Is Parental Alienation a Crime of Family Violence?

Session : Workshop 1-2: Legal Approaches in Shared Parenting and Family Violence

  • Time : 10:05 am PDT To 11:20 am PDT on
  • Venue : Virtual Room 4

Full Abstract

The highest conflict of parental alienation leads children, many times, to serious psycho-emotional damages because of the role they are put in parental conflict. Brazilian Law have specific legislation for Parental Alienation since 2010, and in 2017, recognized parental alienation as a form of family violence against the children. In Portugal there’s no special legal norms on parental alienation, but parental alienation has been recognized by Family Courts as a family dysfunction and negative interference in parent-child bounds with legal interest, and, in most severe cases, has been recognized by family courts as a form of violence against the child. In the most severe cases, when official expertise’s shows a serious interference in personality devolvement of the child, namely with stress disorders like anxiety, depression or others relevant, we are facing a situation of toxic stress that can lead to a criminal process of family violence, as well, nowadays, Portuguese courts are applying shared residence even in high conflict situations and against parents will. More often we are having case law decisions improving shared residence to avoid situations of high conflict and alienation, even without parental agreement. Naturally, in needs to be decided case by case in the name of the best interest of the child. It doesn’t work in every situations and need supervision from court multidisciplinary teams. Recently Portugal approved shared residence law project, not as a preference, principle or rule for children of separated parents, but as a model to be taken in account in best children interest.