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Family law in Connecticut: The malicious parent syndrome

On Behalf of | Oct 20, 2017 | Family Law |

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: FindLaw.com, “What Is ‘Malicious Mother Syndrome’?“, Accessed on Oct. 7, 2017