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Archive for the ‘Protective Dads’ Category

House Divided: Hate Thy Father | Psychology Today

In adoption abuse, Alienation of Affection, Autism, Best Interest of the Child, California Parental Rights Amendment, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Civil Rights, CPS, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, DSM-IV, DSM-V, due process rights, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Single Parenting on December 30, 2009 at 7:30 pm

House Divided: Hate Thy Father

In 1978, after Cathy Mannis and her future husband moved into the same cooperative at U.C. Berkeley, they ran into each other often. She was not immediately smitten. “I detested him at first, and I should have stayed with that feeling,” recalls Cathy Mannis of her now ex-husband. “He was overweight and always very critical. Then he lost weight, became cuter, and started paying attention to me. He was going to be a doctor and he seemed so trustworthy; he said he would never desert his family as his own father had done to him.” They started dating, and she ultimately cared for him enough to marry him. “I thought he’d be a good father, and I was dying to be a mother. I thought we’d have a good life.”

She worked full-time as a legal secretary to put him through medical school. She also bought the two of them a town house with money she’d saved before marriage. When she gave birth to a boy, Matt (not his real name), she was as happy as she’d ever been. Over time, she saw signs that her husband was cheating on her, but she always forgave him.

Their second son, Robby, was born autistic, and things went downhill fast. The boy had speech and learning problems and was frequently out of control. Her husband was appalled. “He’s dumber than a fish,” he said.

Still, they had one more child, Harry (the name has been changed), hoping to give Matt a sibling without Robby’s problems. Harry turned out normal, but he bonded most closely with Robby; they became inseparable.

When Cathy once again became convinced her husband was cheating—he inexplicably never came home one night—she finally threw him out. He filed for divorce before she could forgive him again.

Cathy was granted primary custody of the kids, and her ex soon married the woman he’d been seeing on the side. Because of all she had to do to help Robby as well as her other two kids, Cathy could no longer hold a full-time job. Meanwhile, her ex declared two bankruptcies and, at one point, even mental disability, all of which kept alimony payments to a trickle.

Eventually Cathy was so broke that her electricity was turned off; she and the boys ate dinner by candlelight. Then she became so ill she had to be hospitalized for life-threatening surgery. She had no choice but to leave the kids with her ex. “He promised to return them when my health and finances improved,” she says.

That was almost seven years ago. Her health has long since returned and she has a good job she can do from home, but the only child ever restored to her, despite nonstop court battles, was Robby. In fact, her ex got the courts to rule that the children should be permanently separated, leaving the other two children with him, since Robby was a “threat” to his younger brother’s well-being.

Through all those years, Cathy says she faced a campaign of systematic alienation from Matt and Harry. “When I called to speak to them, I was usually greeted with coldness or anger, and often the boys weren’t brought to the phone. Then my ex sent letters warning me not to call them at home at all. Whenever the kids came to stay with me, they’d report, ‘Dad says you’re evil. He says you wrecked the marriage.’ ” Then he moved thousands of miles away, making it vastly more difficult for her to see her children.

As time has passed, the boys have increasingly pulled away. Matt, now grown and serving in the military, never speaks to Cathy. Thirteen-year-old Harry used to say, “Mommy, why can’t I stay with you? All the other kids I know live with their moms,” before leaving visits with her. Now he often appears detached from her and uninterested in Robby, whom he once adored. His friends at his new home think his stepmother is his mom, because that’s how she introduces herself. “She told me she would take my kids, and she did. The alienation is complete,” rues Cathy. “All I ever wanted was to be a mom.”

Divorcing parents have long bashed each other in hopes of winning points with kids. But today, the strategy of blame encompasses a psychological concept of parental alienation that is increasingly used—and misused—in the courts.

On the one hand, with so many contentious divorces, parents like Cathy Mannis have been tragically alienated from the children they love. On the other hand, parental alienation has been seized as a strategic tool in custody fights, its effects exploited in the courtroom, often to the detriment of loving parents protecting children from true neglect or abuse. With the impact of alienation so devastating—and false accusations so prevalent—it may take a judge with the wisdom of Solomon to differentiate between the two faces of alienation: a truly toxic parent and his or her victimized children versus manipulation of the legal system to claim damage where none exists.

A Symptom Of Our Time?

Disturbed by the potential for alienation, many divorce courts have today instituted aggressive steps to intervene where they once just stood by. And with good reason: Alienation is ruinous to all involved. “In pathological or irrational alienation, the parent has done nothing to deserve that level of hatred or rejection from the child,” explains University of Texas psychologist Richard Warshak, author of Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent-Child Bond from a Vindictive Ex. “It often seems to happen almost overnight, and neither the rejected parent nor even the rejecting child understands why.”

Often, in fact, it’s the emotionally healthier parent who gets rejected, Warshak adds. That parent tends to understand that it’s not in the child’s best interests to lose the other parent. In contrast, the alienating parent craves revenge against the ex—then uses the child to exact that punishment. “It’s a form of abuse,” Warshak says. “Both parent and child are victims.”

House Divided: Hate Thy Father | Psychology Today.

A Classic Case of Parental Alienation says Goldman

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, child abuse, Child Custody, children legal status, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, kidnapped children, Marriage, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Protective Parents on December 24, 2009 at 6:45 pm

“Barry Goldman described their actions as a classic case of parental alienation.”

Many parent kidnap their children both internationally, but also in great numbers here in the United States. Right now, the US State Department estimates that there are 3,000 cases of US citizens/children kidnapped to other countries.

But in the United States, how many moms and dads take their kids in direct defiance of court orders, poison children’s minds against the fathers, sometimes mothers? It must be in the hundreds of thousands, and over the past decade, millions of children have been Parental Alienated from the other parent.  Who’s to blame, parents mainly, but the vase majority of cases arise out of false allegations of abuse, and the misuse/abuse  DV restraining orders to gain the advantage in child custody cases.

A relieved grandfather hears Sean Goldman’s voice: “Hi, Pop Pop”

By CHARLES WEBSTER • STAFF WRITER • December 24, 2009

Barry Goldman got his Christmas present this morning when he heard his grandson Sean Goldman simply say into the phone, “Hi, Pop Pop.”

Those words were all he wanted to hear.

“It was great. It was wonderful to hear his voice,” Barry Goldman said. “I’m so excited. I’m going to get to hug him, kiss him, and have fun with my grandson.”

Related

Barry’s son David Goldman won custody of his 9-year-old son Sean earlier this morning after his now-deceased ex-wife’s family handed the boy over to him after a 4 1/2-year legal struggle to get the boy back from her relatives in Brazil.

“I couldn’t have hoped for a better gift for the holidays – this is the best,” Barry Goldman told reporters outside his home in the Wayside section of Ocean Township, Monmouth County.

Barry Goldman got a phone call early this morning from his son, David, reporting Sean was with him.

“I’m thrilled. (David) is thrilled, and it seems like (Sean) is thrilled to be coming home,” Barry Goldman said of his brief exchange of words with his son and grandson.

The family of David Goldman’s ex-wife turned the boy over about 25 minutes before the 9 a.m. deadline this morning. It’s been nearly five years since Barry Goldman last saw his grandson, when they said their good-byes at a send-off breakfast at a Little Silver restaurant as the boy and his mother were headed off for what was supposed to be a 2-week vacation in Brazil.

Mother and son never returned.

Bruna Goldman, Sean’s mother, who became known as Bruna Lins e Silva after she remarried in Brazil, died on Aug. 22, 2008 after giving birth to a baby girl in Rio de Janeiro. Her Brazilian husband and his family have kept Sean in Brazil since then.

Barry Goldman described their actions as a classic case of parental alienation.

“They’ve been working on him (Sean) to not want to come back, but it didn’t work,” Barry Goldman said.

With Sean on his way back to New Jersey, Barry Goldman said he wanted to get away from the past and start looking toward the future.

“He used to run around the room and try to knock me down, but he couldn’t. But he probably can now. He’s bigger and I’ve gotten smaller,” Barry Goldman quipped with reporters as he talked about his desire to see Sean return to a normal life.

“He’s going to be a real American boy,” Barry Goldman predicted.

“I can’t wait to get a new picture of him like I have of my other grandchildren,” Barry Goldman said while he held up a picture of Sean as a 4-year-old and a baseball card photograph of another grandchild. “He’s the right age for Little League.”

A relieved grandfather hears Sean Goldman’s voice: “Hi, Pop Pop” | APP.com | Asbury Park Press.

Mental Health Professionals’ Opinion of Parental Alienation

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Marriage, Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders on December 18, 2009 at 7:13 pm
Mental Health Professionals’ Opinion of Parental Alienation

“‘The long-term implications [of alienation] are pretty severe,’ says Amy Baker, director of research at the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection in New York and a contributing author of Bernet’s proposal. In a study culminating in a 2007 book, Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome, she interviewed 40 ’survivors’ and found that many were depressed, guilt ridden, and filled with self-loathing. Kids develop identity through relationships with both their parents, she says. When they are told one is no good, they believe, ‘I’m half no good.”–US News and World Report, 10/29/09

“I have seen the very real existence of Parental Alienation Syndrome in case after case where one parent is enraged at the other and proceeds to poison the children against the ‘enemy’ parent. While many times it is a father who is demonized by an angry mother, the gender of the parent being turned into a ‘monster’ by the custodial parent can be reversed. Who the victim of P.A.S. turns out to be is entirely dependent upon the willingness of the parent with physical custody to ‘brainwash’ a child against the other parent. The loss of the child’s relationship to the hated ex-spouse delivers a message that this is the price you will pay for getting a divorce.”–Harvard Medical School Psychiatry Professor Henry J. Friedman, New York Times, 10/17/08.

“In some cases, it’s clear that the child is actively being taught to hate the parent”–Dr. Richard A. Warshak, author of Divorce Poison.

