When parents are divorcing or "breaking up," emotions often run high and otherwise good people may act in bad faith. Nevertheless, certain actions must never happen. Specifically, neither parent should ever disparage or "bad mouth" the other parent to the minor children. Frankly, what should not be said in the presence of the children about their other parent is really common sense. At the Law Offices of Edward R. Weinstein, protecting children and child custody shall always come first and foremost. To that end, if it comes to my office's attention that this is occurring against one of our clients and their children, we are prepared to utilize every remedy available to us under New Jersey custody laws and the Rules of Court to have this malicious behavior on the part of the guilty parent cease and desist. Otherwise, that parent should be prepared to face serious consequences for their actions.
New Jersey custody law embraces that the best interests of the children must be protected at all times. Regretfully, the child faces immediate harm when they are put "in the middle" and have to listen to one parent criticize the other. Typical signs of a child in crisis include suddenly poor grades and unusual bad behavior both at school and at home. Moreover, many times permanent psychological damage may be inflicted upon the child if they are forced to withstand one parent chronically condemning one to the other. Now, let's discuss what we can do under NJ Custody laws be done to prevent this.
Under The Rules Governing The Court of the State of New Jersey, numerous remedies are available to protect children from this type of behavior and dissuade the other parent from acting in such a manner ever again. Under R. 5:3-7(a), upon application and proof to the Superior Court of New Jersey that a parent is disparaging the other parent to the children, the Superior Court of New Jersey may order, among other remedies, economic sanctions, modification or transfer of custody, and even incarceration of that party if the behavior is deemed egregious enough by the Judge.
Often, it is difficult to prove that one parent is disparaging the other to the children. However, my office may a temporary transfer of custody, or supervised parenting time for the parent acting in bad faith, pending a custody evaluation. During such evaluations, the truth usually is brought to light. Depending upon the age of the child, my office may seek an in camera interview of the child with the Judge handling the matter, which again, usually results in the truth coming forward.
If you feel that that what I have just described is happening to you and your child, you should please contact the Law Offices of Edward R. Weinstein to discuss all options available to protect both you and your child.