Aretsky Law Group, P.C., Experienced Lakewood Divorce Attorneys Helping Those Who Have Experienced Parental Alienation and Parental Alienation Syndrome
Do you think that your relationship with your child has been damaged due to the actions of your ex-partner? If so, do you have any legal recourse against your ex once you realize that they are attempting to alienate you from your children? If you think you might be dealing with a parental alienation situation, there are a few steps you can take in order to protect your relationship with your children.
Parental Alienation in Lakewood New Jersey: Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms
Has it been a while since you last saw your child, or even since the last time you spoke with them? Are they acting rebellious towards you, ignoring you, or refusing to visit with you? Do you think that your ex-partner is making disparaging comments about you to your child or blaming you for the divorce? If you are experiencing any of these things, it might just be that your child is upset and emotional about the divorce, but it is also possible that you are dealing with parental alienation. Parental alienation is a type of emotional child abuse where one parent vilifies or belittles the other parent in front of or to the child. Parental alienation can damage relationships and leave lasting scars that are sometimes irreparable. While not all judges believe that parental alienation is a legitimate syndrome, most judges will not allow or approve of parents who attempt to disrupt their child’s relationship with the other parent, and they will make sure that the child’s best interests are protected.
So What Should I Do To Protect My Own Parental Rights?
Do you and your ex-partner have a formal order in place that governs parenting time or custody of your child? If not, and you are having issues regarding visitation and custody, it is important that you seek an order from the court right away. A formal, signed order can clearly set forth who has custody, both physical and legal, and what your parenting time will be. When requesting an order, you should also tell the judge that you have reason to believe that your ex-partner is making disparaging comments about you to your child or that they are trying to manipulate your child. If the situation is serious and the effects appear to be damaging, the court may require that your child is evaluated and treated by a psychologist and may even order that everyone involved should attend therapy sessions.
If you do have a formal custody order or order for parenting time in place but your ex-partner is not following this order, you should file a motion to enforce this order. Judges must ensure that the best interests of the children are protected, so even if they don’t believe in the legitimacy of parental alienation, if your ex-partner is actively interfering with your parenting time and custody rights, the court will likely order permanent or temporary changes to the custody or parenting plan and may even sanction the interfering parent. Some of the permanent or temporary changes that a court might order include:
- Changing the transportation arrangements for driving children to and from school, activities, and to each other’s houses;
- Changing the primary residential parent, meaning maybe your child originally lived the majority of their time with your ex, but now they will be living with you nearly full-time;
- Changing a pick-up or drop-off location, such as the location where you exchange your children for parenting time purposes;
- Compensatory parenting time may be ordered if you missed out on a substantial amount of parenting time due to the actions of your ex-partner.
Some of the sanctions that the interfering parent may be subject to include:
- A requirement that they attend therapy or parenting classes;
- Ordering them to pay for your court costs and attorney’s fees;
- Ordering them to pay for any costs that are associated with them failing to comply with court orders;
- Ordering them to pay for your counseling or for your child’s counseling;
- Ordering them to participate in community service.
If you think that your child is a victim of parental alienation, it is important that you document everything. Be sure to jot down notes every time your child fails to show up for scheduled parenting time, or if they refuse to speak with you. It is also important that you seek the advice and counsel of an experienced Lakewood Parental Alienation Attorney in order to preserve and protect your parental rights.
Contact the Aretsky Law Group, P.C., Today
At the Aretsky Law Group, P.C, our attorneys have both the resources and the knowledge necessary for helping you through the divorce process, particularly if you think that parental alienation may be involved. Contact Aretsky Law Group, P.C. by calling 1-800-537-4154 to schedule your free initial consultation at our Lakewood, N.J. meeting location by appointment only.