Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation Attorneys in Bergen County, NJ

Strong Representation for Clients Facing Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation is a systematic form of psychological abuse through which a parent can instill fear and/or hostility in their child towards the other parent. There are innumerable reasons why a parent may take such a selfish action, but no reason excuses the behavior in the eyes of the law.

Individuals who may otherwise be rational, reasonable, and cooperative can sometimes show a darker side when deep emotions are involved. Going through a divorce or child custody battle is certainly no exception. While our attorneys always attempt to work with our clients to ensure that all parties are satisfied with the outcome of any family law dispute, unfortunately, this is not always possible.

The Law Office of Townsend Tomaio & Newmark practices exclusively family and divorce law. We are here to protect the parental rights of our clients. Cases of parental alienation are of the utmost seriousness as the psychological effects can be very real and long-lasting if not handled appropriately. Our partners are also parents, and we strive to offer realistic, concrete solutions to our clients’ legal problems and the issues they and their families are facing.

Contact our firm to discuss your unique needs and concerns when it comes to your parental alienation issues in a free and confidential consultation with our legal team today.

Family Lawyers Define Parental Alienation

Parental alienation can take many forms, but all forms involve a parent knowingly causing a child to form a negative opinion of the other parent. Some parents may make direct statements to a child telling them that their other parent is worthless, does not love the child, or intentionally left their family behind because he or she is a bad person.

However, parental alienation is not always so dramatic or obvious. Sometimes a parent will tell a child that spending time with the other parent hurts their feelings, or they may tell white lies about the targeted parent which paint them in a negative light.

Another common example involves situations of distress where a child may be sick, in trouble at school, or otherwise need parental attention. If a parent is already handling the situation, the manipulative parent may come in an attempt to “rescue” the child to make the situation better. This may seem innocuous, but it is psychologically damaging to a child who now may see one parent as inherently incapable of protecting them.

Parental Alienation Attorneys Discuss Motivation

As stated earlier, it is never justifiable to alienate a parent. Even if there are serious concerns, psychological manipulation is not the correct course of action. It is important to understand possible motivations so that the underlying issues can be addressed. So why do so many parents participate in parental alienation? Here are a few possibilities:

Maintaining Control – the most common and simplest reason to alienate a child’s parent is to maintain sole custody and control of the child’s life

Childhood Trauma – many parents struggle with their own childhood issues well into adulthood. Abandonment or mistreatment as a child may lead parents to react to divorce as yet another abandonment, which may dredge up feelings up inadequacy or failure. This often leads to a hostile environment, regardless of the realities at hand

Pre-Existing Psychological Issues – Personality disorders such as narcissistic personality disorders often lead to irrational and damaging decisions, including parental alienation

Your Legal Options as an Alienated Parent

New Jersey courts are of the belief that it is in children’s best interest to have strong relationships with both parents after their divorce, and if a manipulative parent is endangering your children’s well-being and best interests by alienating them from having this kind of relationship with you, several legal options may be available to you as the alienated parent.

In some cases, an alienated parent may wish to file for a child custody modification, limiting the amount of time the children spend with the “toxic” parent. In extreme cases, the alienated parent may even seek sole custody and remove the children entirely from the situation. Children are often intelligent and sensitive enough to understand that they are being protected from a harmful situation, but every situation is different, and the extent to which a court may limit one parent’s visitation time with their children depends much upon the extent to which you and your attorney can prove that the other parent is actively sabotaging the relationship you have with your children.

Another option may be in the form of a child custody enforcement complaint. Again, if a parent is alienating their children from having a relationship with the other parent, they are actively breaking the core terms of your child custody agreement. Courts have the authority to take a variety of actions to ensure this does not happen.

Beyond these two legal options, alienated parents may wish to consider therapy for their children. Your child may be confused after being put in a difficult situation between two parents, and therapy has been shown to help children and parents move on from parental alienation.

Contact our Hackensack Parental Alienation and Child Custody Modification and Enforcement Attorneys Today

At The Law Office of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience practicing family law, and putting that knowledge to work for our clients. As parents ourselves, we understand just how important your relationship with your children is to you, and we are prepared to help you secure your parental rights through child custody modification motions and child custody enforcement motions when those rights are being assailed by the manipulative, dangerous, or illegal behavior of your co-parent.

To speak with our team of family lawyers today in a free and confidential consultation regarding the parental alienation your children may be experiencing, and your legal options for protecting their health and relationship with you as a parent, contact our office. 

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