New Jersey Divorce Lawyers: Reconciliation Therapy to Address Parental Alienation – Part I

By: Michael Younker

Parental alienation is a serious and significant issue in family law. Parental alienation can be described as behavior by one parent, often the custodial parent, to vilify or disparage the other parent in an effort to damage the child/children’s relationship with the other parent.

It is crucial to identify parental alienation early on before the relationship between parent and child/children is poisoned to such an extent that the damage is very difficult to reverse. One such way to confront alienation of a child is to seek the services of a mental health professional to participate in reconciliation therapy, or what some therapists refer to as reunification therapy.

Reconciliation therapy involves an assessment of both parents and the child/children, which occurs separately. The psychologist will evaluate situation by scheduling joint and individual sessions with the parents and children; observing the behavior of the child/children when the alienating parent is present and absent from the room with the child is beneficial to the assessment.

It is common for there to be resistance to reconciliation therapy by various parties. There can be reluctance by the child/children to actively participate due to harm already inflicted by the alienating parent. However, it is important to keep in mind that the alienated child is a victim of the situation. It is also not surprising that the alienating parent is often sensitive and adversarial towards the reconciliation process.

As parties may not eagerly volunteer for reconciliation therapy, it is often necessary for an alienated parent to seek the services of an attorney to advocate for their rights to have a healthy relationship with the child/children. An attorney can reach out to the adversary to seek an agreement to enter into reconciliation therapy, or, if necessary, file an application with the court to enforce a reconciliation therapy arrangement.

Contact an Experienced New Jersey Family Law Lawyer at Lyons & Associates Today

There are many materials published regarding reconciliation therapy that can be found online or at a local bookstore or library to obtain more information about reconciliation therapy. Additionally, if you believe that you are being alienated from your child, it is imperative that you are proactive in seeking help. Kindly contact one of the experienced attorneys at Lyons & Associates, P.C. at 908-575-9777 if you need any assistance in understanding your rights to participating in reconciliation therapy. You can also fill out our online intake form.

Written by: Michael Younker, Esq.