Even under the most amicable circumstances, negotiations over child custody during a divorce can turn bitter, even brutal.
It’s one thing to haggle over how to divvy up the living room furniture or the wedding China; it’s another thing entirely to develop a nuts and bolts plan for how to co-parent, split up time and figure out who should go with whom over the holidays.
Custody battles can test even the most compassionate among us, and they can also lead to devastating consequences, such as false allegations of abuse or neglect, a topic we covered extensively in a recent e-book and blog post series. Parents often do crazy, hurtful and sometimes even illegal things to win points in a child custody or divorce negotiation.
This blog post series focuses on one of these hurtful tactics, Parental Alienation (PA). One parent — or sometimes a step-parent or grandparent — engages in a campaign of brainwashing and emotional manipulation designed to alienate a child from another parent. This process not only rips apart families but also permanently damages parent-child relationships. Once a child buys into the negative narrative made up about the targeted parent, the brainwashing “sticks” for years and even into adulthood.
Whether you only suspect that your ex has been manipulating your child; or you have strong evidence of alienation, this series will give you a crash course on what to expect, how to fight back, and how to repair and hopefully restore your relationship with your child.
This post and other posts that will follow on the same subject obviously do not constitute legal advice, and they in no way should substitute for advice from an experienced New Jersey child custody attorney. However, the series hopefully can ground your thinking and inspire more compassionate and strategic actions.
Here’s a quick rundown of what we plan to cover:
Section 1: Parental Alienation 101
In this section, we’ll learn about the history of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), define and explore key terms, and examine what drives the process and what remedies exist for it.
Section 2: Getting the Alienation to Stop and Repairing the Damage
This section will cover tactics and strategies to get control of the situation and explore programs like Dr. Richard Warshak’s “Family Bridges,” which helps reverse the effects of severe parental alienation. We will also discuss what to do (and what to avoid doing) to keep the process moving forward and to meet your child’s needs and your needs.
Section 3: Managing Yourself and Taking Charge of Your Future
Life doesn’t stop just because you’re in the throes of a bad divorce or because your child suddenly won’t speak to you anymore. Unfortunately, being the victim of Parental Alienation can steal focus from important things, like career development, building new relationships and taking care of other children or dependents. We’ll discuss how to restore your focus, regain clarity and repair damage that’s already been done.
Section 4: Finding the Right Help
In addition to finding and building a good working relationship with a qualified New Jersey child custody attorney who understands Parental Alienation, you may need a therapist, financial planner, career counselor and other supportive people. We’ll go over how to identify your needs, recruit great people and work with them to ensure your future.
Just acknowledging the hurtful possibility that your child might have been turned against you is an act of bravery. Congratulations on taking responsibility to educate yourself and to start down the challenging road toward resolution. We hope this series can give you practical insight as well as some inspiration, and we wish you and your family healing and strength during this time. Don’t give up!
For skillful, experienced assistance handling your Parental Alienation case, call the Williams Law Group, LLC immediately at (908) 810-1083.