Select Page

How to Fight Parental Alienation in Child Custody

by | Jan 28, 2020 | Family Law Attorney, News and Events

Difficult child custody matters can take a turn for the worse when one parent begins to manipulate a child to dislike or even hate the other parent. This is called parental alienation and can be devastating for both the alienated parent and the child.

It’s estimated that 11-15% of divorces with children involve parental alienation. This manipulation can cause children to experience anxiety, depression, self-harming behaviors, and may result in the development of more challenging disorders, such as borderline or narcissistic personality disorder.

If your child has been weaponized against you by the other parent, here’s what you can do.

Divorce Attorney Consultation

How to Fight the Manipulation of Your Child Against You

Challenging parental alienation is difficult but necessary to preserve the relationship between you and your child. Maintaining a meaningful relationship with both parents is in your child’s best interests and essential to their mental health and emotional wellbeing. Make sure you:

Keep a Detailed Journal of Interactions

Keep a journal that details the interactions between you and your child’s custodial parent. Write down dates, times, and what you remember about conversations, even if they’re pleasant. It’s particularly important to record information about interactions when the custodial parent denies you access to your child and what excuse they used. You should also write down any concerning interactions between you and your child that could indicate manipulation, such as your child repeating verbal abuse toward you that they heard from the other parent.

Do Not Violate Any Court Orders

Don’t give your ex any ammunition to use to further alienate you from your child. Be sure to adhere to all court orders, even if your child’s other parent does not. It may be tempting to keep your child past the agreed-upon drop-off time if your ex does allow you visitation, but this could result in parental kidnapping charges, even if you didn’t intend to keep your child much longer.

Communicate with Your Child’s Other Parent in Writing

Avoid phone calls to your ex as much as possible and communicate with them in a form that has a paper trail, such as texts or email. Ideally, you’re using a co-parenting app that logs all communications and can be accessed by the court at any time. Insist that any agreement be made in writing, even if it’s something seemingly small like taking your child to a particular place during your visitation time.

Attend Counseling

Being alienated from your child by their custodial parent can be emotionally draining. Seeking counseling can help you deal with overwhelming emotions in a healthy way. Being proactive about obtaining mental health and support services can also strengthen your case. Consider inviting your ex to also attend counseling to show the court you’re working toward amicable co-parenting.

Remain Persistent

Fighting against parental alienation can take a long time. Child custody cases tend to be drawn out and expensive, and the parent doing the manipulating often has the upper hand with primary physical and legal custody. It can be discouraging to feel like you aren’t making progress, but it’s important to continue to pursue your child’s best interests as long as you’re able.

Work with an Experienced Long Island Child Custody Lawyer

Legally, your child’s custodial parent cannot violate your court order, even if they consider it to be in the child’s best interests to remain in their custody as much as possible. If your ex does not allow you to see your child during court-sanctioned visitation times, you may be able to have your ex held in contempt. Work with an experienced custody lawyer who can aggressively pursue the maximum penalty against your ex for the violation of your court order.

Call Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. Today for Help Fighting Parental Alienation

Is your ex manipulating your child to turn against you? You’re not alone. Many frustrated and heartbroken Long Island parents also deal with the issue of parental alienation. Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. can help you protect your rights as a parent and fight for your relationship with your child. We’ve helped numerous alienated parents restore parent-child relationships and prevent their exes from manipulating their children to hate them. Call now for a consultation at 631-923-1910.


Call 631-923-1910 or fill in the form below

Schedule your complimentary consultation and case evaluation with our experienced attorneys today. When you call, you’ll speak to our friendly Client Services Director, who will be able to answer your general questions and set up your appointment with an attorney who specializes in your unique case.

At your meeting, your attorney will describe the many options available and determine together which is the right solution for you. By the end of this meeting we’ll all understand how we can best help you to move forward.

No Cost or Obligation

There is no cost or obligation for this initial consultation. It is simply an opportunity for us to get to know each other, answer your questions and learn if Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. is right the right law firm for you. Give us a call at 631-923-1910 or fill in the short form below to schedule your free consultation and case evaluation.

All Fields Are Required

Divorce Lawyer Attorney Long Island NY Courts Open
Divorce Lawyer Long Island New York



Google Review of divorce longisland
Tammy Granville
Tammy Granville
11:49 04 Jul 21
Everyone was very professional. Never had to call to get an update on my case. Someone always updated me on a regular basis.
Anastasia R
Anastasia R
22:45 17 Dec 20
I went to see Rob for a modification for my child custody agreement to relocate, I can honestly say that working with Rob and Christine has been the best experience. I cannot recommend them enough I only wish I had seen them sooner. They are prompt with communication, and they are honest which I appreciate so much. They do not give you fake promises and they do their best to fight for what you want which they do amazingly well! You can tell they are passionate about what they do and care about their clients. A very important aspect of lawyer client relationship for me is an open line of communication, the anxiety of the unknown always gets the best of us. The fact they were always available whether it be phone call or email to answer any question was extremely comforting and exactly what I needed. I am not well versed with laws and regulation so knowing I had Rob and his partners there when I was unsure or conflicted was extremely needed and greatly appreciated.When it comes to family court it's never easy but having Rob and his partner by my side I felt extremely comfortable and he helped me have realistic expectations. Please TRUST HIM!! If you're looking for a lawyer (at least for my end from child custody/Family Court) don't look any further you will not be disappointed. I hope to never have to use them again but in the event I have to, they are going to be my forever first call.


  • I have known Robert for more than 8 eight years. Robert has represented many of my family and friends. Each and every one has raved about Robert’s professionalism and expertise. He is knowledgable, friendly and truly cares about his clients. I would not hesitate to continue to refer Robert and his firm in the future!
  • I’ve known Robert for most of my life, and feel very fortunate that I have been able to turn to a good friend for various kinds of legal advice. He is very intelligent, straight forward, and professional. Most importantly though, Robert always finds the fastest resolution, and will not waste your time or money. He is NOT in the habit of dragging things through litigation if there is no need for the added expense. I have referred a few of my friends to Robert, and they have all been more than satisfied in their experience with him. Highly recommend!!



divorce questions answered



Long Island Divorce Guide

Fill the form to download Guide

* indicates required


Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., P.C. respects your right to privacy. We will never sell your information to any third party. Follow this link to read our full privacy policy.


Child Support & Spousal Maintenance Tools
Spousal Maintenance Calculator
Child Support Calculator

Pin It on Pinterest