The Alienated Parent: Representing and Guiding Him or Her Through the Legal Process
Alienated parents experience a tremendous amount of anxiety and fear. Part of my role as the attorney for the alienated parent is to ease and assist him or her through a lengthy and painful legal process.
Alienated parents may seem angry, frustrated, and aggressive when they appear in court. While these behaviors are perfectly appropriate under the circumstances, they are often viewed negatively by the court.
As an attorney representing the alienated parent, I try to help him or she avoid contributing to the parental alienation and falling into the alienator’s traps. I will advise the alienated parent not to make the child feel anxious or guilty, and that his/her communications with the child should not be overly stressful for the child. I advise the alienated parent to tell the child ‘I love you and I miss you’ but to not pressure the child.
Legal remedies for parental alienation typically begin with court-directed therapeutic interventions such as court-ordered supervised therapeutic visitation (usually with a trained therapist experienced with these issues. If that is unsuccessful, requests are made for the child and the parties to be required to participate in more rigorous therapeutic interventions such as reunification therapy. The goal of reunification therapy is to remedy the rigidly held distortions of the child regarding his or her perception and judgment of the alienated parent and to repair the relationship between the child and the alienated parent.
In severe cases and in cases where there is non-compliance with therapeutic interventions, the next option of taking legal remedies could be initiated, including Motions for Contempt, incarceration, fines, change of custody, removal of the child from the alienator, no contact orders for the alienator (‘parentectomy’), supervised visitation for the alienator, suspension of child support, and other relief. These legal remedies are used to induce the alienating parent to cooperate with therapeutic interventions, and to ensure compliance by the alienating parent.
When presenting my case in court, I typically focus on how parental alienation adversely affects the psychological well-being of the child which is of paramount concern to the court.
To increase the likelihood of success, it is important to act swiftly. A long passage of time between the onset of parental alienation and remedial actions may lead to irreversible damage to the parent-child relationship.
Nothing is quite as important as the parent-child relationship. Having an attorney on your side who is familiar with parental alienation is essential when time is not on your side.
About Jordan E.Trager, Esq.:
Jordan E.Trager is an attorney with Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, P.C. since 2011, has over 25 years of litigation experience handling matrimonial and family law matters, as well as an experienced divorce and family law mediator. He has tried numerous complex divorce and Family Court cases on a wide range of issues, including custody and visitation, child support, orders of protection, and parental alienation.
Read more about Parental Alienation from Jordan Trager in this New York Law Journal article – click here.