A Quick Guide to Malicious Mother Syndrome

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Malicious Mother Syndrome is recognized when a mother intentionally tries to separate children from their father and hurts the father. Such an act is dangerous as well as emotionally challenging for both the father and children.

Serious attempts to alienate children might lead to the development of insecurities and negatively impact them. A malicious mother is a threat to her children.

Malicious Parent Syndrome

To understand malicious mother syndrome, you must know what malicious parent syndrome is. This syndrome is usually associated with parents who are divorcing or divorced.

One parent attempts to degrade the other to get custody of their children. This involves lying to the children, attempts to punish the other parent, and other malicious actions. To accomplish this, a parent might make their mutual child(ren ) believe in false accusations.

But both the mother and father can be malicious. Malicious parent syndrome is widely known as malicious mother syndrome. It is also known as parental alienation.

Malicious mother syndrome
Photo by, Neonbrand, Unsplash

A divorce can affect mental health adversely. Not all divorces end up in malicious parent syndrome. In good relationships, divorced parents try to ensure their children get what they require.

But there are instances when divorcing, or divorced parents develop parental alienation syndrome. Sometimes, it includes malicious acts towards each other, problems with custody, and child abuse.

Malicious parent syndrome can be proven by checking the following factors :

  • Child neglect or child abuse
  • Refusal to visitation.
  • Lying to the child about the other parent
  • Not providing basic necessities to the child and wrongly accusing the other parent of such a condition.
  • Denying any form of contact with the other parent.
  • Hurting the other parent by alienating them from the child.
  • Manipulating the child.
  • No particular mental disorder to explain such acts.

Malicious Mother Syndrome

It can be called malicious mother syndrome when mothers express malicious behavior and campaign to hurt their previous partner.

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Photo by Liza Summer from Pexels

It is not recognized as a mental disorder at present. This syndrome is associated with behavioral change among divorcing or divorced partners. To turn children against their fathers, mothers harm their previous partners in various ways.

4 Signs and Symptoms

By identifying the following signs, you can understand whether a divorced mother or a mother undergoing a divorce has malicious mother syndrome.

1. Hurting Ex-partner

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Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels

When a mother unjustifiably punishes the divorcing or divorced partner, it indicates malicious mother syndrome. This might be fulfilled by alienating the mutual child from the partner, making others do malicious acts against the partner, and excessive litigation. Also, giving wrong information regarding their children is a sign of a malicious mother.

2. Avoiding Paternal Presence

Simply put, some mothers try to deny a father’s presence to their child. To succeed in such malicious activity, they use various methods. A mother might not allow a child to visit their father or let the father know where the child is.

Malicious mother syndrome
Photo by Vitolda klien, Unsplash

Malicious mothers also attempt to deny the child any form of communication, be it telephone access or letters or call, with the father. Not allowing the father to participate in children’s school life and extracurricular activities signify malicious mother syndrome.

3. Malicious Actions

In attempting to alienate children from their father, a mother may use pervasive and include malicious acts that violate the law.

Malicious mother syndrome
Photo by Afif kusuma, Unsplash

Lying to the children to degenerate a father’s reputation, constantly lying to others about the partner, and involving others to do the same are all signs of a malicious mother.

4. Acting Maliciously Without Any Underlying Mental Disorder

A completely normal mother may change when their relationship is ruined. Some might have a previous mental disorder. This can justify behaviors involving abnormal acts.

But when a person follows a particular pattern of acts to hurt someone, it suggests malicious mother syndrome. Such a disorder may be developed to wreck the relationship of a father with his children.

Malicious mother syndrome
Photo by Fred Moon, Unsplash copyright 2021

You should check whether a mother is showing malicious behavior specifically due to another mental disorder or if it’s a plan to get full custody of mutual children.

How to Deal With Parental Alienation Syndrome?

When there are constant efforts to damage relationships between a child and their parent, it creates stress. Sometimes, for the safety of the child, a parent may willingly avoid interactions. This makes the child believe that the malicious acts were not truly malicious.

Such a wrong belief can make a child hate the other parent. A person showing malicious parent syndrome can successfully manipulate their children and make them dislike the other parent.

Malicious mother syndrome
Photo by Liana Mikah, Unsplash  copyright 2021

Malicious behavior in parental alienation syndrome has a lot of legal consequences. A parent may get involved in civil and criminal law violations in their attempts to punish the other one.

Attacking and damaging the other parent and their properties, child neglect, denying the necessities of children, and portraying the other parent as evil can violate family law as well as criminal laws.

Denying visitations which has court approval can have legal consequences. Defamation is also punishable under the law. Malicious mother syndrome can have a negative influence on custody arrangements.

Therefore, malicious parent syndrome should be taken seriously. Dealing with malicious mother syndrome can be difficult if you don’t know how to do it. Consult a family law attorney to resolve such issues. Since it is an upsetting process, it is best if you handle it with some experienced attorneys.

Moreover, letting your child live with a person who has such threatening behavior is not advisable. Modify agreements and gain custody of your child. Approach the court and provide counseling for the malicious mother.

Get legally sanctioned visitation orders to maintain a connection with your child. You should always remember to protect your child’s interests.

Malicious mother syndrome
Photo by, Marcin Jozwiak, Unsplash   copyright 2021

Seeking the guidance of a psychologist can also help you deal with parental alienation syndrome. They can spot the nuances where a parent acts maliciously. They will also help you in making the best decisions for your child as well.

There are various options, legal as well as psychological, to deal with parental alienation. The court may appoint amicus attorneys on behalf of your child. Make use of it to protect your child.


It is necessary to recognize malicious mother syndrome and take action to provide a safe environment for your child. Do not tolerate violations of the law. Approach the court if needed.

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Content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. Reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students. 


  1. No action is ever taken against the mother who had the children. A Contact order can be broken by the mother and the judges simply allow the mother to make false allegations and take the view they were doing so to protect their children. I have heard of one case where the judge said the father took the mother for contempt , out of vengefulness. Social services will simply support the mother who had no allegations against her as it is the safest route for them on terms of potential cases against a trust. Courts strangers to interview children in their home with the malicious mother in the home abc report back ‘ no alienation found’. Alienation is not something that can be found, it is a behavioural pattern over a long period of time. No records exist to hold judges accountable and things will not change. Fathers are alienated and courts/social services are not effective in ensuring they aren’t.


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