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bloggggParental alienation has become a very hot topic in recent years. Wikipedia describes it as “ …the process, and the result, of the psychological manipulation of a child into showing unwarranted fear, disrespect, or hostility towards a parent or other family member.”  It is further described as occurring “  almost exclusively in association with family separation or divorce…”  One of the first times parental alienation was brought to public attention was during Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger’s acrimonious divorce.  Mr. Baldwin, in and out of Court proceedings, accused Ms. Basinger of “brainwashing” their daughter Ireland and restricting his time with her.  Ms. Basinger, on the other hand, accused Mr. Baldwin of being unstable and aggressive.  Unfortunately, there are so many layers to parental alienation that it is extraordinarily difficult for the Courts to know how to manage this issue.  Frequently the children are teenagers and if the damage has been done a simple change of custody will rather than resolve the matter will make things worse.  If you are in a situation where you believe your children are being alienated from you, or if you believe you are being unfairly accused of alienation when it is the other parent’s own behavior that is disrupting the relationship between parent and child, call one of our experienced family law attorneys at IANDOLI & EDENS at (908) 879-9499 for guidance through this heartbreaking process.

A fascinating and painful news article came out of Great Britain today. A transgendered woman has been denied direct access to her children by the courts.  Although this article comes from Great Britain it highlights the same issues that American Courts struggle with – What is in the best interest of the children?  The answer is often not a straightforward one.  Parents often disagree with each other and are diametrically opposed to what is in their children’s best interest.  If the parents cannot agree then it is left to the courts to decide.  In the Great Britain case the family in question was a member of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community.  The judge determined that no direct contact was in the best interest of the children out of concern that if there was contact the children would be ostracized in their community.  This case is clearly an extreme case. However, custody disputes often arise in divorces.  Custody disputes require not only skill on the part of the attorneys, but sensitivity.  Our office has experience in addressing these types of matters.  If you have questions about child custody please contact one of our experienced attorneys at IANDOLI & EDENS (908) 879-9499.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jan/30/transgender-woman-denied-direct-access-to-ultra-orthodox-jewish-children