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Five Signs of Parental Alienation

Parental alienation is defined as a deliberate effort by one parent to cause distance between the other parent and children born of the marriage. The motivation behind an effort at parental alienation is to impair or even destroy the parental bond between the other parent and the children.

A number of different signals can suggest that parental alienation is occurring. Five of the most common signs of this types of alienation are:

  • Children are unusually angry with you
  • Other parent attempts to keep children away from you
  • Other parent makes negative statements about you to children
  • Your children appear guilty when spending time with you
  • Other parent makes false accusations about abuse

Bear in mind that in many cases a parent intent on alienating you from your own children will employ multiple tactics in order to drive a wedge between you and your kids. For example, the other parent may employ more than one of the tactics we discuss here that signal attempts being made at alienation.

Children are Unusually Angry with You

Sometimes, evidence of alienation is demonstrated to the emotional state of the children themselves. One of the more commonplace examples of alienation is children who have become unusually angry with you. They may demonstrate anger and yet you are unable to pinpoint the reason why they are upset. When asked why they are upset, they are likely to dodge or evade the question. In the alternative, children might respond with what may seem like a nonsensical reason as to why they are angry with you. Such a response may stem from unfair or even untrue statements made by the other parent to you children. The other parent might accuse you of something improper to your kids, an accusation that is not only improper but untrue.

Other Parent Attempts to Keep Children Away from You

Another signal that an attempt to alienate children may be occurring is an attempt by the other parent to keep the children away from you. For example, if you are the noncustodial parent, the custodial parent may interfere with your parenting time rights in some manner. If interference with parenting time occurs, you are wise to seek assistance from a skilled, experienced New Jersey family law lawyer to enforce your rights.

Other Parent Makes Negative Statements About You to Children

One of the most common signs that parent-related alienation is being attempted is when the other parent makes negative or degrading statements about you to the children. Negative statements made by the other parent to your children really can have a damaging effect on how your children see you. Keep in mind that New Jersey courts take a dim view of a parent that makes disparaging statements about the other parent to the children.

Your Children Appear Guilty when Spending Time with You

Yet another signal that parent-related alienation is being attempted by the other parent is seen when your children seem to appear guilty when they are spending time with you. The other parent may be engaging in what might be called “mind games” with your children as a means of making them feel guilty or even shameful about enjoying spending time with you. This can result in your children ultimately avoiding time with you. This occurs because your children, as is the case for nearly any person, do not like feeling guilty.

Other Parent Makes False Accusations About Abuse

A particularly egregious sign of parental alienation is found in the other parent making fales allegations of abuse. False allegations of abuse not only can draw a wedge between the targeted parent and children, but it can result in everything from an alteration of custody or parenting time as well as a criminal investigation.

Schedule a No-Cost Initial Consultation with an Experienced New Jersey Family Law Lawyer

If you face issues involving the custody of or parenting time with children, the legal team at the Law Offices of Peter Van Aulen is here for you. You can schedule a free initial consultation with a New Jersey family law lawyer from our firm at (201) 845-7400.

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