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The Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C.

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Divorce and Family Law Matters

We are now accepting clients statewide in Texas.

WE ARE WORKING!

As the situation with COVID-19 continues to develop and evolve, the safety, health and well-being of our clients and our team is extremely important to us. We are watching for the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and international medical experts to learn how we can best manage our facility and our clients.

We would like to reassure you that The Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C. will continue to be available to provide services to all of our clients.

Our lawyers and paralegals are working in the office and electronically, although most of us are working from home. Below is a list of FAQs regarding our response and commitment to you during COVID-19.

Can I even have a consultation with my lawyer remotely?

Yes, The Office of Lisa A. Vance, P.C. has a comprehensive remote working capability and all of our lawyers and paralegals are equipped to work securely from home.

Will my lawyer be available to answer questions and work on my case?

Yes, your legal matters will continue to receive our attention. You can email, call, or videoconference with your lawyer during this time.

We also have multiple videoconferencing options; please contact your attorney for the platform that works best for you

How are court hearings and appointments affected?

Court in Bexar County are now conducted by Zoom Please see our blog article Court via Zoom: It’s Actually, Really Court (and Here’s How It Works)

Can I consult with a lawyer about a new family law or divorce matter?

Yes, we have office staff working in house and remotely to ensure continuity in our business. For information about a family law or divorce matter, please call our office or complete the Request a Consultation Form.

Your family law matters remain our top concern and we are not going to permit this pandemic to take priority over your needs. We will remain confident, alert and prepared.

We wish you and your family well as we work through this difficult situation together.

With warm regards,
Lisa A Vance

 

 

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How does parental alienation affect court battles?

| Sep 25, 2020 | Emotional Support And Divorce, Parental Alienation, Parental Rights |

In last week’s blog article, we discussed the phenomenon of parental alienation and its obvious effects on divorce. Though our article takes a deep dive into what it is and what it looks like, it can be defined simply as strategies one parent takes to distance a child from the other parent.

It involves what we do as family lawyers directly, because the court system is one means that parents will use to engage in parental alienation. A parent who wants to alienate his or her children from the other parent might make allegations of abuse or neglect during the divorce process, might seek decree modifications to limit the other parent’s ability to see the children, or might take actions (including refusing to turn children over to the other parent for designated parenting time) requiring the courts to step in.

In her article in Psychology Today, Dr. Christine B.L. Adams has some criticisms for the court system:

When caught up in parental alienation, parents seek help from the court system to sort out what is best for their children. Courts handle this with wide variation in all the countries of the world. Mostly they handle these situations poorly and make egregious judgment errors in their legal decisions as to custody and visitation arrangements.

Legal and judicial professionals are not trained in the complex interpersonal issues of either family life or divorce—who does what psychologically and to whom, and how it affects children. This lack of knowledge is compounded because courts rarely appoint highly trained and skilled mental health counselors who regularly work with parental alienation to assess and help make decisions for involved families.

She also goes on to point out there’s a difference between situations in which a parent and child truly are estranged, and situations where parental alienation is making it look like estrangement. Certainly, the legal system doesn’t have the training that mental health professionals do in determining parental alienation — which is part of why we work with mental health professionals in our practice, whether it’s encouraging clients to work directly with counselors or perhaps even having them testify in cases where their expertise provides some clarity for a presiding judge.

The best way to fight parental alienation in the courts, first of all, is to show that you want what’s best for the child. Part of that, of course, will be believing that your involvement with your child is essential. Judges generally also want what’s best for the child, and if you can demonstrate that your children are experiencing parental alienation rather than true estrangement, that obviously works in your favor.

If you’re experiencing parental alienation and want to involve a family lawyer, you want to be mindful of your communications with the other parent. Parental alienation is intended to, by design, hurt and anger the targeted parent. It can be hard to not want to respond angrily to hurtful words or actions, but it can help to ask yourself, “What would a judge think looking at this exchange?” before sending a text or an email.

That’s not to say that a judge would review an email exchange — that’ll be up to your lawyer to determine if it could work in your favor. (But it might!)

At the Law Office of Lisa A. Vance, we’re experienced in these kinds of cases, and can help you with both the short-term and long-term implications of parental alienation as they affect (or potentially affect) your parenting time.

Parental alienation is a hard and challenging thing for both parent and child to experience, especially when the courts get involved. But as we’ll talk about in our next article, there are ways to combat it. It’s certainly something that can be challenged and can even be overcome.

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