Typically when you go through an Orange County divorce, there are a number of issues that the family law courts will give a judgment on. One of the most important aspects is that of child custody. This is one of the most hotly contested parts of a case and the courts rule in favor of one party granting them custody, while allowing the other party usually to visit the child.
The parents not having the primary custody of the child continue to have certain rights that can be enforced in the court if there is a violation. Parental alienation is one such way of interfering where the custodial spouse stops or hinders with the other spouses’ right of visitation.
Following the Law
California family law is simple and abundantly clear. Both the parents are legally given the right to enjoy frequent and continued association and contact with the child. This law needs to be followed until and unless the courts overrule it citing the best interest of the child.
The Common Types of Alienation
There are many types of parental alienation that you can go to court for. Some of them are highlighted below.
- Not staying in line with the agreed pick and drop timings and looking to waste time in the handover of the children to the non custodial spouse.
- Eating up the allocated time of the non-custodial parent’s visitation by planning activities and programs with the children without prior permission of the non custodial parent.
- Creating discontent and or a feeling of hatred inside the children to not see the other spouse after the divorce. This could even be in the case where the custodial spouse encourages the child to not want to meet with the other parent.
- Making false, bias and uncalled for allegations of neglect and abuse on the other spouse to demean them in front of the children.
- The other spouse taking the important decisions in the child’s life such as schooling, medical care etc. without the consultation of and the agreement of the other party.
- Refusing to share the parenting responsibilities with the other spouse.
What Can A Non-Custodial Spouse Do?
The family law has been highlighted above which clearly shows that it is the right of a parent irrespective of whether they have custody or not to keep in contact with the child. In this case, if you are a non-custodial spouse and your rights of visitation are being impeded, you can seek for the family law court to protect your rights. The courts will then make sure that they rule against the other spouse and enforce your rights. In case of falsified accusations of abuse, the courts may change the custody order. However, it is very important to understand that the issue of parental alienation is a complicated one and to expect a quick resolution to the issue is unrealistic. It is highly likely that parental reunification counseling between the child and the parent who was the victim of parental alienation will need to occur over a period of time, and it is possible that a minor’s counsel for the child will need to be appointed too. Unfortunately, this can take time to work and resolve, and patience and persistence are a necessity during the process.
Gerald A. Maggio is an experienced Orange County divorce and family law lawyer and family law attorney located in Irvine, California, serving the Orange County and Riverside areas. Mr. Maggio assists clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, divorce mediation, child custody, prenuptial agreements, stepparent adoptions, and other family law issues. Mr. Maggio has practiced law in California since 1999, and founded The Maggio Law Firm in 2005, focusing exclusively on divorce and family law matters.