view our Practice areas

Family law in Connecticut: The malicious parent syndrome

Stress and divorce walk hand in hand. Even though family law in Connecticut gives a separating couple the means by which to ease that stress, the situation may be fraught with bitterness and anger. Although there is something called "malicious mother syndrome," it could equally apply to fathers in similar situations and is also referred to as malicious parent syndrome.

This syndrome describes a pattern of abnormal behavior in divorce situations and one which health care professionals recognize as a legitimate mental disorder. People afflicted with the disorder wish to punish the former partner in some way such as keeping the children from them or doing anything that may make the other person look bad. Both males and females are capable of the behavior. 

Apart from the emotional devastation some actions can have on former partners and children, malicious parent syndrome could lead to actions that may constitute taking legal action both civilly and criminally. Some actions associated with the syndrome have included damaging property, physically attacking a former spouse or even letting children go hungry to make an ex look bad. If a parent who has custody is acting maliciously or cruelly toward an ex-spouse, it could have bearing on custody arrangements and be a basis for custody adjustments.

A Connecticut attorney familiar with these types of issues and experienced in family law may be able to help a client, including circumstances where a former spouse is keeping children from him or her despite a court order. In the same instance, if a former spouse is lying about a client, it could be cause for defamation. A lawyer will be able to advise his or her client on how to proceed in such cases.




Source:, "What Is 'Malicious Mother Syndrome'?", Accessed on Oct. 7, 2017

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

We Listen, We Help, We Care

  • Hi Yuliana and Attorney Prince, Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy day to meet with me. I really appreciated how compassionate you were while listening to my situation, even through my tears. Thank you so much for sharing such valuable information with me. I left feeling very hopeful that when the dust settles, I’ll be ok.
  • Wendy helped guide us through a very difficult and emotional process and was really able to provide an even and fair account for both parties. It's quite evident in her expertise in this area but the way she was able to make you feel safe and secure in a very insecure time goes far beyond her legal prowess. If the two parties are really willing to cooperate and collaborate, she's there to help gain the best possible solution for all involved, especially if there are children.
  • Regardless of how committed one is to the fact that divorce may be imminent and necessary, it is truly one of the most emotional and stressful situations one can experience. It can also be daunting. Wendy has a remarkable ability to cut through the noise and help you focus on the big picture while drilling down on what is most pertinent to your particular situation., they are a formidable team who work collectively with your best interests in mind.
Email Us For a Response

Let Us Help You Move Forward

Call The Prince Law Group, LLC, in Stamford, Connecticut, at 203-977-3700 or contact us online to schedule your complimentary consultation with one of our lawyers. We will accommodate your schedule with an evening appointment. Spanish translator services available.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Prince Law Group BBB Business Review
Review Us

1 Atlantic Street
6th Floor
Stamford, CT 06901

Phone: 203-653-8483
Stamford Law Office Map

The Prince Law Group

Valet Parking at the Marriott Courtyard

Flexible Hours – Evening Hours Available by Appointment

Walking Distance to the Stamford Train Station