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Parental Alienation Syndrome Not Recognized as Legitimate Theory by New Jersey Courts

While parental alienation claims continue to be a hot topic in custody/parenting time cases all over the state of New Jersey, the Appellate Division and Supreme Court of New Jersey have yet to recognize Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) as valid. In a recent Appellate Division decision, the court noted that a trial judge erred by basing its custody determination in part upon PAS.

The snydrome, which is not recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, has not yet been determined to be a scientifically reliable or a generally accepted theory by the appellate courts in this state. Given the fact that the syndrome is still the subject of considerable controversy within the medical and legal communities, the appellate court held that it should not have played a part in the trial court's ruling. Desipte this decision and other ones like it, the allegations of parental alienation are not likely to stop. However, any trial court decision containing a custody determination based on parental alienation will be on shaky ground if that decision is appealed. 

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