5 Warning Signs of Parental Alienation

Father and daughter relaxing on a rocky beach by the sea and having time together

No parent wants to think about losing their relationship with their child, but after a divorce or custody battle, this can become a reality for some when your ex turns your child against you and swift corrective action is not taken. 

Parental alienation occurs when one parent tries to undermine the other parent’s parental role and authority to the point of making the child not want to see or communicate with that parent.. Sometimes referred to as brainwashing, programming, or alienating, parental alienation is a serious matter that can lead to parental alienation syndrome (PAS), which is used to describe the child’s behavior as a response to such actions and brainwashing. 

From the team at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush, here are five warning signs that parental alienation may be occurring:  

1. Your ex is being secretive.

If your ex isn’t sharing information about your child, this is a sign of concern. For example, if they refuse to share school reports, medical information, successes and failures, likes and dislikes, and other important things about your child, you may, as a result, become less involved in their life.

2. Your communication is being interfered with. 

With parental alienation, your ex may interfere with how you communicate with your child. They may attempt to monitor and insert themselves into all phone calls, text messages, and interactions you two have. 

3. Your ex interferes with your plans to see your child. 

Your ex may try to interrupt your time with your child. In some instances, your ex may plan special activities that are hard for a kid to resist at times you are meant to be with them, making it hard to compete with. 

4. Your agreed-upon parenting plan or contract is not being followed.

Typically, legal contracts and personal agreements among co-parents are made to determine which parent will be responsible for the child for the day and how they will be raised. If you notice your ex isn’t abiding by your previous agreements or is being inflexible, parental alienation may be occurring.   

5. You notice behavior changes in your child. 

One of the most important signs of parental alienation will be seen with your child‘s behavior. Some examples of parental alienation syndrome include: 

  • Your child is unfairly and falsely criticizing you without any justification.
  • Your child doesn’t admit where their criticisms are coming from.
  • Your child is very negative, sad, angry, or spiteful toward you. 
  • Your child shows no signs of guilt or empathy when they are being mean and hurtful toward you. 
  • Your child’s hatred or distrust extends beyond you to other family members and friends. 

Contact our office today for a consultation with our expert custody lawyer!

If you are experiencing any of the above circumstances affecting your relationship with your child and need to enforce or modify your existing custody rights, we can help. Here at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush, we represent clients in custody matters throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  

Give us a call at (903) 713-9800 or visit our website to contact us and learn more about how we can help you.

How Much Does A Divorce Cost?

dollar money and judges gavel on table. Judgement and bribe. corruption

If you’re considering filing for divorce, you’re likely concerned about how much this will cost you. The overall cost of a divorce can vary considerably depending on: (a) the number and complexity of disputed issues that exist in your case; and (b) how long it takes for both parties to reach an agreement on all issues. 

For divorcing couples who remain amicable and reach an agreement on all issues early on during the divorce process, the average cost can often range between $5,000-$10,000.  However, the average cost of a divorce with multiple contested issues is often significantly higher, typically ranging between $10,000-$20,000 with that range rising the longer the divorce takes. 

Unfortunately, every divorce will have a different price tag. To answer the question, “How much does a divorce cost?” you need to consider these various factors:

Do you and your spouse get along?

You may be planning on getting a divorce, but that doesn’t need to mean you aren’t on good terms. If you and your spouse can communicate effectively and are open to compromise, your divorce will be much simpler and less costly. In some cases, you and your spouse may be able to resolve your divorce by a settlement agreement, avoiding court dates. Approximately 97% of divorce cases are resolved by way of a settlement instead of proceeding with a trial before a Judge. Consequently, you should remain optimistic that your divorce can ultimately be resolved through a settlement even if you and your spouse are not on good speaking terms.

Do you and your spouse agree on essential matters?

Many matters need to be discussed and agreed upon when it comes to divorce, including child custody, child support, alimony, and the division of property and debts. These disputes and the time it takes to resolve them are the biggest drivers of costs for a divorce. It will take time for your lawyer to collect and organize documents and then negotiate a settlement with your spouse’s attorneys. 

Furthermore, your attorney may need to prepare motions and represent you at hearings, which add to your costs. Divorce cases that cannot be settled and end up requiring a trial before a Judge regarding any contested issues are the most expensive type of divorce due to the extreme amount of time and work involved, with costs greatly exceeding the ranges set forth above.

Do you have many assets to split?

The more assets you and your spouse have accrued throughout your marriage will lengthen the time it takes to finalize your divorce, and therefore the costs will increase. Aside from the division of assets, you’ll also have to discuss paying off debts you owe together, which can also take time to determine. 

What fees are involved in filing for divorce?

Aside from paying your New Jersey divorce attorney, you can expect to pay various fees for the divorce process. Some of the extra costs you can expect to pay include filing fees, mediation costs, paying for experts such as financial analysts and appraisers when necessary, and more.  

Contact our office today for a consultation about your divorce lawyer needs!

When going through a divorce, you need an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your side to guide you through the process. Here at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush, we have more than 16 years of experience representing spouses in both amicable and contested divorces throughout New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania.  

Give us a call at (903) 713-9800 or visit our website to contact us and learn more about how we can help you.

5 Tips for Managing Custody Disputes During the Holidays

The holidays are quickly rolling in and plans are being made, but for separated parents with kids, this can be an especially difficult time to navigate. Though this season is meant to be merry and joyful, managing child custody can create disagreements and arguments that you don’t want to hinder your or your children’s holiday enjoyment. 

The team at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush understands how strenuous child custody can be to manage during the holiday season, so we have some tips to keep in mind for this time of year:

1. Don’t wait to make plans.

The holiday season is always busy and stressful, so it can be easy to procrastinate making arrangements if you are worried about planning with your ex-spouse. However, the closer it gets to the holidays, the harder it will be to communicate and get organized with plans that make both parties happy. Be proactive about holiday planning for your kids for the best results.

2. Make sure your legal agreements are clear.

If you have a legal arrangement for child custody on holidays, make sure you fully understand the parameters. If your divorce was recent, feelings may still be raw and overwhelming, so take the time to revisit the legal agreement to ensure it’s going to be followed; this will help lessen the chance of more disputes arising.  

3. Consider travel times.

Depending on how far you and your ex-spouse live from each other, it’s important to always consider potential travel hazards that could interfere with celebrations and quality time. Plan your travel ahead of time and consider traffic and weather delays. Arriving on time helps ensure each parent gets the correct agreed-upon time with their kids. 

4. Communicate about gifts.

When discussing holiday plans, it’s also a good idea to discuss gift-giving. Take a moment to think about how you feel about spending limits, types of gifts that are appropriate, and not repeating presents. This could save you from arguing about gifts your child received in the future and make sure everyone is on the same page. 

5. Speak with your children.

It’s never a bad idea to be open and discuss plans with your child directly. Depending on their age or maturity, they may want to have a say in how they spend their vacation and holidays. At the end of the day, you want your child to be happy, so speak with them about how you and your ex-spouse can make this a great holiday for them. 

Contact our office today for a consultation with our expert custody lawyer!

If you are seeking to obtain custody or visitation rights or need to enforce or modify your existing custody rights, we can help. Here at the Law Office of Blake W. Rush, representing clients in custody matters throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  

Give us a call at (903) 713-9800 or visit our website to contact us and learn more about how we can help you.