“‘Anyone who works in the field of forensic psychology in the context of divorce will say, yes, it’s possible for a child to be turned away from a loving parent. Everybody knows that happens’”–custody consultant J. Michael Bone, Ph.D., US News and World Report, 10/29/09

“[Court-ordered visitation can] be entangled with Medea-like rage…A woman betrayed by her husband is deeply opposed to the fact that her children must visit him every other weekend. … She cannot stop the visit, but she can plant seeds of doubt – ‘Do not trust your father’ – in the children’s minds and thus punish her ex-husband via the children. She does this consciously or unconsciously, casting the seeds of doubt by the way she acts and the questions she asks.”–Psychologist Judith S. Wallerstein and Sandra Blakeslee

“‘Strong alignment’ [with one parent means] the child consistently denigrated and rejected the other parent. Often, this was accompanied by an adamant refusal to visit, communicate, or have anything to do with the rejected parent…Strong alignments are probably most closely related to the behavioral phenomenon Gardner referred to as parental alienation syndrome…”–Janet Johnston, PhD

“I’ve seen several dramatic cases where the father was the alienator. In one case, the father had no control over his obsession to trash the mother.

“Numerous professionals told him, including the mother, that he could have shared custody if he would be willing to follow the rules. He didn’t have the self-control to do this.”–Dr. Jayne A. Major

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False Allegations, Dishonest Tactics, What Does A Honest Parent To Do?

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Marriage, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders on December 13, 2009 at 10:56 pm

False Allegations, Dishonest Tactics, What Does A Honest Parent To Do?

By: Ed Brooks

via False Allegations, Dishonest Tactics, What Does A Honest Parent To Do?.

Colman’s Parental Alienation Research

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Marriage, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders on December 11, 2009 at 8:14 pm

Colman’s Parental Alienation Research 6/4/2009 I wanted to analyze how the courts of Canada were addressing the challenge of parental alienation.  With the assistance of some students, we looked into the two major case data bases:  Quicklaw and E-Carswell (up to January 31, 2009).  We endeavoured to summarize all of the cases where the court made a finding that Parental Alienation existed based on the facts of the particular case.

SAMPLE: We found a total of 74 cases where parental alienation was found to exist.  The time frame was from 1987 to Jan. 31/09.  The division by gender was:

  • Mother alienator: 50
  • Father alienator:  24

FREQUENCY OF RESIDENCE CHANGE

I wondered how frequently the court had changed custody from the alienator parent to the target parent.  Here is what we found:

  • Of the 50 mother alienator cases, the courts changed residence to the father target parent in 31 of them (62.0%).
  • Of the 24 father alienator cases, the courts changed residence to the mother target parent in 19 of them (79.2%).

I wondered if there was any difference in the more recent cases.  From 2001 to Jan. ’09, here is what the data showed re residence change:

  • Mother alienators have had residence changed 25/35 = 71.4% of the time.
  • Father alienators have had residence changed 14/18 = 77.8% of the time.

FREQUENCY OF ACCESS BEING GRANTED TO ALIENATOR PARENT

When the court changes custody, the court can either grant access to the alienator parent or the court can deny all access to the alienator.  All access is denied (at least for a period of time) to enable the target parent to re-establish a relationship with the child free from the alienator parent continuing to undermine that relationship.  I wondered how frequently access was being granted or denied to the alienator parent when the child’s residence is changed to the target parent.  Here is what we found:

  • Recall from above that of  the 50 mother alienator cases, the courts changed residence to the father target parent in 31 of them (62.0%). Of those 31 cases, the court granted access to the mother alienator in 26 of them (83.9%) and denied access to the mother alienator in only 5 of those 31 cases (16.1%).
  • Recall from above that of  the 24 father alienator cases, the courts changed residence to the mother target parent in 19 of those 24 cases (79.2%). Of those 19 cases, the court granted access to the father alienator in 12 cases (63.2%) and denied access to the father alienator in 7 (36.8%) of those 19 cases.

FREQUENCY OF COUNSELING BEING ORDERED

Counseling can be an effective means to begin to repair relationships and educate parents.  (Of course, much depends on the skill of the counselor and the willingness of a parent to receive guidance.)  I wondered to what extent the courts were requiring the children and parents to participate in counseling.  Here is what we found:

  • Of the 50 mother alienator cases, the courts ordered counseling in 12 cases (24.0%).
  • Of the 24 father alienator cases, the courts ordered counseling in 13 cases (54.2%).
  • Where the mother was the alienator, she was ordered into some form of counseling on 7 of the 50 occasions, or 14%.
  • Where the father was the alienator, he was ordered into some form of counseling on 7 of the 24 occasions, or 29.2%.
  • Of the 16 cases during 2008 plus the one case reported in January 2009, the court ordered counseling in nine of them.  Within those nine cases, the alienator was ordered into counseling in four of them and it was “suggested” that counseling be undertaken in two additional cases.

I am happy to report that there is some reason to be optimistic with respect to how the law is developing in Canada. It would appear to me that the courts of Canada are increasingly taking more drastic measures to ameliorate the effects of parental alienation.  From changing residence, to counseling for all concerned, to making contempt findings (not discussed in the above summary) -  the tendency appears to be in favour of proactively addressing the problem.  The conventional wisdom years ago was that “time heals”.  It is my view (and that of many other professionals who have expertise in this area) that time often does not heal.  Resolute action is required.  Judges seem to be  increasingly aware how important it is to ensure that children are enabled to have a relationship with both parents.

Issues that still need to be proactively addressed include:

  • Obtaining a speedy remedy from the court (many P.A. cases take years to come to trial);
  • Obtaining a cost effective remedy from the court (legal fees tend to be quite high in P.A. cases);
  • Encouraging the court to enforce its own orders immediately upon learning of a violation (courts historically would warn misbehaving parents numerous times before any action would be taken);
  • Instituting procedural reforms in family courts so that high conflict cases such as P.A. cases are managed by one judge (case management exists on paper in some jurisdictions but it is rare for one particular judge to take full control of a case).

I presented my research findings at the First International Symposium for Parental Alienation Syndrome in Toronto on March 27, 2009.  A more comprehensive report is currently being prepared for publication.

Gene C. Colman

March 31, 2009

Colman’s Parental Alienation Research.

Ex-Etiquette: My son’s mother won’t stop calling him on my time – Sacramento Living – Sacramento Food and Wine, Home, Health | Sacramento Bee

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Children and Domestic Violence, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, Parents rights, Protective Dads on December 8, 2009 at 6:39 pm

Ex-Etiquette: My son’s mother won’t stop calling him on my time

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009 – 5:07 am

Q. Is it OK to put a limit of one 10-minute phone call on my 11-year-old son to his mother on my every other weekend visits? They call each other morning, noon, and night and stay on the phone for 20-60 minutes each time. When he gets off the phone with her his mood has soured.

A. Sometimes in situations like this, a parent will say it’s because their child has told them they hate going to visit the other parent, so they’re trying to make it easier by reminding him or her the time away will be over soon. In other cases, the parent is afraid their child will forget them or like it more with the other parent – so they call to remind the child how much they’re loved, often talking about what the child left behind when he or she is away with comments like, “Don’t worry, I fed your puppy,” or, even more underhandedly, “Your puppy misses you when you are gone!” In yet other cases, constant phone calls are simply a tool to alienate the child from the other parent. Parents who use this tact must understand the lasting psychological impact this behavior has on their child. For more information, type in Parental Alienation Syndrome, in the Bonus Families Web site search engine.

While each case should be examined individually, it’s not uncommon for a child to tell an anxious parent exactly what he or she thinks the parent wants to hear – even if it’s untrue. “I hate going to Dad’s! It’s boring” even if the truth is that Dad just bought him a new X-box and he’s dying to get over there. That’s when the parents end up in a counselor’s office looking for a custody change because they think they are doing exactly what their child wants. In actuality, neither knows the truth.

To eliminate this issue, phone calls should be limited to one a day – a “Hi ya son, good to hear your voice” phone call is all that’s needed. Also, the parents must improve their communication with each other. The more the parents talk directly to each other, the less room there is for the child to interpret by himself. Help him to cope by supporting the other parent’s visitation. It is in his best interest.

(East Jann Blackstone-Ford, Ph.D., and her husband’s ex-wife, Sharyl Jupe, authors of “Ex-Etiquette for Parents,” are the founders of Bonus Families (www.bonusfamilies.com). Reach them at ee@bonusfamilies.com.)

Ex-Etiquette: My son’s mother won’t stop calling him on my time – Sacramento Living – Sacramento Food and Wine, Home, Health | Sacramento Bee.

Stuart Showalter Law Blawg: Custody discussions with Legislators this week

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, custody, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders on December 5, 2009 at 1:33 am

Friday, December 4, 2009

Custody discussions with Legislators this week

On Tuesday 01 December 2009 I attended a discussion forum on the proposed constitutional amendment to cap property taxes. The event was hosted by the Meridian-Kessler Neighborhood Association with the help of Aaron Smith of WatchDog Indiana. Senators, Breaux, Schnieder and Taylor along with Representatives Delaney and Noe attended the event.

There was lively discussion and debate about the merits of and potential problems with a constitutional limit on property taxes. Although I live in Lebanon now, I grew up in the MKNA area. This provided an opportunity to see quite a few people I know and to also make some new acquaintances. But, taxes are not my issue so I will move on to child custody issues.

Before and after the event I had the opportunity to speak with most of the legislators. Senator Schneider is the state’s newest senator after having replace Terresa Lubbers in August of this year. Lubbers took a job as the Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education. Senator Schneider is a fiscal conservative who expressed interest in child custody matters and would like to be included in our efforts.

Senator Taylor and I spoke about some legislation that we have been working on since the last session. Senator Taylor sat on the Indiana Child Custody and Support Advisory Committee [ICCSAC] as a freshman member this year. He believes that he will be able to sponsor two of our bills.

Representative Noe and I discussed family law issues in general and where we would like to see Indiana headed in that arena. Representative Noe is the legislator I have worked with the longest on child custody issues. She is very firmly is support of children having access to and the care and support of both parents and other child-friendly legislation. She may be able to sponsor a bill for us although limited to only five this session.

