Parental Alienation in New Jersey

Parental Alienation in New Jersey

Parental Alienation Syndrome in New Jersey is not recognized as admissible.  However, there is no case that we are aware of that indicates that it is inadmissible. In other words, its an open question.

Consider the case of M.A. v. A.I. a 2014 unpublished case which stated:

At the time of trial, PAS was not a recognized syndrome in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), and it is not a recognized syndrome in the new fifth edition. The Supreme Court and this court have not yet determined that PAS is a scientifically reliable or generally accepted theory. The admission of novel scientific material like PAS must meet the test established in Frye, supra, 293 F. at 1014, that is, that the opinions are “generally accepted, within the relevant scientific community.” State v. Henderson, 208 N.J. 208, 248 (2011); State v. Chun, 194 N.J. 54, 91, cert. denied, 555 U.S. 825, 129 S. Ct. 158, 172 L. Ed. 2d 41 (2008); State v. Harvey, 151 N.J. 117, 169-70 (1997), cert. denied, 528 U.S. 1085, 120 S. Ct. 811, 145 L. Ed. 2d 683 (2000).

Neither the scientific reliability nor general acceptance of PAS was established in this case, by either the testimony of any expert or the literature. Indeed, the theory is still the subject of considerable controversy within the medical and legal communities and should not have played a part in the court’s ruling. We express no opinion on whether evidence of PAS may ever be properly admitted. We note only that, in this case, a proper foundation for its admission was not established.

Instead of trying to fight such an uphill battle, our team of parental alienation lawyers often suggest that the focus should be on the behavior and not the label.  Clearly, a parent engaging in alienation is not a fit parent and subjecting a child to that behavior is not in the child’s best interest.  Remember that parental alienation is the behavior and parental alienation syndrome is the effect is has on the child.  That’s why our lawyers focus on proving the behavior and then arguing to the Court that custody should be changed as a result.

If you are battling a parental alienation case in New Jersey, call our team of tough, smart attorneys at 1-855-9-JEFLAW or visit our parental alienation website at


Posted on March 12, 2017, in My Practice and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Parental Alienation in New Jersey.

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