When couples with children get divorced, things can get complicated. Unfortunately, some parents will allow their emotions to get the best of them and they may attempt to disrupt their child’s relationship with the other parent. This is known as parental alienation. Parental alienation can severely impact a child and his or her relationship with both parents. As a result, it is important to recognize the signs and the steps you should take.
What Does Parental Alienation Entail?
Parental alienation is a tactic used to turn a child against his or her parent. Sometimes you may not even be aware that this is occurring, but it can seriously impact your relationship with your child. Parental alienation may take the form of:
- Passive verbal jabs about the other parent
- Outright badmouthing the other parent
- Pretending to “save” the child from certain situations that the child simply does not need saving from
Some signs to look for include a change in your child’s behavior toward you. If your child begins to act distant, angry, or upset in your presence, this may be a result of parental alienation.
What if I am a Victim of Parental Alienation?
Parental alienation can be difficult to prove to a court. As a result, there are some important steps to take if you believe you and your child are victims of parental alienation:
- Make sure to screenshot and record any disparaging texts, emails, or phone calls from your child’s other parent
- Keep a journal to record relevant comments your child makes or any shifts in behavior
You should also reach out to an experienced family law attorney. A family law attorney can help you gather further evidence.
What are the Consequences of Parental Alienation?
If a New Jersey court finds that parental alienation is occurring, they may alter your custody agreement. In most cases, the court believes that it is in a child’s best interest to maintain a relationship with both parents. But, if one parent is not doing what is best for the child, the court may limit that parent’s time with the child.
If you have any questions regarding parental alienation in New Jersey, reach out to our firm today.
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