On Tuesday I spoke with Senator Boots about a bill that I proposed to bring conformity to Indiana’s adoption and paternity laws. Back in July of this year I wrote about the rare but important need for this bill and contacted Senator Boots then. I am very appreciative that Senator Boots had submitted that bill on Monday.

I do believe that this bill will go through the Senate Judiciary Committee chaired by Senator Bray. I am confident that Senator Bray will set this bill for a hearing and that, with proper testimonial support, it will get passed. I would appreciate anyone having experience as a party, especially pro se, or attorney who has filed a paternity action while an adoption action involving the same child was pending to please contact me.

Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates currently has six bills we are seeking to get passed during this short session of the General Assembly. We would like to have the remaining five bills submitted by opening day on 05 January 2010. We are starting to make substantive progress to make Indiana a more child-friendly state but do need additional help. If you can do as little as forward an email please contact us.

Members of the Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates will be meeting again on 21 December 2009 at 7:30pm at the Marrott in Indianapolis. Our legislative liaisons will be attending the opening day of the second session of the 116th Assembly at the State House on Tuesday, 05 January 2010.

If you would like to assist us or meet your legislators on opening day please contact me.

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©2009 Stuart Showalter, LLC. Permission is granted to all non-commercial entities to reproduce this article in it’s entirety with credit given.

Stuart Showalter Law Blawg: Custody discussions with Legislators this week.

NEW CAMPAIGN: Ask DSM to Include Parental Alienation in Upcoming Edition « Fathers & Families

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, child trafficking, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, Civil Rights, CPS, custody, deadbeat dads, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, Jayne Major, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Single Parenting on December 2, 2009 at 3:00 pm

Ask DSM to Include Parental Alienation in Upcoming Edition

A group of 50 mental health experts from 10 countries are part of an effort to add Parental Alienation to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V), the American Psychiatric Association’s “bible” of diagnoses. According to psychiatrist William Bernet, adding PA “would spur insurance coverage, stimulate more systematic research, lend credence to a charge of parental alienation in court, and raise the odds that children would get timely treatment.”

Few family law cases are as heartbreaking as those involving Parental Alienation. In PA cases, one parent has turned his or her children against the other parent, destroying the loving bonds the children and the target parent once enjoyed.

Fathers & Families wants to ensure that the DSM-V Task Force is aware of the scope and severity of Parental Alienation. To this end, we are asking our members and supporters to write DSM. If you or someone you love has been the victim of Parental Alienation, we want you to tell your story to the DSM-V Task Force. To do so, simply fill in our form by clicking here.

Once you have filled out our form, Fathers & Families will print out your letter and send it by regular US mail to the three relevant figures in DSM-V: David J. Kupfer, M.D., the chair of the DSM-V Task Force; Darrel A. Regier, M.D., vice-chair of the DSM-V Task Force; and Daniel S. Pine, M.D., chair of the DSM-V Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence Work Group.

DSM V is struggling with many weighty matters and as things currently stand, Parental Alienation might not get much notice or attention. By having our supporters write to leading DSM figures, we hope to draw attention to the issue.

Again, to tell your story, click here.

Supporters can send letters to DSM until the middle of 2010. In 2011, DSM will be considering the issue. In 2012, DSM V will be written, and in 2013 DSM V will be published. When you write your letter, please:

1) Keep the focus on your child(ren) and how the Parental Alienation has harmed them.
2) Stick to the facts related to the Parental Alienation.
3) Be succinct.
4) Fill in all fields on our form.
5) Be civil and credible, and avoid any profanity or use of insulting language

Again, to write the DSM Committee about your story, click here.

Running these campaigns takes time and money–the postage and supplies alone on this campaign will be several thousand dollars. To make a tax-deductible contribution to support this effort, click here.

Together with you in the love of our children,

Glenn Sacks, MA
Executive Director, Fathers & Families

Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S.
Founder, Chairman of the Board, Fathers & Families


Frequently Asked Questions about Parental Alienation

1) What is Parental Alienation?

Parental Alienation is a disorder that arises primarily in the context of divorce/separation and/or child-custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child’s campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification. It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) of a parent’s indoctrinations and the child’s own contributions to the vilification of the targeted parent. Parental Alienation is also sometimes referred to as “Parental Alienation Disorder” or “Parental Alienation Syndrome.” To learn more, click here.


2) Most claims of Parental Alienation are made by divorced or separated fathers. When fathers have custody of their children, do they sometimes alienate them from the noncustodial mothers?

Yes, both genders can be perpetrators and victims of Parental Alienation, but those hurt the worst are always the children, who lose one of the two people in the world who love them the most.

3) Do fathers (or mothers) sometimes make false claims of Parental Alienation against mothers (or fathers)?

Yes. There are parents who have alienated their own children through their abuse or personality defects, and who attempt to shift the blame to their former spouses or partners by falsely claiming the other parent alienated the children from them.

4) How common is Parental Alienation?

Parental Alienation is a common, well-documented phenomenon that is the subject of numerous studies and articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals. A longitudinal study published by the American Bar Association in 2003 followed 700 “high conflict” divorce cases over a 12 year period and found that elements of PA were present in the vast majority of the cases studied. Some experts estimate that there are roughly 200,000 children in the U.S. who have PAD, similar to the number of children with autism. To learn more, click here.

5) Opponents of recognizing Parental Alienation claim that abusive fathers often employ Parental Alienation as a way to wrest custody from protective mothers in family court. They’ve promoted several cause celebre cases in recent years as a way to garner public sympathy and political support for their agenda. Is their portrayal of these cases accurate?

No–most of these cases are being misrepresented by opponents of recognizing Parental Alienation. Examples include: Genia Shockome (publicized by Newsweek magazine and others); Sadia Loeliger (one of the alleged heroines of a 2005 PBS documentary called Breaking the Silence: Children’s Stories; and Holly Collins (publicized by Fox News, Inside Edition and others.) In each of these three cases, opponents of recognizing Parental Alienation badly misrepresented the cases, turning reality on its head. To learn more about these cases, click here and here.

Despite this, opponents of recognizing Parental Alienation push for reforms which will make it easier to deny parents shared custody or visitation rights based on unsubstantiated abuse claims. They also push for laws to exclude evidence of Parental Alienation in family law proceedings. One example is California AB 612, a bill that a bill that would have prevented target parents of Parental Alienation from raising PA as an issue in their cases. In 2007 and 2009, Fathers & Families’ legislative representative Michael Robinson helped build a professional coalition to scuttle AB 612.

6) Opponents of recognizing Parental Alienation, as well as some mental health professionals, claim that Parental Alienation should not be recognized by DSM as a mental disorder. What’s Fathers & Families’ position on this aspect of the issue?

Many intelligent, accomplished mental health authorities do believe that Parental Alienation Disorder should be considered a mental disorder, but there are also credible experts who do not. DSM has accepted several relational disorders, such as Separation Anxiety Disorder and Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and PAD is a typical relational disorder. Any target parent of Parental Alienation would certainly believe that his or her child’s sudden, irrational hatred constitutes some sort of a mental disorder. In Parental Alienation Disorder and DSM-V, numerous mental health authorities make the case for including PAD–to learn more, click here.

Dr. Richard A. Warshak explains:

PAS fits a basic pattern of many psychiatric syndromes. Such syndromes denote conditions in which people who are exposed to a designated stimulus develop a certain cluster of symptoms.

Nonetheless, Fathers & Families’ emphasis is not on these technical aspects of the issue, but instead on the harm Parental Alienation does to children. The malignant behavior of alienating a child from his or her mother or father after a divorce or separation is a widespread social problem which merits a much more vigorous judicial and legislative response.

7) How will children caught in Parental Alienation be helped if Parental Alienation is included in DSM V?

Inclusion of Parental Alienation in DSM V will increase PA’s recognition and legitimacy in the eyes of family court judges, mediators, custody evaluators, family law attorneys, and the legal and mental health community in general. Psychiatrist William Bernet says that adding PA “would spur insurance coverage, stimulate more systematic research, lend credence to a charge of parental alienation in court, and raise the odds that children would get timely treatment.” To learn more, click here.

8) What is the child’s part in PAS?

The child denigrates the alienated parent with foul language and severe oppositional behavior. The child offers weak, absurd, or frivolous reasons for his or her anger. The child is sure of him or herself and doesn’t demonstrate ambivalence, i.e. love and hate for the alienated parent, only hate. The child exhorts that he or she alone came up with ideas of denigration. The “independent-thinker” phenomenon is where the child asserts that no one told him to do this. The child supports and feels a need to protect the alienating parent. The child does not demonstrate guilt over cruelty towards the alienated parent. The child uses borrowed scenarios, or vividly describes situations that he or she could not have experienced. Animosity is spread to the friends and/or extended family of the alienated parent.

In severe cases of parent alienation, the child is utterly brain-washed against the alienated parent. The alienator can truthfully say that the child doesn’t want to spend any time with this parent, even though he or she has told him that he has to, it is a court order, etc. The alienator typically responds, “There isn’t anything that I can do about it. I’m not telling him that he can’t see you.” (excerpted from Dr. Jayne A. Major’s Parents Who Have Successfully Fought Parental Alienation Syndrome).

9) Are there varying degrees of Parental Alienation?

Yes. Dr. Douglas Darnall, in his book Divorce Casualties: Protecting Your Children from Parental Alienation, describes three categories of PA.

The mild category he calls the naïve alienators. They are ignorant of what they are doing and are willing to be educated and change.

The moderate category is the active alienators. When they are triggered, they lose control of appropriate boundaries.

In the severe category are the obsessed alienators or those who are involved in PAS. They are committed to destroying the other parent’s relationship with the child. In the latter case, Dr. Darnall notes that we don’t have an effective protocol for treating an obsessed alienator other than removing the child from their influence.

An important point is that in PAS there is no true parental abuse and/or neglect on the part of the alienated parent. If this were the case, the child’s animosity would be justified. (excerpted from Dr. Jayne A. Major’s Parents Who Have Successfully Fought Parental Alienation Syndrome).

