Introduction In the context of co-parenting, particularly after a divorce, parental alienation and resist/refuse dynamics can significantly impact the family structure. Colorado law addresses these issues with specific statutes and case precedents. This article explores the nature of parental alienation, resist/refuse dynamics, and how they are dealt with under Colorado family law.

Part 1: Defining Parental Alienation and Resist/Refuse Dynamics

A. Parental Alienation Parental alienation occurs when a child becomes estranged from one parent due to the psychological manipulation of the other parent. This can manifest in various ways, from subtle badmouthing to outright obstruction of contact between the child and the alienated parent.

B. Resist/Refuse Dynamics This term refers to situations where a child resists or refuses contact with one parent. While this can be a result of alienation, it may also stem from other factors, including the child’s own experiences and perceptions.

Part 2: Colorado Law on Parental Alienation

A. Legal Framework Colorado Revised Statutes § 14-10-124 addresses the allocation of parental responsibilities and considers the child’s best interests. This includes assessing the child’s relationship with each parent and any evidence of parental alienation.

Part 3: Addressing Parental Alienation in Colorado

A. Court Intervention

  • Courts can order therapy, parenting classes, or changes in custody arrangements to mitigate the effects of alienation.
  • In severe cases, a change in primary custody might be considered.

B. Professional Evaluation

  • Mental health professionals play a crucial role in diagnosing and addressing parental alienation.
  • Psychological evaluations are often used to assess the family dynamics and the child’s attitudes towards each parent.

Part 4: Best Practices for Co-Parents

A. Encouraging Positive Relationships

  • Parents are encouraged to foster a positive view of the other parent, refraining from negative comments or behaviors that could influence the child.

B. Legal and Therapeutic Support

  • Seeking legal counsel and therapeutic intervention early can prevent the escalation of alienation.
  • Family therapy can be instrumental in repairing strained parent-child relationships.

Part 5: Challenges and Considerations

A. Distinguishing Alienation from Other Factors

  • It is important to differentiate true parental alienation from a child’s natural response to divorce-related stress or other legitimate concerns about a parent.

B. The Complexity of Legal Proceedings

  • Addressing alienation in court can be complex, often requiring expert testimony and detailed evaluations.


Parental alienation and resist/refuse dynamics are serious concerns in co-parenting situations. Colorado law provides a framework for addressing these issues, prioritizing the child’s best interests. Understanding these dynamics and seeking appropriate legal and therapeutic support is essential for the well-being of affected families.