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Combatting parental alienation after a divorce

One of the most important priorities for any parent after a divorce is to protect the children from undue mental and emotional harm. By allowing the kids to have a strong relationship with both parents, kids can benefit from a sense of stability and continuity of lifestyle. Unfortunately, New Jersey parents may sometimes act in specific ways with the intent of harming the relationship their kids have with the other parent.  

Parents’ feelings toward each other should never affect the mental and emotional health of their children. When one tries to act against the other, it may qualify as parental alienation. This can include both subtle and direct attempts to undermine the custody order, impact the kids’ perception of their other parent and do other types of harm. 

What can you do about it? 

Parental alienation can have long-lasting and significant harm on a parent’s relationship with his or her kids. While you can take legal steps to compel the other parent to adhere to the terms of the custody order, you may have to do additional work to repair and strengthen your relationship with your kids. Some things that may help you do that include: 

  • Do everything possible to keep your kids from being in the middle of disagreements. 
  • Talk to your kids openly about problems, and be open to them expressing their own feelings and concerns. 
  • Admit your own mistakes, but explain how hard you work to be an active and loving parent.  
  • Take the time to reminisce over good times, and be intentional about creating new memories with your kids. 
  • Determine if you should have your children in counseling or therapy regarding the divorce and their relationship with both parents. 

If alienation is happening to you, there could be certain remedies available that could help you reduce future problems and repair any damage done.  

The best place to start 

One of the most effective tools you have to combat parental alienation is a solid custody and visitation order. During your divorce, it is beneficial to pursue terms that will make sense and provide you with a strong foundation for years to come. If one parent refuses to cooperate or violates your parental rights in some way, it will be easier to enforce terms that are fair, reasonable and clear. The ultimate goal of any custody order is to protect the best interests of the children above all else.