The Case for Including Parental Alienation Disorder in DSM V

Parental Alienation Disorder and DSM-V was written by psychiatrist William Bernet, M.D., Wilfrid v. Boch-Galhau, M.D., Joseph Kenan, M.D., Joan Kinlan, M.D., Demosthenes Lorandos, Ph.D., J.D., Richard Sauber, Ph.D., Bela Sood, M.D., and James S. Walker, Ph.D. In it, they make the case for including Parental Alienation Disorder in DSM V.

Their proposal was submitted to the Disorders in Childhood and Adolescence Work Group for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition in August of 2008. Below are some excerpts from their paper.

Bernet & Co. write:

Although parental alienation disorder has been described in the psychiatric literature for at least 60 years, it has never been considered for inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). When DSM-IV was being developed, nobody formally proposed that parental alienation disorder be included in that edition. Since the publication of DSM-IV in 1994, there have been hundreds of publications (articles, chapters, books, court opinions) regarding parental alienation in peer reviewed mental health journals, legal literature, and the popular press. There has been controversy among mental health and legal professionals regarding parental alienation…

Regarding our proposed diagnostic criteria, we say that the essential feature of parental alienation disorder is that a child – usually one whose parents are engaged in a hostile divorce – allies himself or herself strongly with one parent (the preferred parent) and rejects a relationship with the other parent (the alienated parent) without legitimate justification. The primary behavioral symptom is the child’s resistance or refusal to visit or have parenting time with the alienated parent…

For purposes of this proposal, we are referring to the mental condition under consideration as parental alienation disorder (PAD). Depending on the context, we sometimes refer to parental alienation syndrome (PAS). Our primary criteria for PAD are the attitudes and behavior of the child, that is, the child essentially has a false belief that the alienated parent is a dangerous person and must be avoided. We reserve the word alienation for individuals with this false belief, whether the false belief was brought about by the alienating parent or by other circumstances, such as the child who avoids being caught between warring parents by gravitating to one side and avoiding the other side of the battle…

Bernet & Co. believe that PAD should be included in DSM-V for the following reasons:

Relational disorders are being considered for DSM-V, and PAD is an exemplar of this type of mental disorder.

Despite controversies regarding terminology and etiology, the phenomenon of PAD is almost universally accepted by mental health and legal professionals. Research indicates that PAD is a valid and reliable construct.

Establishing diagnostic criteria will make it possible to study PAD in a more systematic manner.

Establishing diagnostic criteria will reduce the opportunities for abusive parents and unethical attorneys to misuse the concept of PAD in child custody disputes.

Establishing diagnostic criteria will be helpful for: clinicians who work with divorced families; divorced parents, who are trying to do what is best for their children; and children of divorce, who desperately need appropriate treatment that is based on a correct diagnosis.

One of the important points that Bernet & Co. make is that PA is not new. They write:

The phenomenon of PAD has been described in the mental health literature for at least 60 years and the concept is almost universally accepted by psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers who evaluate and treat these children. Also, the concept of parental alienation is generally understood and accepted by legal professionals. The symptoms of PAD were described in the mental health literature long before Richard Gardner coined the term “parental alienation syndrome” (in 1985).

In 1949, Wilhelm Reich wrote in his classic book, Character Analysis, that some divorced parents defend themselves against narcissistic injury by fighting for custody of their child and defaming their former spouse. These parents seek “revenge on the partner through robbing him or her of the pleasure in the child. … In order to alienate the child from the partner, it is told that the partner is an alcoholic or psychotic, without there being any truth to such statements”.

In 1952, Louise Despert referred in her book, Children of Divorce, to the temptation for one parent “to break down” their child’s love for the other parent.

In 1980, Judith Wallerstein and Joan Kelly referred to an alliance between a narcissistically enraged parent and a particularly vulnerable older child or adolescent, who “were faithful and valuable battle allies in efforts to hurt and punish the other parent. Not infrequently, they turned on the parent they had loved and been very close to prior to the marital separation”.

Wallerstein and Sandra Blakeslee later discussed how court-ordered visitation can “be entangled with Medea-like rage.” They said, “A woman betrayed by her husband is deeply opposed to the fact that her children must visit him every other weekend. … She cannot stop the visit, but she can plant seeds of doubt – ‘Do not trust your father’ – in the children’s minds and thus punish her ex-husband via the children. She does this consciously or unconsciously, casting the seeds of doubt by the way she acts and the questions she asks…”

Bernet & Co. write:

In 1994, the American Psychological Association published “Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations in Divorce Proceedings”…the authors of the guidelines provided a bibliography of “Pertinent Literature,” which included The Parental Alienation Syndrome and two other books by Richard Gardner.

In 1997, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) published “Practice Parameters for Child Custody Evaluations.” This document, an “AACAP Official Action,” referred explicitly to “Parental Alienation” and said, “There are times during a custody dispute when a child can become extremely hostile toward one of the parents. The child finds nothing positive in his or her relationship with the parent and prefers no contact. The evaluator must assess this apparent alienation and form a hypothesis of its origins and meaning. Sometimes, negative feelings toward one parent are catalyzed and fostered by the other parent; sometimes, they are an outgrowth of serious problems in the relationship with the rejected parent”…

There has been an enormous amount of research on the psychosocial vicissitudes of children of divorced parents, including children with PAS. The most exhaustive single volume regarding PAS is The International Handbook of Parental Alienation Syndrome, published in 2006. More than 30 mental health professionals wrote chapters for this book, including authors from Australia, Canada, Czechoslovakia, England, Germany, Israel, Sweden, and the United States.

PAS was the focus of major national conferences in Frankfurt/Main, Germany, in 2002 and in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain, in 2008. A scholarly article by Warshak cited a list of references that currently numbers 213, most of which were published in peer reviewed journals (http://home.att.net/~rawars/pasarticles.html)…

We conclude that mental health professionals (taken as a group) and the general public recognize parental alienation as a real entity that deserves considerable attention.

How common is Parental Alienation, and how many cases are there nationwide? Bernet & Co. estimate that there are roughly 200,000 children in the U.S. who have PAD, similar to the number of children with autism. They write:

In general, PAD is more likely to occur in highly conflicted, custody-disputing families than in community samples of divorcing families. Even in highly conflicted divorces, only the minority of children experience PAD. The following studies indicate that approximately 25% of children involved in custody disputes develop PAD.

Johnston – in California – found that 7% of the children in one study and 27% of the children in a second study had “strong alignment” with one parent and rejection of the other parent. Kopetski – in Colorado – found that 20% of families involved in custody disputes manifested parental alienation syndrome. Nicholas reported that 33% of families involved with custody disputes manifested parental alienation syndrome, based on a survey of 21 custody evaluators. Berns reported a study of divorce judgments in Brisbane, Australia, and said parental alienation syndrome was present in 29% of cases.

The prevalence of PAD can be roughly estimated as follows. The U.S. Census Bureau says approximately 10% of children under age 18 live with divorced parents. Approximately 10% of divorces involve custody or visitation disputes. Approximately 25% of children involved in custody or visitation disputes develop PAD. Multiplying these percentages yields a prevalence of 0.25%, or about 200,000 children in the U.S. For comparison purposes, this prevalence is the same order of magnitude as the prevalence of autism spectrum disorders.

Bernet & Co. believe that “controversies related to definitions and terminology have delayed and compromised systematic research regarding [PAD]” and that “Establishing diagnostic criteria will make it possible to study parental alienation in a more methodical manner.” They write:

[Despite controversy] There is consensus among almost all mental health professionals who have written about parental alienation regarding the following: (1) PAD is a real entity, that is, there really are children and adolescents who embark on a persistent campaign of denigration against one of the parents and adamantly refuse to see that parent, and the intensity of the campaign and the refusal is far out or proportion to anything the alienated parent has done. (2) There are many causes of visitation refusal, and PAD is only one of them. (3) PAD is not the correct diagnosis when the child’s visitation refusal is caused by child maltreatment or serious problematic behavior of the alienated parent.

Dr. Richard A. Warshak makes the case for accepting PAD/PAS:

PAS fits a basic pattern of many psychiatric syndromes. Such syndromes denote conditions in which people who are exposed to a designated stimulus develop a certain cluster of symptoms. ‘Posttraumatic stress disorder’ (PTSD) refers to a particular cluster of symptoms developed in the aftermath of a traumatic event. … These diagnoses carry no implication that everyone exposed to the same stimulus develops the condition, nor that similar symptoms never develop in the absence of the designated stimulus. … Similarly, some, but not all, children develop PAS when exposed to a parent’s negative influence. Other factors, beyond the stimulus of an alienating parent, can help elucidate the etiology for any particular child.

Bernet & Co. add “We hope that the Work Group will not reject this proposal simply because of this 20- year-old argument about the concept, the terminology, and the criteria for PAD. There is no lack of controversy regarding conditions that are quite prominent in the DSM.”

Bernet & Co. also address the important issue of the misuse of PA/PAD. As we’ve often noted, claims of Parental Alienation can be used by abusive parents as a cover for their abuse, such as in the Joyce Murphy case.

More commonly, one parent may have damaged his or her relationships with his children due to his or her own personality problems, narcissism, substance abuse issues, erratic behavior, etc., but then, rather than assuming responsibility for his or her actions, instead blames the bad relationship on the other parent, under the rubric of Parental Alienation. Fathers & Families sometimes hears from parents, usually mothers, who say that they are being unfairly blamed for the deterioration of their children’s relationships with their former partners, who claim Parental Alienation. We believe that these are legitimate concerns.

However, as we’ve often noted, simply because false claims of Parental Alienation can and are made doesn’t mean that Parental Alienation doesn’t exist or isn’t a problem. Bernet & Co. believe that acceptance of PA/PAD by DSM V will “reduce the opportunities for abusive parents and unethical attorneys to misuse the concept of parental alienation in child custody disputes.” They write:

Having established criteria for the diagnosis of PAD will eliminate the Babel of conflicting terminology and definitions that currently occurs when parental alienation is mentioned in a legal setting. More important is that the entry regarding PAD in DSM-V will include a discussion of the differential diagnosis of visitation refusal. It will be clear that the clinician should consider a number of explanations for a child’s symptom of visitation refusal and not simply rush to the diagnosis of PAD. Also, it will be clear that the diagnosis of PAD should not be made if the child has a legitimate, justifiable reason for disliking and rejecting one parent, for instance, if the child was neglected or abused by that parent.

