MyDivorcePapers Blog

We're here to make your life easier to manage and to help you begin your new start.

Parental AlienationAdult relationships and their intricate dynamics have been dissected and stamped into our culture for thousands of years. But divorce and separation has also been around for a long period of time, whether recognized by governments and churches or not. Stipulations within divorce sometimes have a lot in common with the study of the human mind. The psychology of relationships and the residual effects of a divorced parent’s relationship with their kids has long been studied. As has the mental strain between a man and woman, which has been known to cause serious irrational actions. These are commonly known as crimes of passion.


Classifying New Disorders

Often times a damaged relationship can create strain and deep mental stress within individuals, which in some corners of study and sociology believe should be classified as an official mental disorder. In what has been a long, ongoing battle  for an official classification in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), groups have wanted recognition for induced relationship stressed. Names like “Co-dependency Disorder” and “Scapegoat Disorder” have been thrown around.  Along with these are disorders that have a direct correlation to divorce and divorce court proceedings. “Parental Alienation” has been subjectively classified as when a child’s relationship with one parent is poisoned by an estranged parent.

A Shared Disorder Takes Two

Each year a board for the DSM reviews submitted  material and considers any new findings in the field. The DSM then makes a ruling on whether there is anything new to recognize or if any changes to existing disorders should be made. It has been said that the one continual problem with proposed “disorders” is that it cannot be diagnosed within one individual’s mind. Dr. Darrel Regier, vice chair of the task force drafting the manual states, views these disorders as “relationship problems.” They exist between two, and sometimes more, individuals.

Proponents claim that recognizing these disorders could lead to more fair rulings and outcomes in divorce courts. They claim this could help children going through the divorce process get proper treatment. Dr. William Bernet, professor of psychiatry at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine , has proposed his definition of “Parental Alienation Disorder” as ‘‘a mental condition in which a child, usually one whose parents are engaged in a high conflict divorce, allies himself or herself strongly with one parent, and rejects a relationship with the other parent, without legitimate justification.’’

After reviewing the evidence, the board for the DSM has again ruled that “Parental Alienation” is not a disorder. The board has continually stated that it is unlikely to ever be ruled an official mental disorder, barring some unforeseen turn of events.

Often in divorce there can be messy custody battles; in many cases parents have manipulated their children to their benefit in divorce proceedings. If a disorder, like “Parental Alienation,” were accepted by the DSM, it could change the complexity of custody battles and open up a slippery slope for feuding parents in custody battles. Child custody and child support laws vary from each state, and often are complex and confusing as it is. Adding a pseudo-mental disorder that leaves a lot of gray area could only potentially make things worse, no matter the good intention for the child. At you can find all the information and answers for divorce proceedings and child custody laws. It pays to be prepared, no matter your situation, and knowing the laws and proceedings will help you through these tough times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Home | Leadership Team | Help Center | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Disclaimer

© 2014, All Rights Reserved.

Back to Top