OPEN PRACTICE AREAS
TheTennessee Court of Appealsrecently reminded us of the importance of encouraging a good relationship between your children and their other parent. In this case, Father lived in Tennessee with the children and was the primary residential parent. Mother lived in Texas. She received 85 days of parenting time.

In 2015, Mother filed an emergency motion to modify the parenting plan to obtain primary custody. Mother attached copies of text messages sent between Father and the oldest child during Mother’s parenting time. Among other things, Father told the children Mother “Doesn’t mind to cause pain for others”, is “Mentally ill”, “Nobody likes her” and that the children “Have a right to be ugly to her".

Thetrial courtappointed a forensic psychologist to examine the parties and the children. The psychologist ultimately concluded that the children werealienatedfrom Mother, and that thealienationwas supported by the actions and statements of Father. The psychologist explained:“The parent who is supporting thealienation, whether this is their intent or not, is effectively supporting the child in cruel, unempathetic behavior towards another human being; they are supporting the child in attitudes and behaviors towards interpersonal conflict that emphasize rejection, separation, and polarization, rather than resolution.”

• Thetrial courtfound this to be a “Case Of Severe Parental Alienation” in which Father had actively supported the children’s alienation from Mother without reasonable cause.

• Thetrial courtruled it was in the children’s best interest that custody be changed, and thetrial courtdesignated Mother as the primary residential parent with sole decision-making authority.

• Thetrial courtalso ordered Father to pay for Mother and children to attend a program designed to provide a therapeutic remedy for parental alienation.

• Father was also prohibited from having any contact with the children for at least 90 days so they could complete the therapeutic program.


The Father appealed and theTennessee Court of Appealsagreed with the original judgment.

If You Have Questions Please Feel Free To Contact Our Office.
Ryan K McFarland • attorneymcfarland@gmail.com1 (​931) 516-9009



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