We believe that when everybody involved in the legal procedures (the parents, the child protection investigators, the mental health professionals, the attorneys, and the judge) has a clear, uniform understanding of the definition of PAD, there will be fewer opportunities for rogue expert witnesses and lawyers to misuse the concept in court. What really matters is whether PAD is a real phenomenon, a real entity. If PAD is a real clinical entity, it should be included in the DSM. If PAD is a real clinical entity, the possibility that the diagnosis will sometimes be misused should not be a primary or serious consideration.

They also note:

[T]he psychiatric diagnosis that is most misused in legal settings is posttraumatic stress disorder. In personal injury lawsuits, the diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder in an alleged victim is used to prove that the individual actually sustained a severe trauma. Also, military veterans and workers’ compensation claimants sometimes malinger posttraumatic stress disorder in order to receive disability benefits. However, we are not aware that anybody has ever proposed that posttraumatic stress disorder should be deleted from the DSM because it is sometimes misused.

Recognizing PA/PAD/PAD will help children of divorce or separation. Bernet & Co. write:

Establishing diagnostic criteria will be helpful for: clinicians who work with divorced families; divorced parents, who are trying to do what is best for their children; and children of divorce, who desperately need appropriate treatment that is based on a correct diagnosis. According to Barbara-Jo Fidler, clinical observations, case reviews and qualitative comparative studies uniformly indicate that alienated children may exhibit a variety of symptoms including poor reality testing, illogical cognitive operations, simplistic and rigid information processing, inaccurate or distorted interpersonal perceptions, self-hatred, and other maladaptive attitudes and behaviors. Fidler’s survey of the short-term and long-term effects of pathological alienation on children reviewed more than 40 articles published in peer-reviewed journals between 1991 and 2007…

The authors of this proposal believe that if PAD were an official diagnosis, counselors and therapists from all disciplines will become more familiar with this condition. As a result, children with PAD will be identified earlier in the course of their illness while it is more easily treated and even cured. Also, if PAD were an official diagnosis (with clear criteria for the diagnosis and for severity of the condition), it will be possible to conduct coherent research regarding its treatment.

The Authors’ Proposed Criteria for Parental Alienation Disorder is as follows:

A. The child – usually one whose parents are engaged in a hostile divorce – allies
himself or herself strongly with one parent and rejects a relationship with the other,
alienated parent without legitimate justification. The child resists or refuses visitation or
parenting time with the alienated parent.

B. The child manifests the following behaviors:

(1) a persistent rejection or denigration of a parent that reaches the level of a
campaign
(2) weak, frivolous, and absurd rationalizations for the child’s persistent
criticism of the rejected parent

C. The child manifests two of the following six attitudes and behaviors:

(1) lack of ambivalence
(2) independent-thinker phenomenon
(3) reflexive support of one parent against the other
(4) absence of guilt over exploitation of the rejected parent
(5) presence of borrowed scenarios
(6) spread of the animosity to the extended family of the rejected parent.

D. The duration of the disturbance is at least 2 months.

E. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social,
academic (occupational), or other important areas of functioning.

F. The child’s refusal to have visitation with the rejected parent is without legitimate
justification. That is, parental alienation disorder is not diagnosed if the rejected parent
maltreated the child.

Send Your Letter to the DSM-V Task Force and Tell Them Your Story

To write your letter to the DSM-V Task Force, please fill out the form below. Fathers & Families will print out your letter and send it by regular US mail to the three relevant figures in DSM-V. When you write your letter, please:

1) Keep the focus on your child(ren) and how the Parental Alienation has harmed them.
2) Stick to the facts related to the Parental Alienation.
3) Be succinct.
4) Fill in all fields on our form.
5) Be civil and credible, and avoid any profanity or use of insulting language

Together with you in the love of our children,

Glenn Sacks, MA
Executive Director, Fathers & Families

Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S.
Founder, Chairman of the Board, Fathers & Families

NEW CAMPAIGN: Ask DSM to Include Parental Alienation in Upcoming Edition « Fathers & Families.

Part II: The State Preference for Splitting up Families Using the ‘Best Interests of the Child’ | Glenn Sacks on MND

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children's behaviour, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Rights, fathers rights, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Marriage, Non-custodial fathers, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders on December 1, 2009 at 2:15 pm

Part II: The State Preference for Splitting up Families Using the ‘Best Interests of the Child’

Saturday, November 28, 2009

By Robert Franklin, Esq.

As I said in my previous post on the “best interests of the child,” the authors of the 1973 book, “Beyond the Best Interests of the Child” were so shocked at its misuse by courts, child welfare agencies and adoption agencies, that they wrote another book in 1979 to correct the misinterpretations.

There they clearly stated that the best interests of the child were presumptively served by maintaining intact families unless certain extreme things had occurred.  Those things were the death, incarceration or incapacity of a parent, divorce and custody matters, request by a parent to terminate their rights, sexual abuse of a child by a parent, serious bodily injury done to a child by a parent, repeated injury done to a child by a parent and the refusal by the parents to authorize lifesaving medical care for the child.  Period.  According to the authors, no other situation warranted state intrusion into parental care of children.

Would anyone care to guess which book is cited time and again as authority by appellate courts, and which book is virtually ignored?  California civil rights attorney Catherine Campbell wrote in 2000 that “little notice was taken” of the authors’ second book in which they strove mightily to stop their first book’s being used to take children from parents.  It’s message, Campbell added “was not what child abuse crusaders wanted to hear, and it was not heard.”  Indeed.  The same year as her article, I did a Lexis/Nexis search of state and federal appellate court opinions.  Goldstein, Freud and Solnit’s first book had been cited 279 times versus 46 times for their second.

Campbell pointed out that those adults and children who are most abused by the “best interests of the child” are overwhelmingly poor.  They are the most apt to be found wanting as parents and least able to combat the system of child removal and placement that Campbell called “a form of legalized kidnapping.”

Come to think of it, the New Mexico case I sketched in my first post on this topic involved a man who was poor – he was a laborer.  The fact that he provided for his children and loved and cared for them, and ultimately did everything in his power to stop the adoption train that inexorably took his child from him, mattered little.  As always, state power is wielded most savagely against those least able to oppose it.

And in the arena of family courts and child welfare agencies, among the relatively powerless must be counted fathers.  That’s not because fathers are necessarily poor; of course they’re not.  Fathers aren’t necessarily poor in money, but in family court, they are poor in what matters at least as much – rights.  The range of methods used to separate fathers from their children is truly astonishing, and often enough justified by “the best interests of the child.”

Should a father be informed about the adoption of his child?  No, the child is better off with its adoptive parents.  If he finds out about the adoption and tries to stop it (as in the New Mexico case), he’ll find the child already placed with the new parents and thus its “best interests” lie with them, not him.  Should the dad be notified before his child is placed in foster care?  Not so much; only about half of them are.  What if Mom concealed her pregnancy from him until months or even years later, can he get custody?  Probably not, because, well you know, the child would be upset by a new adult entering its life so, sorry Dad.  What about a plain vanilla divorce and custody case?  Can he get primary custody?  Not likely; just 16% of dads in the United States manage that.

But who’s griping?  It’s all in the child’s best interests, right?

Back to Goldstein, Freud and Solnit, though.  Here‘s a case that, as the article shows, warrants little comment (Dallas Morning News, 11/27/09).  A man and his wife have a “history” of drug use.  He walked into a bakery with their baby in a car seat, placed the child on a table, ordered and walked out without the baby.  Now, no one would argue that that’s appropriate childcare.  Obviously it’s not.  But the question the authors want us to ask is this: “Is it behavior that warrants taking the child from its parents in favor of foster care?”  After all,

[T]o acknowledge that some parents…may threaten the well-being of their children is not to suggest that state legislatures, courts or administrative agencies can always offer such children something better…By its intrusion the state may make a bad situation worse; indeed, it may turn a tolerable or even a good stiuation into a bad one.”

Why Judge Little

Stumble It!

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Part II: The State Preference for Splitting up Families Using the ‘Best Interests of the Child’ | Glenn Sacks on MND.

Northern Star Online: Fathers’ rights are unfairly discriminated against in family courts

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Marriage, Non-custodial fathers, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders on December 1, 2009 at 12:39 am
By AARON BROOKS
Last updated on 11/29/2009 at 10:50 p.m.

When President Clinton signed into law the Adoption and Safe Families Act on Nov. 19, 1997, he unbalanced the scales of justice and removed the blindfold of Themis.

A change of philosophy was at hand. No longer did courts seek family preservation; instead, prompted by an extreme minority of neglectful parents, the courts now choose to terminate the parental rights’ of parents that are allegedly harmful.

On Nov. 24, 2009, I interviewed Chicago’s fathers’ rights author, activist and attorney Jeffery Leving about my perception of Themis as a sexist.

“When I started in 79, non-custodial fathers were a class of human beings badly discriminated against, and no one cared. Every once in a while I change a law, reunite a father with his child, and it inspires me and gives me hope for future changes,” Leving said.

To clarify, a non-custodial father refers to a father without physical and/or legal custody of his child by a court order. Leving discussed how in today’s society, these men are still difficult to represent due to “discrimination of our legal system.”

A precedent of sexism seems almost too obvious within our family courts.

“There has been a long history of discrimination in our legal system. Non-custodial men anger people in the position’s power. A judge told me, ‘If a father is accused of abuse, even if he did not do it, he did something else.’ Another judge said, ‘Men are biological requirements, but social accidents,’” Leving said.

The father’s right’s attorney went on to express how society’s expectation of a man’s responsibility is hypocritical. Society wants a man to be responsible while they actually believe he isn’t.

