- Keep a diary. This should detail all of your attempts to
maintain a relationship with the children and the children's
responses. Whenever possible, backup the diary with documents that
corroborate the information you note. Emails, telephone bills, and
receipts from stores and restaurants should be preserved. Use an
email program that documents when the emails are read by the
- Take advantage of all contacts permitted by the court. Don't
miss any visits. Make telephone calls or Skype calls every day if
allowed by the court. Use texting to communicate with the children
but not excessively. Send gifts or cards for every occasion
possible. Cards are created for many holidays such as New Years,
Valentine's Day, Independence Day, and many others. Make sure you
have copies of the cards and enter the mailing of the cards and the
gifts in your diary. Of course, make sure you send gifts for major
holidays or events like birthdays or Christmas.
- Attend every event in your child's life. Don't miss a dance
recital, a little league, a concert, or any other event in which
your child is a participant. Contact the school and obtain
information about events, parent teacher conferences, and make sure
the school has your contact information. Do the same for the
child's pediatrician, dentist, and other doctors. Make sure you are
on time for each event.
- Do everything that the court orders. If the court orders
counseling, make sure you go to counseling. If the court orders
drug tests, make sure you avoid using drugs and take every test
ordered. Continue counseling and drug tests even if the children or
the other parent stop attending.
- Take a parenting class. You may be the best parent in the
world but the court will be impressed by your efforts to improve
- Never ever use physical force to discipline your children.
The law may permit use of reasonable force but you are under a
microscope and can't afford the luxury of using physical force. The
exception is that you may have to restrain (but not hit) a child to
prevent harm to another child, yourself, or someone else.
- Avoid discussions with your child about the alienation, child
support, or any issue you have with the other parent. Make sure the
children can't hear when you have discussions with other people
about these matters.
- Be careful about use of social media. You should assume that
everything you post on social media will be reported to the Court.
Never say anything critical or negative about your children, the
other parent, the attorneys, or the Court. Social media can be used
to make positive statements about the children but do so sparingly.
Don't comment on every posting by your children. It will make you
look like a stalker.
- Tell your children that you love them. Tell them this at the
end of every phone call and every visit. Don't overdo this. Once a
day is fine. Four times a day makes you look crazy. Don't ask the
children to respond in kind. Pressuring the children for affection
is certain to hurt you.
- Be persistent and consistent in your efforts to maintain your
relationship with your children. Don't give up hope no matter how
frustrating it becomes.
- Retain a family law attorney and regularly discuss the
parental alienation and your efforts to maintain the relationship.
In many cases, only court action can stop the abuse to the children.
An experienced family law attorney should be able to advise you
about when to resort to the courts. Like everything else in regards
to parental alienation, it may take a number of court actions before
you start to see results. In the most severe cases of parental alienation the court can change custody.
Saturday, January 17, 2015
There is no perfect answer to this question. As long as one parent keeps fueling the alienation flames, the alienation will continue. Every case of parental alienation is different but the cause is the same. One parent uses the children as weapons to hurt the other parent. In essence, the parent is sacrificing the children's well being to fulfill their own selfish desires. The following suggestions may make no difference or may solve the problem.
Saturday, January 10, 2015
Commonwealth v. Johnson, 470 Mass. 300 (2014).
In this case, a husband and wife harassed their next door neighbors through a third person. They placed false ads on Craig's list so that potential buyers of goods would bother the family day and night. They filed a false claim of child abuse with the state resulting in an investigation of the family. In addition, threatening emails were sent.
Massachusetts G.L. c. 265, § 43 punishes as a criminal act causing a pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time directed at a specific person which seriously alarms or annoys that person. The statute does not mention internet, computers, or cyberspace. However, the court found that this statute was sufficient to convict a person who used the internet and computers to harass someone.
Just because computers and the internet became household items after most criminal laws were created doesn't mean that they are not governed by the laws that predated the internet. If you are the victim of harassment you should consult an experience lawyer who can advise you concerning the laws that are available to protect you.