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Is ‘Malicious Mother Syndrome’ real?

There is no question that divorce and custody proceedings can bring out the very worst in people. Generally speaking, any family court matter typically does. However, one set of behavioral changes has earned the title of Malicious Mother Syndrome. And, although it isn’t recognized by the medical profession as a true mental disorder, many family court commissioners have borne witness to this phenomenon and may have a different opinion.

Although this condition is most commonly referred to as Malicious Mother Syndrome, it has been found to affect both men and women during divorce and therefore, has been renamed Malicious Parent Syndrome. Through the study of this condition, psychologist Ira Turkat found a way to identify Malicious Parent Syndrome with a set of characteristics meeting four specific criteria.

In Turkat’s opinion, an individual suffering from Malicious Parent Syndrome seeks to discipline the other parent through, sometimes, drastic means. They may attempt to alienate children from their soon to be ex, deny communication between the other parent and their children, and may perhaps even lie or engage in unlawful behavior. Malicious Parent Syndrome may be the soft diagnosis given to a divorcing parent that exhibits any number of these characteristics without the diagnosis of another mental disorder to explain it.

Although Malicious Parent Syndrome is not a recognized mental disorder, it has been witnessed enough to lead proponents to request further investigation and research. The behaviors related to Malicious Parent Syndrome can significantly impact a divorce and custody proceeding. If you are facing divorce and concerned that your soon-to-be ex is exhibiting signs of Malicious Parent Syndrome, it may be beneficial for you to speak with an attorney. With their help, temporary orders may be requested that help you maintain a relationship with your children during your divorce.

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Keith has been very helpful with my divorce. He suggested a great mediator and did everything possible to answer all my questions, and guide me through this very difficult part of my life. I would highly recommend him!
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