“So when a father wants to step up to the plate, they immediately think it is to get out of paying child support, to hurt the mother or for some other inappropriate reason. Fathers seem to be targeted no matter what they do.”

So, it is obvious that men are not equal in divorce and parental right cases. Due to gender stereotypes in society, women tend to have it much easier. Although the mother physically carries and gives birth to the child, the paternal father’s consent should also be held with high respect as well.

“My opinion is that the father’s consent is necessary, and it is justified to prevent the hardships and trauma that are unavoidable when a father is notified only after the adoption. Not only are men kicked to the curb, but if they appeal it could take years for them to be reunited with their child, and that is traumatizing for everyone involved.”

Besides prejudice, money is a big issue. Leving explained that children are worth a lot of money and the adoption agency is a multi-billion dollar industry. Couples unable to have children of their own will pay any cost in order to get a child. This puts the many young fathers at a disadvantage, since they hardly have the money to compete with both the adoption agency and eager couples.

When it comes to family court rulings and rights of the paternal father, the situation is plainly unfair. Sure there are circumstances to each individual situation, but the entire system is in dire need of evaluation.

Northern Star Online: Fathers’ rights are unfairly discriminated against in family courts.

The ‘Best Interests of the Child’ Concept – Misused from the Beginning | Glenn Sacks on MND

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, fathers rights, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, kidnapped children, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders on November 30, 2009 at 8:12 pm
Saturday, November 28, 2009

By Robert Franklin, Esq.

Even the casual observer of family law and practice can be struck by the astonishing, er, flexibility of the term “best interests of the child.”  For example, in 1995, a New Mexico court approved of the outright theft of a child by an adoption agency and his subsequent placement with an adoptive couple as in the “best interests of the child.”

The boy had lived with the mother and father for all his year and a half of life.  One weekend when the father was out of town working, the mother took the child to the adoption agency, lied about the father’s whereabouts and gave the child up for adoption.  Two days later, the father informed the adoption agency that he had no intention of giving up the child.  But the agency kept the child with the adoptive parents anyway and let the glacial pace of the judicial system do the rest.

A year and a half later, the child was deemed to have “bonded” with the adoptive parents and the father was out of luck.  The “best interests of the child,” you understand, meant that breaking those new bonds was impermissible.  At the same time, the “best interests of the child” did permit breaking the bonds between the father and the child.  That’s what I mean when I say the concept is “flexible.”

The conduct of the mother and the agency violated New Mexico civil law, and the father sued them and won a judgment for monetary damages.  Those damages were never paid as the agency receded behind the impenetrable veil of bankruptcy.

Given the mutability of the ‘best interests’ standard, it’s interesting to know a little of its history.  In 1973, Joseph Goldstein, Anna Freud and Albert Solnit published a book that would have enormous influence on family courts and child protective agencies nationwide, albeit not the one they intended.  They were, respectively, a law professor at Yale, a child psychologist and a researcher at the Child Study Center at Yale.  Their book was entitled “Beyond the Best Interests of the Child.”  It was an effort to guide courts and placement agencies that had to decide issues of family dissolution and child custody about how best to do that.

But by 1979, the same authors were so horrified at the misuse of their book by those very courts and child protective agencies that they wrote another one entitled “Before the Best Interests of the Child.”

With their first book, they meant well; they truly didn’t anticipate the distortions to which judges, social workers and child welfare agencies would subject its message.  In it, they were dealing only with cases in which a family had already broken down and required intervention by the state to protect the children.  The authors limited their discussion to that.  The “best interests of the child” concept was discussed solely as a goal to be obtained after family breakdown.

But the courts and other state agencies had no intention of limiting their use of the book’s concepts in the same way the authors did.  In direct contradiction to the authors’ intentions, states began using the “best interests of the child” concept to achieve family breakdown by state intervention and removal of the children.

That’s what horrified the authors and prompted them to publish “Before the Best Interests of the Child” in 1979.  Here’s what they said:

[W]e believe that a child’s need for continuity of care by autonomous parents requires acknowledging that parents should generally be entitled to raise their children as they think best, free of state interference.  This conviction finds expression in our preference for minimum state intervention and prompts restraint in defining justifications for coercively intruding on family relationships…

So long as a child is a member of a functioning family, his paramount interest lies in the preservation of his family.  Thus our preference for making a child’s interests paramount is not to be construed as a justification in and of itself for intrusion.  (Emphasis in the original.)

I’ll write a bit more on this later, but remember what the authors said: the child’s “paramount interests lies in the preservation of his family.”

It’s a concept that escaped the New Mexico courts back in 1995, even as it continues to escape so many today.

How to Win Shared Custody
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The ‘Best Interests of the Child’ Concept – Misused from the Beginning | Glenn Sacks on MND.

We don’t ever see Daddy any more – Stories of children from broken homes | The Sun |Features

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, California Parental Rights Amendment, child abuse, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Children and Domestic Violence, children criminals, children's behaviour, Civil Rights, custody, deadbeat dads, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on November 29, 2009 at 6:45 pm

We don’t ever see Daddy any more

Families torn apart … the stories behind the divorces

MyView

By DEIDRE SANDERS

Sun Agony Aunt

WHEN parents are breaking up, the tragedy is that they are often so caught up in their own anger, hurt and turmoil that they have little attention to spare for their children.

Fighting over the home and maybe furious their partner has found a new love, they lash out, little realising that children can’t help identifying with both parents, wanting to love and be loved by them both equally.

Using kids as pawns in the battle is setting them up for long-term emotional damage.

Even if parents cannot live lovingly together, they owe it to their children to remember they can never have another mum or dad.

Unless contact with one parent is going to be dangerous because of violence, drugs, alcohol or mental health problems, both should make every effort to ensure it’s easy and comfortable for the kids to be with them both regularly, even if it means swallowing your rage while you negotiate contact arrangements.

Because this is such a common problem, I have written a special Kids In The Middle guide for separating parents and children on how to handle the hurdles.

Call 0845 602 2290 or go to http://tiny.cc/FGF9j for a free copy.

THOUSANDS of British kids never see their dad again once their parents break up, a shocking new survey has revealed.

More than one in three youngsters – 38 per cent – go without having their father around after their parents split, and nearly one in ten are so traumatised they consider SUICIDE.

The findings, by a leading law firm, also discovered children are being caught in bitter custody battles, and many later turn to drink and drugs.

Sandra Davis, head of family law firm Mishcon de Reya, which surveyed 4,000 people, said: “This research shows that, despite their best intentions, parents are often using their children as emotional footballs.”

Here NIKKI WATKINS, NICK FRANCIS and JENNA SLOAN speak to four people who have been affected by divorce.

We hear from a mum whose husband left for Australia, a man who tracked down his long-lost dad and two fathers who haven’t seen their kids in years.

 


 

Richard

RICHARD separated from his long-term partner in May 1998, after six years.

The 43-year-old, from Carshalton, Surrey, who is on sick leave from his job as a train-driving instructor, has not seen his 15-year-old daughter for more than eight years, despite suffering with leukaemia.

His ex-partner moved 600 miles away, which makes visiting impossible as his leukaemia treatment is carried out in his home town.

Richard says: “We came to an understanding about contact times that worked out initially.

“Then my ex started mucking about with it. I said, ‘we need to sort this out’, as I didn’t want to go down the route of court because it is expensive and pits parent against parent.

“It becomes a battle of parents rather than what is right for the child.

“The advice I got at the time was to avoid the court system.

“I said that it was in our daughter’s best interests to continue seeing me.”

Richard eventually ended up seeking the advice of a solicitor.

He says: “The day before we were due for a directions hearing my ex phoned me and asked me what I wanted. I said the same as before and she said, ‘that is fine’.

But the situation changed when Richard’s ex got engaged and moved to Scotland.

Richard says: “I got a letter from her solicitor saying the contact schedule wouldn’t work.”

He has since been diagnosed with leukaemia and when faced with chemotherapy told doctors not to worry about his fertility, as he was too traumatised to have more children.

He wrote to his ex and daughter to explain about his illness, but says he got no response.

Richard says: “I don’t get anything back – I haven’t in eight years. I just want an acknowledgement to say my daughter is aware of what has happened and sends her love. It’s an awful situation.

“I know they get to the address because everything is recorded delivery, the birthday presents and Easter eggs.

“I had to have counselling about losing my daughter. It has affected me in a big, big way.

“Children have a right to know both parents.”

 


 

Melanie Crow

MELANIE divorced her husband of 13 years after he left her and their two sons without warning.

When Melanie, 33, came home one day to find hubby Trevor leaving, she thought for a moment that he was going to the shops – before realising he meant he was going for good.

Husband left for Australia ... Melanie Crow

Husband left for Australia … Melanie Crow

North News

He left for a new life in Australia, since then having no contact with sons Oliver, then 3, and Joshua, then 8.

Melanie, a photographer from Durham, says: “Trevor left on March 8, 2008. I wasn’t aware of any real problems in our marriage, just the usual bickering. I came home from work and he said he was leaving.

“My oldest boy Joshua, who is now ten, has a lot of issues and has to see a counsellor.

“Because he was there when his dad was packing his things in the car, he blames himself for his dad leaving.

“My other son, Ollie, who’s five, was only three when his dad left so I think he has got off a bit lighter.

“They are both very clingy, though. I con-stantly have to reassure them.

“I’m worried about how it’s going to affect Ollie in the future. I also worry about my boys because there isn’t a male role model in the house.

“Trevor has my numbers and can get in touch with the boys if he wants, he just chooses not to.

“He took me to court this year to try and get access.

“We came to an agreement that he could come and see them over the summer but just one week before he was due, he cancelled.

“After spending thousands of pounds on a court case in this country, despite not having paid any money for the boys, he goes and disappoints them like that.

“If Trevor is the kind of man who can do this to his family then he’s not the sort of person I want around my kids.”

 


 

James Taylor

JAMES TAYLOR tracked down his long-lost dad, James Dennis, 52, through the internet after his parents divorced.

James 33, a mortgage adviser from Glasgow. says: “My mum and dad married when they were 17 and 18, which was very young.

