Our Monmouth County divorce and family law attorneys explain what parental alienation is, the impacts it has on parents and children, and how it can affect your child custody case.
When parents divorce or go through a break-up, it is important for them to remember that just because the relationship with the other person did not work out, they both still play an important role in their children’s lives. Parental alienation in divorce and child custody cases occurs when one parent intentionally tries to turn the children against the other. This can cause long term damage to the parent-child relationships that can be used as grounds in a child custody lawsuit.
How Parental Alienation Impacts Parents and Children
Parenting plans in New Jersey dictate child custody arrangements and encourage both parents to continue playing an active and engaged role in their children’s lives. Unfortunately, anger, bitterness, and animosity between the parents over the breakup or other issues in their relationship can end up getting in the way.
Parental alienation is a term used when one parent attempts to make the children ‘take sides’ or takes actions to turn them against the other parent. Psychology Today warns that it may include any of the following:
- Making disparaging remarks about the other parent;
- Blaming the other parent for the failure of the relationship;
- Overindulging the children or ignoring pre-established rules and limits;
- Setting the other parent up to fail by sabotaging plans and visitation.
Parental alienation deprives the children and the parent targeted of a loving relationship and can have long-ranging impacts on the mental health of all involved.
Parental Alienation and Your Rights in a Child Custody Lawsuit
Under Section 9:2-4 of the New Jersey Statutes, the court’s primary concern in child custody cases is ensuring the children’s best interests are protected. Factors the court is likely to consider in issuing custody and visitation orders in the case include:
- Each parent’s past and current relationship with the children;
- Their proven ability to meet the children’s needs;
- Their willingness and ability to interact reasonably and cooperate with one another in implementing any plans made;
- Any behaviors that could endanger the health or safety of the children.
When one parent actively attempts to turn the children against the other, it is a clear case of not putting the children’s best interests first. As a result, it can negatively impact that parent’s rights in child custody proceedings.
Once a parenting plan is put in place and this type of behavior develops, the parent being targeted has the right to file a lawsuit. They may be entitled to a modification of the existing child custody order, which may limit the children’s interactions with the at-fault parent.
Get Our Monmouth County, NJ Divorce and Family Law Attorneys on Your Side
When it comes to protecting your children and your rights as a parent, Lomurro Law acts as a strong legal advocate on your side. Call or contact our Monmouth County, NJ divorce and family law attorneys online and request a consultation today.