Woodbridge Child Alienation Lawyer

A divorce or separation can be painful for all parties involved, especially any children. Often, children are not fully aware of what is happening during a divorce and are unable to control how their parents resolve their issues. In some cases, this environment can lead to one parent attempting to alienate their children from the other parent.

Such child alienation is not only unfortunate, but it may also require the services of a seasoned attorney to remedy. If you suspect alienation is happening, it could be best to contact a Woodbridge child alienation lawyer sooner rather than later.

A qualified divorce attorney could conduct any necessary investigations and recommend a course of action that best protects your interests and those of your children. If necessary, they could even represent you in court to help defend your rights and resolve the situation as quickly and positively as possible.

The Basics of Child Alienation

A wide variety of signs could potentially indicate alienation of a child from their parents. For example, a child may have seemingly sudden desires to avoid one parent or the other. They may also be silent or moody around the parent from whom they are alienated. Additional symptoms of alienation could include but are not necessarily limited to:

  • Decreased or no desire to engage in activities with one parent
  • Sudden fear or dislike of one parent
  • Unexplained changes in behavior

Since some of these symptoms could appear in varying degrees in many difficult divorces, a parent who suspects possible child alienation may wish to talk to their child to find the root causes of any tension. Parents may also benefit from taking their child with them to a qualified family psychologist or other similar medical professional.

Alienation Through Child Abuse or Neglect

Although the causes of child alienation take many forms, almost all revolve around one individual manipulating the child against another. This may happen through different means, ranging from overtly lying to the child to other, more subtle means.

For example, one parent could attempt to turn their child against the other parent by allowing them to do certain things the other parent restricts or forbids. In other situations, however, a parent or other family member could actually threaten, neglect, or abuse the child as a means of trying to force them to turn against the other parent.

Under New Jersey Revised Statutes §9:6-8.9, an abused child is defined as any child who is physically, mentally, or emotionally injured or impaired. These injuries may be deliberate or may be caused by neglect, such as a failure to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, or education.

Parents who suspect any sort of abuse or neglect as a means to inflict alienation may wish to report their suspicions to local authorities and discuss whether to raise the issue in court. A Woodbridge child alienation lawyer could provide specific advice and recommendations based on the circumstances of any given situation.

Alienation and Child Custody

A court may take into account a parent’s attempt to alienate their child from the other parent when deciding custody rights and visitation arrangements. Under N.J.R.S. §9:2-4, courts explicitly consider the fitness of each parent and whether their conduct may cause substantive adverse effects on the child. Additionally, in cases of abuse or neglect, courts consider any history of physical abuse or domestic violence as well.

Since the court’s goal is to protect the best interests of the child, it may restrict or even eliminate the custodial rights of a parent who has attempted to alienate a child from their other parent. For example, a court may grant the other parent sole custody or limit the amount of visitation time permitted to the offending parent, depending on what the non-offending parent’s Woodbridge child alienation lawyer can successfully argue for.

For Assistance with Child Alienation, Contact a Woodbridge Attorney Today

In many divorces, children are disproportionately impacted. They often have minimal input in what happens, and yet must live with the outcome nonetheless. Although some stress on a child is unavoidable, alienation from a parent is completely preventable and should never happen simply as the result of a divorce.

For help with alienation issues, get in touch with a dedicated Woodbridge child alienation lawyer. An attorney with experience working through New Jersey divorces could answer any questions you may have on alienation. They could also advise you on how to address the problem, including any possible legal options. Child alienation is a potentially serious issue. For advice and assistance, call a child alienation attorney in Woodbridge today.