Scott Trout of Cordell & Cordell talks parental alienation

Cordell & Cordell managing partner Scott Trout was featured in an article by Missouri Lawyers Weekly on parental alienation cases.

Trout discussed the frustration of having parental alienation as a part of 60% of his cases but not being able to prove the scientific validity of parental alienation syndrome.

That’s because a group rejected adding “parental alienation disorder” in the next edition of the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, also known as DSM-5. Had the American Psychiatric Association included parental alienation disorder in its next diagnostic book, family law attorneys could have proved parental alienation as a scientific fact thus greatly improving the case of the alienated parent.

“That’s your struggle,” Trout told the newspaper. “You can prove the conduct. You can have the child interviewed by psychologists. But you’re not necessarily trying to prove … its scientific validity.”

Trout said he must tiptoe around the subject, especially if the client can’t pay the often high cost of having an independent expert testify about parental alienation.

The newspaper reads:

Even if the client can afford an expert, the DSM remains bare of references to parental alienation. So Trout is stuck dancing around the subject with expert testimony, unable to ask the question he wants to ask: “Can you diagnose this child with parental alienation syndrome?”

Visit our parental alienation information page to learn more.

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