Legal Responses to Alienation and Parent Contact Problems

Barbara Jo Fidler, Nicholas Bala and Michael A. Saini

in Children Who Resist PostSeparation Parental Contact

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199895496
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199980086 | DOI:

Series: American Psychology-Law Society

Legal Responses to Alienation and Parent Contact Problems

Show Summary Details


This chapter addresses the issue of contact problems through the lens of the best interests of the child, an approach that is now dominant in the developed world. It begins with a discussion of the critical role of custody evaluators and mental health experts in cases involving parent-child contact problems. It then turns to a discussion of the legal responses to a postseparation rejection of a parent by a child that the court concludes is not justified—that is, to cases of alienation. The chapter concludes with a discussion of suggestions for how the family justice system should be structured to allow the most effective responses to children's resistance to parent contact, including a discussion of case management and the need for early identification, and appropriate and effective intervention.

Keywords: intervention; custody evaluators; mental health experts; family justice system; case management

Chapter.  37363 words. 

Subjects: Criminal and Forensic Psychology

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