Everything You Need to Know About ‘Malicious Mother Syndrome’ (Pt 1)

‘Malicious Mother Syndrome’ can actually refer to either parent. It’s based on behaviors, not genders!


You may not have ever heard of this before (many people haven’t!) Or if you have, you may have heard of it referred to as ‘malicious parent syndrome’, which is actually the more commonly used term these days. But either way, whether it’s entirely new to you, or you had heard mention of it before under a different title, you can probably guess from the name that it isn’t a good thing. But there’s a lot more to it than that. So let’s unpack.


What exactly is ‘malicious mother/parent syndrome’?


According to world-renowned psychologist Ira Turkat, who first coined the phrase, divorces are very stressful and emotionally taxing. However, when there’s a lot of conflict, and the process is extremely contentious, Dr Turkat refers to the cruel and sometimes violent behaviors one parent might use to punish the other parent with as ‘malicious parent syndrome.” However, it’s important to note that medical and mental health professionals do not currently recognize this as a mental disorder.


What does ‘malicious mother syndrome’ look like?


There are many ways that this could be acted out. Some of the more common behaviors include:

  • Attempting to alienate the child from their other parent
  • Seeking to involve the court in punishing the other parent
  • Making false accusations of abuse against the other parent
  • Refusing to allow the child to see or contact the other parent
  • Refusing to allow the other parent to participate in any of the child’s school or extra-curricular activities
  • Tells lies to their children and others about the other parent
  • May harm or abuse children if they think it could be blamed on the other parent
  • Vandalizing property owned by the other parent


Malicious parents do unbelievable things to ‘get even’ when they’re angry.


There have been documented cases of extreme malicious parent syndrome, where the malicious parent lied to police, claiming that the other parent was molesting the children. Other examples of extreme ‘malicious parenting syndrome’ have included parents who physically assaulted the other parent, physically abused their children in the hopes of blaming the injuries on the other parents, and in one case, even burning down the other parent’s home.


Divorce can bring out the worst in people!


Join us next time for a look at some of the legal consequences of malicious mother syndrome, and how it can affect the outcome of a divorce. Until then, if you’re caught up in a relationship that’s unraveling and you need legal representation during the coming divorce, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 today. Our skilled and experienced family law attorneys can help you during this difficult time, no matter how complicated or unpleasant it may get along the way!