Parental Alienation in Colorado Child Custody Cases: What it is and How to Address it

Parental alienation is a complex and troubling issue that can arise in child custody cases. It refers to the manipulation or coercion of a child by one parent to turn them against the other parent. This behavior can have a profound impact on the child’s relationship with the targeted parent and can lead to long-term emotional and psychological harm. In Colorado, the courts take parental alienation seriously and strive to protect the best interests of the child.

Colorado Revised Statutes Title 14. Domestic Matters ยง 14-10-124, which outlines the best interests of the child and serves as the foundation for determining custody arrangements. This statute emphasizes the importance of promoting the child’s relationship with both parents, unless it is not in the child’s best interests due to factors such as abuse or neglect. Parental alienation goes against the principles outlined in this statute, as it undermines the child’s right to have a meaningful and healthy relationship with both parents.

Recognizing Parental Alienation:

Identifying parental alienation can be challenging, as it often involves subtle and indirect forms of manipulation. Signs of parental alienation may include:

  1. Constantly making derogatory remarks about the other parent in the child’s presence.
  2. Interfering with the child’s visitation or communication with the other parent.
  3. Encouraging the child to reject or denigrate the other parent.
  4. Limiting the child’s access to information or contact with the other parent.
  5. Undermining the targeted parent’s authority or decisions.

Addressing Parental Alienation:

If you believe parental alienation is occurring in your child custody case, it is crucial to take action promptly. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Document instances: Keep a detailed record of incidents demonstrating parental alienation, including dates, times, and descriptions of specific behaviors.
  2. Seek legal advice: Consult with an experienced child custody lawyer who understands the complexities of parental alienation cases. They can guide you through the legal process and help protect your rights.
  3. Mediation and counseling: The court may recommend mediation or counseling to address the issues of parental alienation and rebuild the parent-child relationship.
  4. Obtain evidence: Gather evidence supporting your claims of parental alienation, such as emails, text messages, or witness testimonies.
  5. Request a custody evaluation: In some cases, a custody evaluation may be necessary to assess the child’s best interests and determine the extent of parental alienation.
  6. Court intervention: If all attempts to address parental alienation fail, you may need to present your case in court and request a modification of the custody arrangement.

Remember, resolving parental alienation requires patience and perseverance. The court’s primary concern is the child’s well-being, and they will take appropriate action to protect their best interests.


Parental alienation is a serious issue that can have devastating consequences for children and their relationships with both parents. In Colorado, the courts prioritize the best interests of the child and take parental alienation into account when making custody determinations. If you suspect parental alienation in your child custody case, consult with a knowledgeable attorney who can guide you through the legal process and help protect your rights. By taking proactive steps and working within the legal framework, you can address parental alienation and ensure the well-being of your child.

Remember, taking action against parental alienation is crucial for the well-being of your child. Don’t hesitate to seek the help of professionals who can advocate for your rights and protect your child’s best interests. Contact COLawTeam today and let us assist you in navigating your child custody case.