Passaic County Parental Alienation

Even in Passaic County, “big city” problems like those experienced in more-populated places such as nearby New York City can affect families and couples with children. For example, it is easy for one parent’s love and devotion to his or her child lead the parent to attempt to monopolize the child’s presence, attention, and affections. Even if such behaviors stem from pure and uncorrupt motivations, the impact to the other parent and to the child can be devastating. Imagine the hurt and confusion a young child might feel if he or she was told he or she could no longer see his or her mother or father, or the pain that a teenaged child might feel if his or her contact with one parent or the other is suddenly severed.

Aretsky Law Group, P.C. is your Passaic County family law firm. Our legal team is all-too familiar with efforts aimed toward parental alienation in divorce and child custody cases. Oftentimes, noncustodial parents are the targets of these efforts aimed at alienation and may feel as if they have few allies. Aretsky Law Group, P.C. wants to be your ally: let us assist you in fighting back against your child’s other parent’s or another person’s efforts at alienating you from your child.

What Does Parental Alienation Look Like in Passaic County?

Parental alienation is a broad term that encompasses a wide variety of behaviors that may be committed by a diverse group of people. In fact, any person – your child’s other parent, a grandparent or extended family member, neighbors and family friends, even your child’s teachers – are capable of committing acts aimed at alienating your child from you. (That being said, many incidents of parental alienation are committed by your child’s other parent.)

Any act committed with the intent to drive a physical and/or emotional wedge between you and your child or any act that achieves this effect and can include:

  • Words that disparage the other parent or stories that cause the child to have a lesser opinion of the other parent when these comments and stories do not serve a legitimate purpose in protecting the child’s safety or wellbeing around the other parent;
  • Using words, actions, and/or the child’s schedule and activities to deny the other parent reasonable and meaningful parenting time (such as enrolling the child in a substantial number of extracurricular activities such that the other parent does not have a real opportunity to spend time with the child);
  • Words or actions that act to restrain the child’s free will and dissuade him or her from speaking with or forming a relationship with the other parent. Examples of this behavior include telling the child he or she cannot visit the other parent, need not visit the other parent, and/or that some negative outcome will result to the parent or the child if the child chooses to see the other parent.

Some of the first warning signs that you may notice that would suggest the other parent is attempting to alienate your child from you include sudden and unexplained changes in your child’s behavior and/or indefensible modifications being made to your visitation schedule without your approval. Do not ignore these early warning signs, as the effects of parental alienation can be difficult to reverse or correct the longer the efforts at alienation have been taking place.

New Jersey Statutes You Should Know That Concern Parental Alienation

New Jersey Revised Statutes Section 9:2-4 states that lawmakers in the Garden State believe that a child benefits from having both of his or her parents involved in his or her life in a significant and substantial way. Because family law courts in Passaic County are ultimately concerned with a child’s best interests, this statute is interpreted by most family law judges to mean that one parent should not be able to purposefully alienate the child from the other parent. A child is likely to suffer physical and/or emotional and mental harm if he or she is denied access to both parents.

Combating parental alienation efforts begins with a strong legal offense that is able to document and prove that parental alienation is occurring and that does not delay in going to work for you. Your attorney will need to file the appropriate motion and notice with the court. The motion will be set for a hearing, at which time you and your attorney will need to present specific evidence supporting your allegations of alienation. Depending on the strength and sufficiency of your case, the court has various methods available to punish the offending parent and/or help address any effects the alienation efforts may have had (including adjusting the visitation schedule).

Aretsky Law Group, P.C. assists parents who are the target of parental alienation efforts in Passaic County and elsewhere in New Jersey. Call our office at 800-537-4154 today to schedule a consultation at our Woodland Park location.

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