children, and if we represent you, we will diligently pursue the best legal result possible in your case. Our primary office is in Dallas, and we are available to meet clients for meetings at our Collin-County office, which is located in Plano. We frequently represent people in child custody matters in Dallas, Fort Worth, Rockwall, Frisco, McKinney, Irving, Richardson, and Garland. We also represent people in family-law proceedings in cities in Dallas, Collin, Denton, Rockwall, Tarrant, and Grayson. You can reach us by calling 214.692.8200 or by using our online form to arrange a confidential conference.

Client Reviews
"McClure Law Group was very professional and responsive. They listened to my concerns and desires as it pertains to the service requested and I'm very pleased." Jade Nguyen
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"Kelly McClure has been representing me for the past several years and has been an amazing advocate, confidant and sounding board. She is always available by phone, even when she is on vacation. She has answered my questions on weekends and always given me an honest opinion. I highly recommend this group to anyone." Heather Bell
"The McClure Law Group helped me through a very difficult divorce and they definitely had my back every step of the way. I couldn’t recommend the team enough!" Shell A.
"I could not be happier to have had McClure Law. I truly appreciate their accessibility and patience. I can tell they are very knowledgeable, and I trust their guidance. I am SO thankful I went with great lawyers to handle my family case." Victor Lollar
"Kelly is detailed oriented and she truly cares about her clients. Her knowledge of the laws and her ability to get a case resolved make her stand far above others. I highly recommend McClure for your family law needs!" Peter Morgan