If you have been involved in issues surrounding contact with children then you will almost certainly have heard someone mention 'Parental Alienation'.
Firstly what is it? CAFCASS generally define it as 'when a child's resistance or hostility towards one parent is not justified and is the result of psychological manipulation by the other parent'. This is a very grey area of law because it relies on information being provided by the two parents and the children.
CAFCASS have built on the tools they already used when assessing the wishes and feelings of children and now use the 'Cafcass Child Impact Assessment Framework' but even with this new guidance, each case will turn on it's own nuances and each child will have a different experience. Both men and women are capable of being 'alienated' and as such a blanket approach would never work.
The main thing to keep in mind is that children grow up all too quickly and it is important to try to agree the arrangements you make for them post separation as quickly and as amicably as possible. Mediation is a good place to start, but if the separation is particularly acrimonious you ought to take advice sooner rather than later.
All of our assessments focus on what is happening for each child. In our work, we try to help parents and the court understand the impact of the separation and adult behaviours on individual children and what they need to recover.