Malicious Mother Syndrome

malicious mother syndrome

Divorce and child custody battles can bring out the worst in parents. When tensions run high, divorcing spouses sometimes engage in destructive behavior called “Malicious Mother Syndrome or malicious parent syndrome.” 

In this article, we will answer common questions about malicious mother syndrome and explain how it can cause irreparable damage to parent/child relationships and impact a family law case.

Malicious Mother Syndrome: What Is It?

A divorced mother may engage in malicious parent syndrome (MPS), vindictive conduct. It happens when one parent consciously tries to damage the other parent’s bond with their kid.

Malicious mother syndrome is a severe, damaging behavior rather than an actual mental condition. Parental alienation is another name for it, although they are not the same thing.

What are the four traits of the malicious mother syndrome?

1. The parent tries to get revenge on his or her ex by

  • Driving their child’s other parent away
  •  Engaging in harmful behavior against the other parent with others
  •  Bringing excessive legal action.

2. The parent makes an effort to exclude the other parent

  • Frequent encounters with the other parent
  • Continuous exchange of messages with the other parent
  • Involvement in the child’s educational experience and extracurricular activities.

3. The pattern is widespread, including harmful behaviors such as:

  • Lying to their child about the other parent on several occasions
  • Telling others lies about the other parent
  •  Violating the law

4. The malicious parent does not have a mental disease that would account for their conduct.

Malicious mother syndrome Examples

The notion of classifying excessive parental malice as a syndrome or mental illness to explain parental behavior after the divorce came from examples of vengeful parents in clinical and legal situations. 

Some examples of these actions include setting fire to an ex-spouse’s home, fraudulently accusing the other parent of maltreatment, or wilfully obstructing scheduled parenting time.

A woman once told her children they couldn’t afford meals because their father had blown all of their money, which may be an example of the malicious parent syndrome.

  The intention behind each of these deeds is to cause harm to the other parent.

psychological effects of malicious behavior

The damaged parent and their connection with the kid may be significantly strained when one parent goes out of their way to harm the other. 

In certain situations, a parent who has been the target of abusive behavior by their ex-spouse may distance themselves from their child’s life to prevent more conflict. 

A manipulative parent could also be successful in making their child dislike and desire to spend less time with the other parent

What effects does Malicious Mother Syndrome have on divorce and custody disputes?

Malicious Mother Syndrome can significantly influence divorce and child custody proceedings. If one parent indulges in MPS, the other parent may struggle to get custody or visitation rights. 

Malicious Parent or Mother Syndrome occasionally resembles child abuse or is illegal. If these occurrences occur, the parent engaged in MPS is more likely to lose the legal fight, be required to pay child support, and have little or no visitation with their kid. 

It is unusual for MPS to have the opposite effect and hurt the influential parent more than their ex-spouse.

It’s critical to obtain legal counsel as soon as possible if you’re going through a divorce or child custody dispute and think your spouse is Malicious Parent Syndrome. You may safeguard your rights and navigate the family court system with the assistance of an expert family law attorney.

Malicious parent syndrome is characterized by several actions that may violate civil and criminal laws.

Malicious parent syndrome is characterized by some criminal behaviors, such as harming the other parent or causing damage to their property. 

A kind of child abuse that can be illegal under family and criminal law is depriving kids of food or money to harm the other parent’s reputation. Similarly, a dishonest parent who fesses up to lying under oath risks prosecution for perjury.

There may be further civil law breaches connected to this action pattern. For instance, depriving a parent of their court-ordered visitation rights can be considered unlawful parent time interference and lead to penalties. Defamation can occur when one parent lies about the other parent’s actions, damaging the other parent’s reputation and causing genuine harm.

Parental malfeasance can also affect parenting schedules and custody agreements. Any action to obtain or modify custody may consider a parent’s involvement in alienating, harsh, or unlawful behavior.

Challenges in the courtroom.

Either of these conditions may make someone eager and capable of telling a completely convincing falsehood in court. 

Sometimes, their capacity for persuasion is so strong that they may get others to testify falsely against the victimized parent. 

They could outperform the opposition’s lawyers.

Such evidence sometimes omits that the meddling parent is lying or has deceived the court by manipulating the kid or the circumstances to appear innocent.

If the interfering parent successfully violates the visiting rules repeatedly, the victimized parent frequently suffers severe emotional distress. It is likely to cause the case to lose legal significance. Unfortunately, visitation interference persists outside of court, frequently becoming more severe.

Medically combat divorce between parents.

Consult medical experts for assistance, starting with your family doctor or children’s pediatrician. Share your worries with others. You can equally share your worries with your psychologists and psychiatrists, who can assist you and your kid realize what your ex-wife is doing.

It is less likely (and less vital) to defang your wife by assisting your kids in recognizing her deceit, manipulation, and evil intentions than it is to get her to quit using her kids as bargaining chips against you.

Consult an attorney if you have paternity questions.

When an evil parent stands in the way of a kid having the finest possible start in life, it may be incredibly frustrating for parents who want the best for their children. However, legal procedures are in place to resolve these concerns, and it is best to navigate them through a skilled family law attorney.


Conflicts over child custody and divorce can make parents misbehave. Divorced partners can exhibit “Malicious Parent Syndrome,” a negative behavior pattern when things get heated. 


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