Our New Jersey Divorce Lawyer Discusses the Issue of Parental Alienation
Divorce is often contentious. When one of the parties harbors feelings of anger and betrayal, then it can lead to some degree of parental alienation. When that behavior becomes obsessive, true parental alienation occurs and can endanger the relationship with your child. If you suspect that your child is intentionally being driven away from you, then you need the assistance of a New Jersey parental alienation lawyer.
While New Jersey judges vary in the way they treat parental alienation, they do all agree that it is usually in a child’s best interests to maintain a positive relationship with both parents. Your Aretsky Law Group, P.C., parental alienation attorney will do all that is necessary to protect your child custody and parenting time rights.
What Is Parental Alienation?
Parental alienation occurs when one parent denigrates the other in a conscious attempt to get the child on her side and to deliberately destroy the child’s relationship with his or her other parent. Although the alienator can be either parent—or even a friend or relative—it is usually the custodial parent, more often the mother.
Parental alienation can be harmful not only to the alienated parent, but to the child as well.
Degrees of Alienation
Many experts categorize alienators into three types of offenders: Naive, or Mild; Active, or Moderate; and Obsessive, or Severe. Children can usually cope with the first two types of behavior without being unduly influenced. It is the last category that is cause for concern.
Naive, or Mild, Alienators
Many divorced parents fall into this category from time to time. A naive alienator knows that it is best if the child has a good relationship with both parents and usually does all that is necessary to encourage it; however, occasionally this parent makes a disparaging remark about the other and is overheard by the child.
Active, or Moderate, Alienators
Like the mild alienator, the moderate alienator also understands that the child would benefit from a good relationship with his or her other parent. Sometimes, however, this parent may lash out at her ex-spouse in the child’s presence. Moderate alienators might feel sorry afterwards, but in spite of this regret, their feelings of anger take over and cause them to speak or act impulsively.
Obsessive, or Severe, Alienators
The obsessed alienator is consumed by anger and resentment. These feelings lead to fanatic behavior with the ultimate goal of destroying the child’s relationship with his or her other parent.
Behaviors Exhibited by Obsessive Alienators
You may be a victim of parental alienation if your ex-spouse regularly…
- denies access your child’s medical records;
- prevents telephone contact with the child;
- interferes with your court-ordered parenting time;
- makes denigrating comments about you in front of your child;
- tells your child that you are to blame for their financial problems;
- tells your child that you are to blame for their having to move;
- encourages the child to take her side in an argument;
- acts hurt or betrayed when your child does spend time with you;
- questions your child to get information about your personal life; and
- exaggerates your shortcomings.
Behaviors Exhibited by Children of Obsessive Alienators
It might be reason to wonder whether or not intentional alienation is occurring if your child…
- refuses to spend time with you;
- acts fearful when told he or she has to visit you;
- blames you for their financial problems and/or the need to move;
- always take your ex’s side in an argument between you and your ex; and
- acts in a protective manner towards his or her other parent.
What You Can Do to Improve the Situation
Whether you are truly a victim of alienation or your child is just having a difficult time adjusting to the drastic changes in his or her life, it is important that you do everything possible to rebuild your relationship.
These are some things you can do to reassure your child that you love him or her and that your divorce is a separate issue:
- Show up for scheduled parenting time even if your child refuses to see you.
- Maintain contact with your child: email, text, phone, etc.
- Acknowledge birthdays and other occasions.
- Keep aware of your child’s school work; attend parent-teacher conferences.
- Attend school concerts, plays, sporting events, and other activities.
- Stand up for yourself and correct misconceptions when appropriate.
- Refrain from making negative comments to your child about your ex.
Contact a New Jersey Parental Alienation Attorney
If you suspect that your child is being purposefully alienated from you or if you have any other child custody or parenting time issues, call our offices and speak to one of our New Jersey divorce and family law attorneys. The courts do not take interference with the parental relationship lightly, and we will fight to protect your rights.
Contact Aretsky Law Group, P.C., and set up your Consultation. Let us help you set up a strategy to fight for your rights and protect your relationship with your child.
Call us 24/7 at 1-800-537-4154 to discuss your case.