Parental Alienation in New Hampshire

Understanding, Identifying, and Combating Parental Alienation
PRS Briefs
PRS Policy Brief 1819-07
Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Parental alienation is a set of behaviors, sometimes exhibited during divorce proceedings, in which one parent attempts to undermine the relationship between the other parent and their child. This report identifies that such behaviors exist on a continuum with varying levels of psychological impacts for the victims, and can often be difficult to define or recognize. There are several pre-existing pathways in New Hampshire for the prevention of alienation, as well as options for mitigating the effects of alienation if it arises. These opportunities include a mandatory child impact seminar for all divorce cases involving minor children, the guidelines enumerated in RSA 461-A:6 which inform the determination of parental rights and responsibilities, and the opportunities for modification of parental rights and responsibilities. Some tools, such as the utilization of existing statutes, are not explicitly labeled for the prevention of parental alienation, but could nonetheless be applied to those situations. If the legislature decides that further action is warranted and not harmful, this paper also explores a few potential options for the creating more preventive measures, including cooperation with the judiciary branch on legal education, and raising public awareness.