Bergen County Parental Alienation Lawyer
Has your child’s other parent sabotaged your relationship with your child in Bergen County, NJ? Parental alienation is not uncommon, and it harms the alienated parent and the child. You have options to prevent further alienation and re-establish a healthy relationship with your child.
Arons & Solomon, P.A. represents clients in divorce, custody, and visitation issues with more than 150 years of combined experience. Contact our law office today to schedule a free consultation with a Bergen County parental alienation lawyer for the help you need.
How Arons & Solomon, P.A. Can Help with Parental Alienation in Bergen County
Child custody, child support, and visitation can be contentious issues. However, this bitterness doesn’t always end after a divorce is final and a court has ordered a parenting plan and visitation schedule. Is your child’s other parent engaging in behavior that is damaging your relationship with your child? It’s crucial to get help from a Bergen County family law attorney as soon as possible.
At Arons & Solomon, P.A., we recognize the challenges non-custodial parents face. We have represented families in Bergen County, New Jersey, since 1994 and will put over 150 years of combined family law experience to work for you. Our attorneys have earned prestigious designations, including Top Lawyers of Bergen County by (201) Magazine. We have also achieved the Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent rating.
You can count on Arons & Solomon, P.A. to fight for the best interests of you and your child. We use collaboration, mediation, and, when necessary, court intervention.
Choose our law group to help you, and we will:
- Offer legal advice, support, and guidance to help you make informed decisions that impact you and your child
- Seek amicable resolution whenever possible
- Give you the resources, time, and attention you need
- Pursue multiple options inside and outside of court to uphold your parental rights
- Hold the other parent accountable when they engage in intentional or direct alienation
- Gather evidence to support allegations of alienation to seek court intervention that can improve your relationship and time with your child
Contact our law firm today to schedule a free case review with a Bergen County parental alienation attorney to discuss how we can help.
What Is Parental Alienation in New Jersey?
Parental alienation syndrome or PAS is a term first coined by Psychiatrist Richard Gardner in 1985. The term refers to a childhood disorder that generally arises in child custody disputes. However, PAS generally only refers to symptoms in children and not the behavior that contributes to the problem.
Parental alienation happens when one parent distances their child from their other parent. This is done with programming, alienating, brainwashing, bad-mouthing, or other negative strategies.
The alienating parent may tell their child that their other parent loves their new family more, does not wish to see their child, or does not love them. It can involve false or genuine allegations that are mild or severe. For instance, it may involve telling a child excessive details about why a marriage broke down, such as abuse or cheating.
Parents who alienate their child from the other parent are sometimes doing so intentionally and vindictively. In many cases, it is due to frustration and has unintended consequences. Some parents do and say things that damage their child’s relationship with their other parent without even realizing it.
What Are the Signs of Parental Alienation?
Parental alienation can take many forms.
Behavior that may be alienating can include:
- Denying the other parent the opportunity to see their child
- Allowing a child, especially a younger child, to skip visitation when they do not want to go,
- Telling the child about the other parent’s bad attributes or behavior, bad-mouthing the other parent, or divulging unnecessary details of the marriage,
- Questioning the other parent’s authority instead of supporting their ability to discipline the child,
- Planning activities that are tempting to the child during the other parent’s visitation,
- Frequently breaking or bending custody rules,
- Maintaining secrecy about the child’s medical records, school performance, activities, and friendships,
- Frequently asking for details about the other parent from the child and passing judgment,
- Actively comparing a new partner to the other parent,
- Engaging in arguments or yelling at the other parent in front of the child,
- Blocking the other parent’s number from a child’s cell phone or not giving them a child’s cell phone number, or
- Engaging in behavior that makes it difficult for the other parent to contact or visit the other child.
Some forms of parental alienation are unintentional. Still, parental alienation can cause lasting harm to the parent-child relationship. Repairing this damage can take years of conscious effort.
How Can I Prove Parental Alienation in Bergen County, NJ?
Proving parental alienation is notoriously difficult. Sometimes judges do not believe that parental alienation is even real. They may not recognize the other parent’s intentional campaign against you.
A judge may not view tempting a child out of visitation or other behaviors as violating your right to spend time with your child. To some judges, this is only a child not wanting to see the other parent. Despite the parent’s legal right to visitation, they may be hesitant to take any action.
It can also be challenging to link a child’s attitudes and feelings toward a parent to the other parent’s actions. While difficult, proving parental alienation can be done. Our Bergen County parental alienation attorneys at Arons & Solomon, P.A. may recommend many strategies.
A child custody evaluation can be performed by a neutral mental health professional. This can be invaluable at establishing alienating behavior.
This evaluation usually involves:
- Separate interviews with each parent
- Interviews with the child
- Observations of interactions between the child and parent
- Discussions with caregivers, physicians, teachers, and others in the child’s life.
We may also explore other avenues for proving alienation, such as witness testimony. This can include relatives, friends, and even a joint marriage therapist in some cases. Friends and relatives may be able to testify about behavior they have seen and what they have heard the child say.
There may also be documentation to help establish alienating behavior, including emails, texts, and voice messages between the parents. For instance, if a mother hears something from her child that she suspects shows the father disparaged her, she can text the father what she heard and ask for an explanation. Sometimes there is even evidence on the other parent’s or child’s social media posts that indicate alienation has occurred.
What Remedies Are Available for Parental Alienation in Bergen County, New Jersey?
Proving alienation and seeking a legal remedy can be challenging, whether it is done during the initial child custody proceedings or later. The situation is best addressed as soon as possible to preserve the parent-child relationship and seek the best possible remedies.
Mediation may be a good place to start, especially if the other parent is not engaging in intentional alienation. When alienation is persistent or severe, a Bergen County alienation attorney may help you seek a remedy through the Bergen County Superior Court.
Even when judges do not believe in alienation, they are still committed to protecting the child’s best interests. New Jersey Revised Statutes Section 9:2-4 states that it is public policy to “assure minor children [have] frequent and continuing contact with both parents” after divorce or separation.
When the other parent is actively interfering with your right to visitation or custody, proving alienation is not even necessary to seek a legal remedy. A judge may order temporary or permanent modifications to your parenting plan, such as changing the primary residential parent or adjusting transportation, pick-up, and drop-off guidelines.
Compensatory parenting time can be ordered if the court believes the other parent has wrongfully deprived you of your right to visitation.
A court may even impose penalties and order the other parent to:
- Pay for counseling for the child and/or the other parent
- Pay costs related to non-compliance with court orders
- Pay the other parent’s legal fees and court costs
- Attend counseling or parenting classes
If a child custody evaluator supports allegations that the other parent caused serious alienation, the court may order reunification therapy. Non-custodial parents also have the right to request that the court order this therapy. A court may require both parents to cooperate with an outline of specific treatment goals, parameters, payment arrangements, appropriate interventions, and more.
Contact a Bergen County Parental Alienation Lawyer for a Free Consultation
It may feel hopeless when your child’s other parent harms your relationship with your child. However, an experienced alienation attorney can help you pursue options to stop their alienating behavior and repair the rift with your child. Time is of the essence. The longer this behavior continues, the harder it is to repair your relationship.
Contact Arons & Solomon, P.A. today to schedule a free consultation with a Bergen County parental alienation lawyer. We will help you explore your options and seek the most appropriate child visitation and custody remedies.