What Are Some Strategies To Avoid Negative Interaction With The Alienating Parent?
Although very experienced in all aspects of family law, Kelly Peterson also has specific expertise for and specializes in cases involving parental alienation, gatekeeping, and parent time interference.
First, Attorney Kelly Peterson instructs his clients not to engage in arguments in person or over the phone; to remain civil. Name calling is never acceptable and the individual should avoid accusations. It is okay for a parent to state his or her position on a matter respectfully. However, it is not okay to become abusive in language, be accusatory, and spiteful. If someone does that, it will come back to bite them. If the other parent is doing that kind of thing often Attorney Peterson has clients record it and then hold up that mirror to the court and ask for orders to prevent that kind of conduct.
Another common way of avoiding conflict with the alienating parents is by limiting the communication to text or email. Keep communication to child-related issues only so that there can’t be accusations about why a marriage failed or something to that effect.
Sometimes the court will order all communication to be civil and sometimes that will do the trick. Other times more draconian methods are called for. For example, there are times where the conflict between two parties is so extreme that they find new and creative ways to be uncivil with each other while attempting to present the image of civility. Additionally it could be a case where it is not so much the content as the frequency and timing of the communication that becomes harassing to the other side.
In cases such as this often professional communications services can be used, where the parties are only able to communicate via email. That email is screened by a third party professional who, if they read the email and they conclude that it’s too accusatory or too negative, they send it back to be rewritten before passing it on to the recipient. They have specific communication guidelines. In the state of Utah one of the most effective third party communication agencies is an agency called The Family Academy, otherwise known as ACAFS, whose phone number is 801-377-5050.
Specialist For Cases Involving Parental Alienation, Gatekeeping, and Parent Time Interference.
At What Point Should Someone Seek Court Orders Restricting An Alienating Parent?
When it comes to someone seeking a court order restricting the alienating parent, Attorney Kelly Peterson advises, if something negative has happened only once and it doesn’t really bother anyone, then don’t worry about it. However, if the situation or an incident is negatively impacting the non-alienating parent and his or her relationship with the child, negatively impacting the child, at that point they should seek court orders restraining that kind of conduct.
Upon Suspicion Of Parental Alienation Can Someone Ignore Visitation Orders?
The court is generally going to make the assumption that parent time with both parents is in the children’s best interest. If a parent unilaterally decides that is not the case without going through the proper court procedures to limit the other parent’s parent time, then he or she is engaging in what’s called “self-help.” This is where he or she is intentionally limiting the relationship between a parent and a child without the approval of the court.
If a relationship with or behaviors from the other parent are causing harm to the child then it needs to be handled through the proper procedures of demonstrating that to the court. Then the non-alienating parent can ask for relief such as limiting parent time or supervision or therapeutic supervised parent time, a parental fitness evaluation, etc.
However, unless the individual is able to demonstrate the evidence supporting his or her position, limiting the child’s contact unilaterally with the other parent is going to backfire. The court will likely believe that the parent who has limited the contact with the abusive parent is really the offender.