Parental Alienation


Last June, my ex and I agreed that she would be able to move to NC (from NY) with my girls, ages 9 & 11. This agreement included liberal visitation during the year and the month of July, as well as some financial concessions on her part.

In July 2008, she caused such a disruption while we were on vacation (because my long-term girlfriend came with us), that I relented and had the girls sleep with my parents each night and throughout the rest of July.

In Novemeber, for Thanksgiving, she tried to do the same thing (claiming it was a sin to live together), telling my oldest daughter that it was wrong and she promised her she could stay with grandma and grandpa…you get the picture.

Needless to say, I took her back to court and got a court order stating that if she attempted to interfere any more she would be held in contempt.

Unfortunately, she has continued to discuss her view with the girls (esp. the eldest), has continued to lie to her (going so far as to tell her I’m not allowed to “set foot” in the state of NC or I’ll be arrested).

The girls are now in therapy, I’ve found that the therapist is a personal friend of my ex’s family and she hasn’t made any effort to return my calls.

These are just a few examples - there are many, many more.

What are my chances, in NC, of getting custody based on alienation? I’m very confident that it’s been so blatent any unbiased therapist would easily see it given how vocal my daughter is.

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards,



North Carolina has largely refuted claims of parental alienation and continue to take a holistic “best interests of the children” view point in making custody determinations.
My best advice is that you file a motion to hold her in contempt, and consider filing a motion to modify custody based on a substantial change in circumstances (your ex’s behavior affecting your relationship with you children).


Thanks so much for the reply. If I choose to pursue this, what information would you require of me and what type of retainer am I looking at?

The children have resided in NC since August 1, 2008, but the court order was issued in NY in January 2009.

Ideally, I would look to file in July since the children will be with me at that time.

Best regards,



It would really be best to discuss the specifics of your case in consultation so the attorney can quote you a realistic fee. You may schedule a consultation by dialing 919-787-6668, ext. 100.



I’m currently in Fuquay-Varina to visit my children; things have not gone well. If at all possible, I would like to meet with you or another attorney from your first first thing Monday morning (May 4). I am due back in NY for work on Tuesday.

I can be reached at 845-702-0131 or 845-702-7810.



You will have to contact Jessica Pellas to scheudule a consultation. She can be reached at 919-787-6668, ext. 100.