“My dad, who was a welder, moved to Reading to find work and initially my mum went with him. But things didn’t work out and my mum came back to Scotland.

“My parents ended up divorcing and lost contact. I think it was a combination of the pressure on them, as they were so young, and the distance between them.

“I was their only child, and I saw my dad once when I was about seven, but that was it. It didn’t really occur to me to ask about him.

“All I’d ever known was my mum, Brenda, who remarried. But when I went to secondary school I began to wonder why I didn’t have a dad like the other kids did.

“When I was 17 my mum passed away due to complications in childbirth. It really made me think about things and start to question who my family was.

“I have four step-daughters with my wife Georgina and we have a boy Joshua, who is seven. I also have two step-granddaughters.

“Having my own children did make me think even more about getting in touch with my dad. My wife was very supportive but I was worried about finding Dad. What if he didn’t like me?

“In 2006 I logged on to the Genes Reunited website and typed in my father’s name. I hadn’t seen him for 23 years. One match came up that turned out to be my aunt, I was delighted when I got an email from her.

“She passed my contact details on to my dad and we arranged to meet.

“Going to meet him for the first time was very emotional. I’d only seen him in his old wedding picture, with long hair in the 1970s, so I didn’t recognise him straight away.

“But when it finally dawned on me that this was my dad I was thrilled. We have some of the same characteristics – our eyes are similar – and we have similar mannerisms too.

“And I have a half-brother and half-sister that I’d never met, along with aunties, uncles and cousins. I’m so glad I logged on to that website.”

 


 

Paul

DAD Paul is a full-time carer for his elderly father.

He split with his wife of 25 years and lost contact with his son, then aged seven, 12 years ago.

Lost contact with son ... Paul

Lost contact with son … Paul

Paul, 57, from Hampshire, is still coming to terms with his loss. He says: “My wife decided that she wanted the relationship to finish and we divorced.

“Very quickly it became difficult to have contact with my son.

“You get cursory visits once every two weeks. It was difficult right from the beginning, but I saw him for about a year, every other weekend. That isn’t sufficient for a relationship.”

Paul went to court to try tomaintain the contact but thesituation deteriorated.

He says: “If one parent is trying hard to stop contact, the court doesn’t really do anything to enforce contact with the absent parent.”

That is why Paul finds the new statistics about so many children not seeing their fathers unsurprising.

He says: “I wrote many articles and did some charity work for a time for all of the charity groups who were trying to get the system changed.

“I did it because there are probably about a million kids out there who have not got what you could call a decent family.

“If you include the extended family then the number of people involved is just colossal. The figure of 38 per cent doesn’t surprise me at all. It almost destroys you. You miss everything.

“I don’t even know categorically if my son is alive – simple as that.

“I took it all the way to the highest court and that got me experienced in the legal system.

“So I was advising other people how to keep the cost down and how to do it themselves.

“I have moved on now – it took me several years to get to that stage and it was a very desperate state. I have been divorced 12 years now and I fought for five years in the courts. My life could always be better.

“More than anything I would want my son to know that I care and that I am still caring.”

Stories of children from broken homes | The Sun |Features.

Parental Alienation Syndrome – PasKids.com

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, custody, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, DSM-V, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Feminism, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Single Parenting, Sociopath on November 29, 2009 at 12:45 pm

PasKids.com

Parental Alienation Syndrome.

Forum

Home Parental Alienation Articles Resources

What is Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS)?

This is the definition of PAS as described by R.A. Gardner who discovered the syndrome and has become an expert in dealing with the issue.

Gardner’s definition of PAS is:

“The parental alienation syndrome (PAS) is a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child-custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child’s campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification. It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) parent’s indoctrinations and the child’s own contributions to the vilification of the target parent.”

(Excerpted from: Gardner, R.A. (1998). The Parental Alienation Syndrome, Second Edition, Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.)

Basically, this means that through verbal and non verbal thoughts, actions and mannerisms, a child is emotionally abused (brainwashed) into thinking the other parent is the enemy. This ranges from bad mouthing the other parent infront of the children, to withholding visits, to pre-arranging the activities for the children while visiting with the other parent.

Stages of Parental Alienations Syndrome:

Children who are victims of PAS often go through different Stages as they experience the depth of the alienation.

Stage 1 – Mild | Stage 2 – Moderate | Stage 3 – Severe |

Types of Alienators:

With PAS there are three types of Alienators:

Naive Alienator | Active Alienator | Obsessed Alienator |

Parental Alienation Syndrome – PAS.

Parental Alienation Syndrome to be Viewed as a Form of Child Abuse | ParentsElite

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, DSM-IV, DSM-V, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Single Parenting, Sociopath on November 28, 2009 at 10:02 pm

Parental Alienation Syndrome to be Viewed as a Form of Child Abuse

Image from abdoukili.wordpress.com

Image from abdoukili.wordpress.com

Health experts from ten different nations are making an effort to include Parental Alienation Syndrome in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Parental Alienation Syndrome is a behaviour exhibited by one parent where he threatens or makes his child fear his other parent, often attempting to turn the child against his other parent. This sort of behaviour may lead to the child developing a chronic psychological disorder, affecting his physical and mental state of health. This Syndrome often includes false accusations by one parent of mistreatment, abuse, domestic violence, and neglecting the child, by the other parent.

Since such behaviour can greatly distress the child affecting his state of mind, health care professionals must view this behaviour as a form of child abuse.

Fifty mental health experts are campaigning in an attempt to include this Syndrome in the 2012 edition of the Mental Disorders Manual.

Related posts:

  1. Parenting Education Important to Check Child Abuse
  2. Aggressive Behaviour in Children Increases if Parents are Negative towards them
  3. Four Effective Theories for Parental Training
  4. Poor Parenting can lead to Crime
  5. Dealing with a Parent-Teacher Meeting
  6. Effective Parenting comes with Instincts
  7. Impulsivity is a Risk Factor for Drug Abuse?
  8. Aggressive Children have Lesser Number of Friends
  9. Communication between a Child and a Parent is Extremely Vital
  10. A Child’s Interests Should Have Greater Priority in Divorces Cases

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  1. Thank you for sharing this information with your readers.

    Parental alienation is a huge problem in the U.S. and around the world. Long-standing emotional issues drive the alienating parent to damage, and in some cases destroy, the child’s relationship with his or her other parent. Neither men or women have cornered the market on these issues. In fact, based on the response to our book, A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation (http://www.afamilysheartbreak.com), Moms and Dads are both the alienating parent and the targeted parent in equal numbers. The biggest losers are the children of these horrible situations.

    Sincerely,

    mike jeffries
    Author, A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation

  2. Thank you for publishing this article. There is essential material written on the subject today, author above Mike Jeffries is one. Dr. Amy J L Baker, Dr. Stephen Baskerville, Richard Warshak, and others have given the public a wealth of information about PAS- Parental Alienation Syndrome.

    Others are not so informtive or kind to parents and their children. Justice for Children (JFC) is one such group and one with which I am painfully and devastatingly aware. You see they feciliatated the taking of my precious daughter seventeen years ago.

    JFC patently rejects the existence of PAS. Furthermore the group is sexist. (one but read the interview of an employee borrowed form the firm Haynes and Boone, Llp, atty. Alene Ross Levy in a Houston Chronicle interview of May 2, 2007 for proof) Thus JFC enters courtrooms to effect the kind of justice it alone decides with materially wealthy lawyers thrown at the subject parent. It is beyond my understanding how JFC could be in such denial as to reject the credibility of PAS. My own daughter has not been able to speak with me for the past 17 years despite the fact that she is now 23 years of age. Her mother was out commiting three felonies while she got JFC’s ‘help’. Her mother is a severe level alienator as per the work of Dr. Richard Gardner. She had flourished in my care of 5/1/2 years but now is raising a fatherless child having dropped out of high school before she finished even that.

    Beware of groups like JFC and people like Garland Waller of Boston University, former judges like Sol Gothard, foundations like the Mary Kay Foundation, and other groups like the The Leadership Council. They all work to destroy the legitimacy of PAS.

Parental Alienation Syndrome to be Viewed as a Form of Child Abuse | ParentsElite.

Austrailian Women Set Up WebSite to Promote More False Allegations in Family Court

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Marriage, Non-custodial fathers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Single Moms, Sociopath on November 24, 2009 at 1:34 am

After carefully going through this website, I saw this was not about fairness in family court and protecting children’s right to have both parents in their lives.  Australian mums are not into co-parenting.

They believe they own their children and will stop at nothing to steal children.

This website is almost as disgusting as StopFamilyViolence.Org, another waste of tax dollars.

Nope, this is a full out effort to show women, how to lie cheat and steal children through allegations of domestic violence.  They even went so far as to bring out women in bandages and bruises.

The point of this website is to make it appear that the only reason for divorce is because of domestic violence.  We all know this is more of the same nonsense that goes on here in the U.S.

What a load of crock.  Australian mummies.  Guess which one is Annabelle?  She is the one that looks like a pig!

 

22 June 2009 – Canberra – Bandage Parade Protest at Parliament House makes an impact

Safer Family Law Canberra Bandage Parade Rally Concerned parents and professionals gathered in Canberra on Monday June 22, 2009, to protest current family laws.

Sprawling across the lawns of Parliament House, wrapped in bloodied bandages, arm slings seated in wheelchairs, some pushing injured dolls in strollers, the shock-value message was loud and clear – children are suffering at the hands of abusive parents, due to the Family Law Act…more

Family Court Youtube Campaign

Childrens Stories Australian Journalists National Professionals Parents Stories – VIC Parents Stories – SA
Parents Stories – NSW Parents Stories – WA Parents Stories – QLD Childrens Drawings

Safer Family Law | Home.

Men’s Rights – Feminism should be about equality for males, too. – Reason Magazine

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, DSM-V, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, Marriage, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Protective Dads on November 24, 2009 at 12:58 am

Men’s Rights

Feminism should be about equality for males, too.

