Welcome back and thanks for joining us again. We’ve been talking about ‘malicious mother syndrome’, or ‘malicious parent syndrome’ as it is now commonly called. As we pointed out in the previous article, this isn’t a mental or behavioral disorder, like narcissism, but rather a series of behaviors brought about by the extreme stress and high conflict of contentious divorces. And just like we said in the previous article, that can mean some pretty awful stuff, including child abuse, false allegations of molestation, and in rare cases even arson!
Many ‘malicious parent’ behaviors are against the law!
Some ‘malicious parent’ behaviors are clearly against the law, while others are not illegal but are civil infractions. This means they’re violations of civil law and could result in fines, court-ordered counseling, or other penalties. Here are a few examples to consider:
Behaviors that are violations of criminal law:
Physically assaulting the other parent: Assault is against the law. Whether the ‘malicious parent’ used a weapon or simply their fists, it is illegal to harm, or try to harm another person.
Threatening or terrorizing the other parent: It is illegal to engage in behaviors that make someone afraid, or believe that their life is in danger. Whether this means making verbal threats to hurt them or kill them, or simply doing things that imply that they may be in danger (like stalking them, or showing up at their place of work to watch them)
Physically or sexually abusing your child: It is against the law to abuse a child, either in any sexual capacity, or in some other physical way. This could include depriving them of food, water, or other necessary items like shelter, medical treatment or education. It is also illegal to punch, kick, bite, burn, or violently shake a child, causing them any injury. This includes any kind of sexual contact with a child!
Damaging the other parent’s property: Whether it’s throwing a rock through their window, keying their car, or breaking into their home and slashing their furniture, it’s against the law to damage or vandalize another person’s property in Michigan.
Lying under oath: Some ‘malicious parents’ engage in criminal activity to get even with the other parent, or in the hopes of making them look bad. They then deny this when confronted by the police, or by a judge in court. This is also illegal, and can result in perjury charges!
Behaviors that are violations of civil law:
Denying a parent their court-ordered visitation: Refusing to drop your child off on days when the court has said you may spend time with them is a violation of court orders (which is a violation of civil law.) Even intentionally being late for drop-offs and early for pickups on a regular basis, making the court-ordered visitations that much shorter, can be considered violations.
Slandering the other parent: Lying about the other parent in a way that causes them harm (losing their job, or being ostracised from their social circle both count as harm!) is a civil infraction. You could be sued, and penalized by the court for ‘defaming’ the other parent if the thing you said can be proven to be lies!
Divorce can turn good people into rotten people!
Sometimes the stress and conflict that comes with a divorce can bring out the absolute worst in someone. A spouse you’ve known for years can suddenly become another person – someone whose greed and cruelty knows no bounds. But you don’t have to do this alone. Call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 today and talk to our skilled and experienced family law attorneys. We can help you during this difficult time, no matter how complicated or unpleasant it may get along the way!