Recent News

Home/Blog/Custody/Malicious Parent Syndrome: What Is It and What Can I Do About It?



Malicious Parent Syndrome: What Is It and What Can I Do About It?

In high-conflict divorces, one of the most challenging issues to tackle is “Malicious Parent Syndrome” (MPS). This vengeful behavior exhibited by some divorcing or separated parents can significantly impact children, parents, and custody disputes. As a concerned parent or legal professional, understanding MPS and knowing how to deal with it can make a significant difference. Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC, is prepared to help you navigate this difficult situation. Call for a consultation where you can discuss your specific case. 

What is Malicious Parent Syndrome?

Malicious Parent Syndrome is not a recognized mental disorder but rather a term used to describe a pattern of behavior exhibited by a parent who intentionally disrupts their children’s relationship with the other parent. Often arising in high-conflict divorces involving child custody disputes, MPS involves deliberate acts of vengeance against the other parent.

Identifying Signs of Malicious Parent Syndrome

The symptoms of MPS can be extensive and damaging. They may include lying to the children and others about the other parent, violating the law, and engaging in a pervasive pattern of malicious acts.

For example, an MPS parent may consistently denigrate the other parent in front of the child, creating a negative image that influences the child’s perception. They may also attempt to obstruct visitation rights or manipulate the child into rejecting the other parent.

The Impact of MPS on Children and Parents

The effects of MPS are far-reaching, impacting not only parents but also the children involved. Children may suffer emotional and psychological distress, struggle with feelings of loyalty, and experience a disrupted relationship with the targeted parent. For the targeted parent, the constant barrage of hostility and false accusations can be emotionally draining and damaging.

Dealing with MPS in Child Custody Cases

Addressing MPS requires awareness, action, and professional guidance. Parents should be vigilant about any signs of MPS and document instances of malicious behavior. Legal professionals need to be informed about MPS and its implications, ensuring that they can advocate effectively for their clients and the best interests of the children involved.

Courts are increasingly recognizing the harmful effects of parental alienation and similar behaviors. Evidence of MPS can influence custody decisions, with courts potentially favoring the targeted parent if they can demonstrate that the other parent has engaged in such behavior.

Seeking Professional Help

If you suspect that your ex-spouse is exhibiting signs of Malicious Parent Syndrome, it’s crucial to seek professional help. Mental health professionals can provide support and strategies for managing the situation and mitigating the impact on the child. In legal matters, an experienced family law attorney can guide you through the complexities of child custody disputes involving MPS.

Remember, the primary focus should always be on the child’s best interests. While dealing with MPS can be challenging, effective strategies and professional support can help ensure a positive outcome for all parties involved.

In conclusion, Malicious Parent Syndrome is a destructive behavior pattern that can significantly impact child custody cases. If you’re grappling with this issue, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional attorney for assistance. Mahoney Richmond Thurston, PLLC, can provide the advice, support, and representation you need to navigate this challenging situation.