About three years ago, we handled the divorce of a New Jersey father. It was a difficult case because his wife showed all of the signs of being a narcissist. After months of battling with the woman and her lawyer – who quietly told me he was having his own issues with the woman – we helped the man end his marriage on terms that protected his rights as both a man and father.
A few weeks ago, he called me because he had a new problem with his former spouse.
“My ex remarried last year,” he said, “and her new husband has been bad-mouthing me to my 12-year old daughter. Joan isn’t stopping him and it’s obvious that he is trying to alienate her from me. It bothers her and infuriates me. Is there any way I can stop this?”
The father emailed me recordings of several video calls he’d had with his child in which she told him what the stepdad was saying to her.
I explained to him that a stepfather has no legal right or authority over the daughter or to have a say in her upbringing, and he especially cannot be trying to tear the girl away from her birth dad. So, yes, he can be stopped from trying to alienate our client’s child, even during the pandemic.
When New Jersey Fathers Are Being Harmed Along with Their Kids
Although New Jersey family courts remain closed, judges are holding emergency hearings using video links similar to our virtual law office.
We can file an application with the family court in the man’s county, asking that his ex’s new spouse be restrained from interfering with the children. If a stepfather is making toxic comments to the kids from a former marriage a judge won’t likely be very happy.
At the same time, we can request that an order be issued requiring that all communications between the parents and the children be done through the Family Wizard app. The app describes itself as documenting custody challenges because it includes a secure message board.
The legal foundation for issuing a restraining order is that family courts are required by law to make decisions based on what is in the best interests of the children. What the new husband is doing clearly works against what would be beneficial to the 12-year-old girl and her relationship with her dad.
Courts Will Help Divorced New Jersey Fathers Protect Their Children
Courts do not like to thrust themselves into the minutiae of what goes on day-to-day into a family unless the children’s best interest is being negatively affected.
The child custody attorneys at the Micklin Law Group in New Jersey continue to work remotely like many other people. This lets us remain in touch with each other and the court as well as client files thanks to our electronic infrastructure. If you are having an issue with custody, visitation or a child facing a toxic situation, we can meet with you in our Virtual Law Office or we can discuss your situation by phone at either 973.562.0100 in Nutley or, in Montclair, at 862.245.4620.