Is There Any Way to Fight Parental Alienation?

May 7, 2018
Child Custody

Have you heard of parental alienation? This phenomenon, though not well known publicly, is a common occurrence in family courts all across the state of New Jersey. Alienation can lead to loving parents being cut off from their children and force them to pay the alienator money in the form of spousal and child support. Unfortunately, there are no fast solutions for this problem, but a growing number of family law practitioners are coming up with ways to stop this practice.

Fighting Parental Alienation in New Jersey Family Courts

Parental alienation occurs when one parent attempts to poison the relationship between their child and the other parent. This action can take many forms: the alienating parent marginalizing or speaking poorly of the other parent, the alienating parent threatening the child, or the alienating parent could level false accusations of sexual abuse against the other. These actions often harm both the child and the parent being targeted, but there are steps that can be taken to fight alienation.

  • Recognizing Alienation – The first step to fighting alienation is recognizing it. This can be done by paying attention to several telltale signs. Is a child belligerent in court or suddenly hostile to one of their parents in court? Does the child refuse to speak to or spend the night with a parent? Did this behavior suddenly happen without warning or apparent cause? Is one of the parents insisting that the child’s contact with the other be cut off? All these may be signs that a parent is trying to alienate the other. Detecting these signs early are important for both lawyers and parents, since proving alienation can be a long process.
  • Proving Alienation – Proving that one parent is trying to poison a child against the other can be very difficult. It involves leveling both circumstantial and objective proof. Pointing out the signs, like resistance to parental contact, parroting adult concepts, and avoidance can all be circumstantial indicators, but you will probably need more than that in court. Finding an objective expert to examine the evidence and offer a non-argumentative profession conclusion may also be essential to proving allegations of alienation.

April 25th was Parental Alienation Awareness Day, which is meant to spread awareness about parental alienation. However, this problem has been a part of our state and nation for a very long time. Spreading awareness of this issue is a must considering how common it is. Several experts have suggested a special “parent alienation court” that specializes in these issues. Others have suggested fines and penalties for such behavior. Some experts have even suggested that attorneys turn away clients they suspect are alienating their co-parent. What solutions do you think could help fight parental alienation?

This message was brought to you by the family law attorneys at Kardos, Rickles & Hand—we provide skilled representation for families who need legal help.