Parental Alienation: Enforcement and Sanctions
In December 2022, we reviewed the warning signs to watch for if you suspect your former partner may be engaging in parental alienation. If you believe you are a victim of parental alienation and/or your co-parent is refusing to facilitate your Court Ordered parenting time, you have the right to file an application with the Court to enforce the existing Court Orders.
If you have already been in Court several times to enforce your parenting time and the other party is continuing to violate the Court Orders, you may want to request the Court consider more stringent relief such as modifying the parenting time schedule to preclude the violating parent from continuing to damage your relationship with the children. However, the Court will first have to review the children’s best interest factors to determine if this is the best way to stop the violating parent’s bad faith.
If it does not appear it will be in the children’s best interest to modify the parenting time schedule, there are numerous other remedies you can ask the Court to implement to sanction the violating parent. Generally, these sanctions will be considered by the Court when there have been repeated violations of a custody and parenting time Order.
New Jersey Court Rule 5:3-7(a) authorizes the Court to impose sanctions on a parent who is failing to facilitate a Court Order, addressing custody and parenting time. These sanctions include:
- compensatory time with the children;
- economic sanctions, including but not limited to the award of monetary compensation for the costs resulting from a parent’s failure to appear for scheduled parenting time or visitation such as childcare expenses incurred by the other parent;
- modification of transportation arrangements;
- pick-up and return of the children in a public place;
- counseling for the children or parents or any of them at the expense of the parent in violation of the order;
- temporary or permanent modification of the custodial arrangement provided such relief is in the best interest of the children;
- participation by the parent in violation of the order in an approved community service program;
- incarceration, with or without work release;
- issuance of a warrant to be executed upon the further violation of the judgment or order; and
- any other appropriate equitable remedy.
A custody lawyer can help guide you through the process of preparing an enforcement motion and seeking the appropriate relief to hold the violating party accountable for his/her bad faith.
The information contained in this publication should not be construed as legal advice, is not a substitute for legal counsel, and should not be relied on as such. For legal advice or answers to specific questions, please contact one of our attorneys.