Malicious parent syndrome, or malicious mother syndrome, refers to tactics employed by one parent to make the other parent look bad in the eyes of the law, which generally harms the children involved in custody disputes following divorce. Learn about this and more at FindLaw’s Child Custody section.
Characteristics of Malicious Parent Syndrome
In his initial discussion of malicious mother syndrome, Dr. Turkat sought to identify and describe a condition where one parent acts purposefully and vengefully towards the other during or following divorce.
Malicious parent syndrome is characterized by four major criteria. Someone suffering from the syndrome:
- Attempts to punish the divorcing parent though alienating their children from the other parent and involving others or the courts in actions to separate parent and child;
- Seeks to deny children visitation and communication with the other parent and involvement in the child’s school or extra-curricular activities;
- Lies to their children and others repeatedly and may engage in violations of law;
- Doesn’t suffer any other mental disorder which would explain these actions