in some West Virginia child custody cases, the issue of parental alienation will be raised by one parent when the other parent keeps the children away. While it is a real problem in some cases, it is also claimed in cases involving abuse or domestic violence by the allegedly abusive parent. This can result in problematic outcomes.

According to a study, in cases that involve alleged abuse by the father, the mother is much less likely to be awarded custody of the children when the father alleges parental alienation. The Leadership Council on Child Abuse and Interpersonal Violence reports that an estimated 58,000 children either have unsupervised contact with or are placed in the custody of abusive parents each year.

The study was conducted by researchers at The George Washington University Law School and included 2,000 participants. Parental alienation occurs when a parent uses different methods to turn children against the other parent. Mothers who are accused of parental alienation are two times as likely to lose custody of their children. Experts question the reliability of the science behind parental alienation syndrome and argue that allegations of domestic and child abuse should be resolved before the child custody issues are addressed.

Parents who are embroiled in disputes over child custody might want to get help from experienced family law attorneys. In situations involving domestic or child abuse, an attorney might work to gather evidence that proves the allegations against the abusive parent and helps to disprove any claims of parental alienation. Thoroughly investigating claims of abuse and parental alienation is important for protecting the best interests of children. The victims of abuse might also want to report their abuse to the proper authorities and ask the court for protective orders to protect themselves and their children.