When deciding any matter related to child custody or parenting time and visitation, New Jersey’s family court system uses what is known as the “Best Interest Standard”, meaning the outcome of the child custody matter needs to account for the best interests of the child or children involved, as the court sees them. And while most parents will typically feel the same way, sometimes a parent’s own actions may be detrimental to their child’s best interests, whether they know it or not.
One very important example of this is the issue of parental alienation, basically when a parent’s actions or words are hindering their child’s relationship with their other parent. As previously mentioned, a parent may not even know that they are alienating their child from their other parent, but regardless, when parental alienation occurs, legal action can become necessary.
In today’s article, our Bergen County child custody attorneys will be discussing parental alienation, the legal actions that may take place as a result, and the potential outcomes of these parental alienation legal actions.
Parental Alienation Lawyers Paramus NJ
Parental alienation often occurs during or after a divorce, and again, some parents may not even be aware that they are alienating their children from their other parent. With that being said, any of the following can be considered by the family court system to be acts of parental alienation:
- A parent lying to their children about the other parent, or painting them in a negative light
- Forcing the children to take sides in any kind of dispute between the parents
- Blaming the other parent for any kind of negative situation
- Refusing to observe the other parent’s child custody and visitation rights in accordance with the agreement in place
- Interfering with the other parent’s visitation time and custody schedule
- Withholding information about the child or children from the other parent
The New Jersey family court system is of the belief that children of a divorce or of different households should create and maintain as strong a relationship as possible with both parents, and any action by one parent or the other which hinders this from happening can be considered parental alienation.
Parental Alienation Legal Actions in Bergen County
Now that we have a clear understanding of what exactly parental alienation is, let us look now at some of the potential legal consequences when one parent or the other is alienating their children from their other parent.
First and foremost, any parent perceived by the family court system as knowingly or otherwise committing acts of parental alienation will be seen as a negative influence on their children. While such a parent probably won’t lose their custody and visitation rights altogether, a successful child custody modification hearing based on parental alienation will almost always limit the amount of time said parent spends with their children, and the potential negative influence they can have on their relationship with the other parent.
Through a child custody modification request and with the help of an experienced Bergen County parental alienation attorney, parents can seek to prove that parental alienation is occurring and as such limit that parents visitation time with the children, potentially disprove previous testimony made by the child which may have been coerced by the abusive parent, and even request that the alienating parent seek psychological treatment in order to change and improve their behavior.
However, in certain situations, the mere act of beginning the child custody modification process may encourage parents to change their behavior, without requiring the petitioning parent to undergo the entire legal process. This of course depends upon the desired results, and as with any kind of post-divorce modification, and especially when it comes to a child custody modification or child custody enforcement matter, it is highly recommended that litigants retain experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel to guide and advise them throughout the process, and ultimately secure a fair resolution.
Contact Our Hackensack NJ Child Custody and Visitation Attorneys Today
At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our attorneys have extensive experience working with clients and families in divorce and child custody matters of all kinds in towns across New Jersey and Bergen County, including Hackensack, Paramus, Ridgewood, Teaneck, Fort Lee, and the surrounding communities.
Family law issues have the potential to affect the lives of all involved for years to come, and we understand just how important your legal, financial, and parental future is to you. By practicing exclusively family law, our firm is able to provide the highly knowledgeable, effective, and attentive legal counsel that our clients need and deserve.
To speak with a member of our family law team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding any kind of child custody, visitation, relocation, or other divorce or family law matter, please contact us online, or through our Hackensack, NJ office at (201) 397-1750.