Legal resources

Significant case law:

'In summary, in a situation of parental alienation the obligation on the court is to respond with exceptional diligence and take whatever effective measures are available. The situation calls for judicial resolve because the line of least resistance is likely to be less stressful for the child and for the court in the short term. But it does not represent a solution to the problem. Inaction will probably reinforce the position of the stronger party at the expense of the weaker party and the bar will be raised for the next attempt at intervention. Above all, the obligation on the court is to keep the child's medium to long term welfare at the forefront of its mind and wherever possible to uphold the child and parent's right to respect for family life before it is breached. In making its overall welfare decision the court must therefore be alert to early signs of alienation. What will amount to effective action will be a matter of judgement, but it is emphatically not necessary to wait for serious, worse still irreparable, harm to be done before appropriate action is taken. It is easier to conclude that decisive action was needed after it has become too late to take it.'

Re S (Parental Alienation: Cult)

Neutral Citation Number: [2020] EWCA Civ 568

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'It is clear that the child's expressed views are that she wishes to remain living with the mother (…) However, all of her views have to be assessed having regard to the fact that they are distorted by the prism of alienation.'

Re S (Parental Alienation: Cult: Transfer of Primary Care)

Neutral Citation Number: [2020] EWHC 1940 (Fam)

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'the manipulation of the child by the other parent need not be malicious or even deliberate. It is the process that matters, not the motive. Where a child’s relationship with one parent is not working for no apparent good reason, signs of alienation may be found on the part of the other parent. These may include portraying the other parent in an unduly negative light to the child, suggesting that the other parent does not love the child, providing unnecessary reassurance to the child about time with the other parent, contacting the child excessively when with the other parent, and making unfounded allegations or insinuations, particularly of sexual abuse.'

Re S (Parental Alienation: Cult)

Neutral Citation Number: [2020] EWCA Civ 568

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'...the obligation on the court is to keep the child’s medium to long term welfare at the forefront of its mind and wherever possible to uphold the child and parent’s right to respect for family life before it is breached. In making its overall welfare decision the court must therefore be alert to early signs of alienation.'

Re S (Parental Alienation: Cult: Transfer of Primary Care)

Neutral Citation Number: [2020] EWHC 1940 (Fam)

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'I accept that whilst there will be short-term harm and distress for the child as a result of moving to the father's care, underlying the current estrangement lie the foundations of a positive and beneficial relationship between the child and her father.’

Re S (Parental Alienation: Cult: Transfer of Primary Care)

Neutral Citation Number: [2020] EWHC 1940 (Fam)

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More case law:

Neutral Citation Number: [2020] EWHC 3366 (Fam)

Case No. FD19P00058

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

FAMILY DIVISION

Date: 24 February 2021

Before: MR JUSTICE KEEHAN

A and B (Parental Alienation: No.1, No.2, No.3 and No.4)

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Neutral Citation Number: [2020] EWHC 1940 (Fam)

Case No: ZC19P00137

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE FAMILY DIVISION

Date: 15 July 2020

B e f o r e : MR JUSTICE WILLIAMS

Re S (Parental Alienation: Cult: Transfer of Primary Care)

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Neutral Citation Number: [2020] EWCA Civ 568

Case No: B4/2020/0318IN THE COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION) ON APPEAL FROM THE CENTRAL FAMILY COURT

HHJ Meston QCZC19P00137

Royal Courts of Justice Strand, London, WC2A 2LL

Date: 29 April 2020

Before: LORD JUSTICE McCOMBE, LADY JUSTICE KING and LORD JUSTICE PETER JACKSON

Re S (Parental Alienation: Cult)

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Application no. 23641/17

EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

Strasbourg

Date: 29 January 2020

Case of Pisică v. the Republic of Moldova

Art 8 • Respect for family life • Failure to enforce final judgment awarding mother custody • Children’s alienation from their mother • Failure to act with requisite diligence • Positive obligations

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