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Parental Alienation

Ohio Parental Alienation AttorneysAn Ohio Parental Alienation Attorney article about Parental Alienation in Ohio.  Virginia Cornwell is an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Family Relations Specialist, one of approximately 100 such specialists in Ohio.

Parental Alienation is REAL, and it happens all the time.  However, as of the writing of this article, it is not yet included in the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder) and is not scheduled to be included in the DSM-V, which is schedule to be published in 2013.

Ohio Law About Parental AlienationJust because it is not, at this time, a psychiatric diagnosis, does not mean that courts do not recognize that the alienation exists.  In Ohio, the law regarding the best interest of the child specifically addresses this problem.

Ohio Revised Code 3109.04(F)(1) provides that when determining what is in the best interest of the child, among other factors, the court must consider:

  • (c) The child’s interaction and interrelationship with the child’s parents, siblings, and any other person who may significantly affect the child’s best interest;
  • (f) The parent more likely to honor and facilitate court-approved parenting time rights or visitation and companionship rights;
  • all relevant factors

Ohio Revised Code 3109.04(F)(2) provides that when determining whether shared parenting is in the best interest of the child, among other factors, the court must consider

  • (b) The ability of each parent to encourage the sharing of love, affection, and contact between the child and the other parent;

Ohio Revised Code 3109.051(D) provides that among other factors,  when deciding whether to grant visitation a court must consider:

  • (1) The prior interaction and interrelationships of the child with the child’s parents, siblings, and other persons related by consanguinity or affinity, and with the person who requested companionship or visitation if that person is not a parent, sibling, or relative of the child; and
  • (16) Any other factor in the best interest of the child.

Parental Alienation Laws in OhioAt this point in time, while psychological diagnoses are not legitimately available to support allegations of parental alienation, Ohio courts and Ohio legislators know that it is real and it is relevant.



  1. R says

    Unfortunately the law is not very forgiving for parents who live out of state and have this issue. Everyone I have talked to has said I am pretty much stuck where I am at until my ex files something. Because I am a Texas resident and was only in Ohio for military orders I cannot even file for divorce or any visitation papers.

  2. H says

    I think the statement “just because it is not, at this time, a psychiatric diagnosis” is only true in a moderately narrow sense. Dr. Craig Childress explains that severe “parental alienation” is simply a manifestation of standard and established psychological pathologies, and that if it matches these criteria, the appropriate diagnosis is DSM 5 V995.51, Child Psychological Abuse:

    1) a prominent suppression of the normal range functioning of the child’s attachment bonding motivations toward one parent, the targeted rejected parent, with a corresponding hyper bonding motivation expressed by the child toward the allied and favored parent

    2) the prominent display in the child’s symptom presentation of a specific set of narcissistic and borderline personality disorder features: grandiosity (judgement of parent), entitlement (child feels justified in inflicting a retaliatory retribution on the targeted-rejected parent for the supposed parental failure), arrogance (contempt for inadequate parent), and absence of empathy (for the rejected parent)

    3) an intransigently held, fixed and false belief of the child regarding the fundamental parental inadequacy, and often personal inadequacy, of the targeted rejected parent which the child characterizes as a form of emotional or psychological child abuse by the targeted rejected parent”.

    These three criteria represent significant developmental, psychiatric, and personality harms issues, qualify it for Child Psychological Abuse.

    Such a diagnosis creates a Duty to Protect, changing it from a custody issue to a child protection issue.

  3. BJ says

    Great article. To all the parents currently seeking custody of your child/children because of alienation & manipulation, best of luck to you. My husband and I just went through this in court a few years ago. The first round was just a small victory with a small percentage more custody granted to him. (Yes, some times it is the woman who is alienating the man) Then we went back to court later and he was granted full custody and the mother who continued to try to alienate the child was then put on a very restricted visitation with a court order that stated she was allowed to see her child at the discretion of the overseeing psychologist and her daughter as long as she continued in therapy with her daughter. But I do have a fair warning winning custody is not the wave of a magic wand that makes all of your problems disappear. This person is still the parent of your child/children and if you’re not careful you will become the person alienating them. The script can easily be flipped at that point, once you have control. It’s always important to remember the best interest of the child at all times. When dealing with a difficult parent like these types of people, and you were given this type of control such as this it can become easy to start doing the very thing they did to you because of the anger that has built up inside of you if you’re not careful. We have not done this but I’m not going to lie and tell you that it has not been tempting. This woman now tries to use other tactics to manipulate situations since she no longer has the child in her physical custody. She has tried to use insurance (she carries health insurance which is almost worthless). Fortunately that doesn’t work because we don’t need her insurance our daughter . (We have our own insurance) But anyway, typically these types of people are not unique in their thinking. So just a friendly warning. When you think it’s over it’s really never over with people like them but at least the ball is in your court when you win custody & your children can find peace of mind & you can begin to properly sheild them from the drama because you ( the mentally stable one) are in control of the situation. Best wishes from a step parent who loves being a Mom…

  4. D says

    I wish so much that someone could help. Once parental alienation begi ns reMy oldes son, my 21 year old daughter, and now my 16 year old son.

    I had a terrible first marriage. He was cheating on me with one of his male friends. I am the kind of person everyone loves to hate. For som

  5. J says

    Please help me prove p.a.s. in court. My phone #-
    There is too much try try to write for you in a message. PLEASE help my children and I.
    Jeannette House

  6. R says

    This is happening to me right now. False allegations were told in order to get an emergency ex parte. It was vacated on Thursday but now things are even worse than before. I found out how twisted these stories are. My children are being told that I don’t love them or care about them, that I wish they had never been born and I wouldn’t care if they died. There’s so much more. I need someone who will listen to all the craziness. my children seemed much more relaxed than theyve been in a while, once they came home with me and realized I wasn’t mad at them like they’ve been told. Tonight their dad called them and asked them if they were ok and then asked if they were sad. Their behavior changed almost instantly. Help!

  7. G says

    Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This
    is a very well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it
    and come back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post.

    I will certainly return.

  8. KC says

    I would like to get some bona fide
    information because my stepson is presenting
    anti alienation legislation in the legislature
    in the current session
    he needs a couple of attorneys and judges
    to testify who have had some experience with parental alienation

    Could you tell me if you have any ideas,
    I would be anxious to hear your input

  9. SH says

    Some one please help me. I am in Afghanistan and have not heard a word of my daughter since I have been gone.

  10. Anonymous says

    What if you already have a long distance shared parenting order in place, but the residential parent continually refuses to let you have your visitation with the children. Can you go to court to change residential custody since it is in the best interest of the children to see both parents?

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