•  
  •  
 

Authors

Holly Smith

Abstract

Parental alienation syndrome is an alleged disorder that was first coined by Dr. Richard Gardner in 1985. Dr. Gardner defined this alleged syndrome as one that arises primarily in the context of child-custody disputes and involves a child’s unjustified denigration against a parent. Although more than thirty years have passed since parental alienation syndrome was first introduced by Dr. Gardner, it is yet to be recognized or accepted in the medical community. Moreover, there are also legitimate questions concerning the alleged syndrome’s admissibility and reliability as evidence in family law proceedings, and the negative effects parental alienation syndrome poses on child custody cases are undeniable. This Note argues that parental alienation syndrome should not be recognized in Massachusetts child custody disputes because it is not a medically recognized syndrome, nor does it pass either of the evidentiary reliability standards used in the Commonwealth. This Note proposes that parties involved in child custody disputes should be educated on the junk science of parental alienation syndrome and informed of the laws available to assist them when issues arise concerning parental behavior that may negatively impact a child.

Included in

Family Law Commons

Share

COinS
 

To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.