Earlier this month DoubleX, Slate’s short-lived female-oriented publication (launched six months ago and about to be folded back into the parent site as a women’s section), ran an article ringing the alarm about the dire threat posed by the power of the men’s rights movement. But the article, written by New York-based freelance writer Kathryn Joyce and titled “Men’s Rights’ Groups Have Become Frighteningly Effective,” says more about the state of feminism—and journalistic bias—than it does about men’s groups.

Joyce’s indictment is directed at a loose network of activists seeking to raise awareness and change policy on such issues as false accusations of domestic violence, the plight of divorced fathers denied access to children, and domestic abuse of men. In her view, groups such as RADAR (Respecting Accuracy in Domestic Abuse Reporting) and individuals like columnist and radio talk show host Glenn Sacks are merely “respectable” and “savvy” faces for what is actually an anti-female backlash from “angry white men.”

As proof of this underlying misogyny, Joyce asserts that men who commit “acts of violence perceived to be in opposition to a feminist status quo” are routinely lionized in the men’s movement. This claim is purportedly backed up with a reference that, in fact, does not in any way support it: an article in Foreign Policy about the decline of male dominance around the globe. Joyce’s one specific example is that the diary of George Sodini, a Pittsburgh man who opened fire on women in a gym in retaliation for feeling rejected by women, was reposted online by the blogger “Angry Harry” as a wake-up call to the Western world that “it cannot continue to treat men so appallingly and get away with it.” But does this have anything to do with more mainstream men’s rights groups? The original version of the article claimed that Sacks, who called “Harry” an “idiot” in his interview with Joyce, nonetheless “cautiously defends” the blogger; DoubleX later ran a correction on this point.

Sacks himself admits to Joyce that the men’s movement has a “not-insubstantial lunatic fringe.” Yet in her eyes, even the mainstream men’s groups are promoting a dangerous agenda, above all infiltrating mainstream opinion with the view that reports of domestic violence are exaggerated and that a lot of spousal abuse is female-perpetrated. The latter claim, Joyce asserts, comes from “a small group of social scientists” led by “sociologist Murray Straus of the University of New Hampshire, who has written extensively on female violence.” (In fact, Straus, founder of the renowned Family Research Laboratory at the University of New Hampshire, is a pre-eminent scholar on family violence in general and was the first to conduct national surveys on the prevalence of wife-beating.)

Joyce repeats common critiques of Straus’ research: For instance, he equates “a woman pushing a man in self-defense to a man pushing a woman down the stairs” or “a single act of female violence with years of male abuse.” Yet these charges have been long refuted: Straus’ studies measure the frequency of violence and specifically inquire about which partner initiated the physical violence. Furthermore, Joyce fails to mention that virtually all social scientists studying domestic violence, including self-identified feminists such as University of Pittsburgh psychologist Irene Frieze, find high rates of mutual aggression.

Reviews of hundreds of existing studies, such as one conducted by University of Central Lancashire psychologist John Archer in a 2000 article in Psychological Bulletin, have found that at least in Western countries, women are as likely to initiate partner violence as men. While the consequences to women are more severe—they are twice as likely to report injuries and about three times more likely to fear an abusive spouse—these findings also show that men hardly escape unscathed. Joyce claims that “Straus’ research is starting to move public opinion,” but in fact, some of the strongest recent challenges to the conventional feminist view of domestic violence—as almost invariably involving female victims and male batterers—come from female scholars like New York University psychologist Linda Mills.

Contrary to Joyce’s claims, these challenges, so far, have made very limited inroads into public opinion. One of her examples of the scary power of men’s rights groups is that “a Los Angeles conference this July dedicated to discussing male victims of domestic violence, ‘From Ideology to Inclusion 2009: New Directions in Domestic Violence Research and Intervention,’ received positive mainstream press for its ‘inclusive’ efforts.’” In fact, the conference—which featured leading researchers on domestic violence from several countries, half of them women, and focused on much more than just male victims—received virtually no mainstream press coverage. One of the very few exceptions was a column I wrote for The Boston Globe, also reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Whatever minor successes men’s groups may have achieved, the reality is that public policy on domestic violence in the U.S. is heavily dominated by feminist advocacy groups. For the most part, these groups embrace a rigid orthodoxy that treats domestic violence as male terrorism against women, rooted in patriarchal power and intended to enforce it. They also have a record of making grotesquely exaggerated, thoroughly debunked claims about an epidemic of violence against women—for instance, that battering causes more hospital visits by women every year than car accidents, muggings, and cancer combined.

These advocacy groups practically designed the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, and they dominate the state coalitions against domestic violence to which local domestic violence programs must belong in order to qualify for federal funds. As a result of the advocates’ influence, federal assistance is denied to programs that offer joint counseling to couples in which there is domestic violence, and court-mandated treatment for violent men downplays drug and alcohol abuse (since it’s all about the patriarchy).

Against the backdrop of this enforced party line, Joyce is alarmed by the smallest signs that men’s rights groups may be gaining even a modest voice in framing domestic violence policy. She points out that in a few states, men’s rights activists have succeeded in “criminalizing false claims of domestic violence in custody cases” (this is apparently meant to be a bad thing) and “winning rulings that women-only shelters are discriminatory” (in fact, the California Court of Appeals ruled last year that state-funded domestic violence programs that refuse to provide service to abused men violate constitutional guarantees of equal protection, but also emphasized that the services need not be identical and coed shelters are not required).

To bolster her case, Joyce consistently quotes advocates—or scholars explicitly allied with the advocacy movement, such as Edward Gondolf of the Mid-Atlantic Addiction Research and Training Institute—to discredit the claims of the men’s movement. She also repeats uncorroborated allegations that many leaders of the movement are themselves abusers, but offers only one specific example: eccentric British activist Jason Hatch, who once scaled Buckingham Palace in a Batman costume to protest injustices against fathers, and who was taken to court for allegedly threatening one of his ex-wives during a custody dispute.

The article is laced with the presumption that, with regard to both general data and individual cases, any charge of domestic violence made by a woman against a man must be true.

One case Joyce uses to illustrate her thesis is that of Genia Shockome, who claimed to have been severely battered by her ex-husband Tim and lost custody of her two children after being accused of intentionally alienating them from their father. Yet Joyce never mentions that Shockome’s claims of violent abuse were unsupported by any evidence, that she herself did not mention any abuse in her initial divorce complaint, or that three custody evaluators—including a feminist psychologist who had worked with the Battered Women’s Justice Center at Pace University—sided with the father.

More than a quarter-century ago, British feminist philosopher Janet Radcliffe Richards wrote, “No feminist whose concern for women stems from a concern for justice in general can ever legitimately allow her only interest to be the advantage of women.” Joyce’s article is a stark example of feminism as exclusive concern with women and their perceived advantage, rather than justice or truth.

Cathy Young is a contributing editor at Reason magazine and a columnist for RealClearPolitics.com. She is the author of Ceasefire: Why Women and Men Must Join Forces to Achieve True Equality. This article originally appeared at Forbes.

Men’s Rights – Reason Magazine.

Dad tales of desperate and defeated, or deadbeat

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Support, child trafficking, Children and Domestic Violence, Domestic Violence, due process rights, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, judicial corruption, Liberty, Marriage, Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on November 23, 2009 at 3:45 am

Dad tales of desperate and defeated, or deadbeat

LESLIE CANNOLD

November 22, 2009 – 8:42AM

In recent weeks, I seem to have become a bloke magnet. Two weeks ago at the State Library cafe and one night last week at my usual watering hole, I’ve had men in my ear. Sweet men, sad men, vulnerable men – some recently divorced, others single for years – crooning variations on the same tragic tale. A tale about children they love but no longer see.

Once, I would have called them deadbeat dads. My own parents split when I was young but my father maintained scrupulous contact with my brother and me, and was dismissive of men who didn’t. And I knew the facts: that about 30 per cent of Aussie kids rarely or ever see the father who doesn’t live with them; and that before 1989, when the law gave men a choice about chipping in financially to support their children, only about one-third did.

But as I listened to the stories of these grieving men, the moral issue was no longer clear. There is no shortage of grievances, legitimate and otherwise, when a couple splits. But when fathers want to share care of their children but are granted access only on weekends – leaving the Child Support Agency as the only institution affirming the role of men in their children’s lives post-divorce – something seems amiss.

‘‘I was more than a wallet to those children,’’ the man in the cafe told me. ‘‘I parented them.’’ Later, a diary he had kept of his daughter’s first words and subsequent language development would arrive in the mail: proof of his commitment and grief.

The bloke at the bar, let’s call him Barry, was less certain of what he had to offer to his daughter who is three, no four, no three. He hadn’t seen her in years. ‘‘I don’t even have a place to live at the moment,’’ he confessed. ‘‘Had all my ID stolen a few months ago and been couch-surfing for the past three weeks.’’ I heard the rest of his sentence as if he’d spoken it aloud. ‘‘I wouldn’t be good for her, anyway.’’
‘‘She told me to bugger off,’’ he continued, speaking of his former partner, a girl he’d got pregnant, then agreed to support. He sipped his beer primly before cracking a wooden smile. ‘‘So I did.’’

But here’s the real question. Does the fact that many men feel sad when made to feel surplus to requirements in their own children’s life – disenfranchised by the legal system or their former spouse – mean they’ve been wronged?  Not necessarily. The terrible truth is that when relationships break down, what is in the best interests of children may not be what’s best for men.

Research by Australian researcher  Jennifer McIntosh finds that shared care is not the best arrangement for very young children and only works well for older kids where parents are emotionally mature and get along well. Men incapable of resolving the substance abuse, anger management or emotional issues that can contribute to relationship breakdown in the first place may not be the best influence on children, including their own.

And according to the Australian Institute of Family Studies, there is ‘‘compelling evidence’’ that it is parental conflict and the negative economic consequences of divorce, not fatherlessness per se, that is costly for children of divorce. Deadbeat dads, or desperate, defeated and driven-away ones? You decide.

Do you have a moral issue you need resolve? Send it to Leslie@Cannold.com. All correspondence will be kept strictly confidential.

Dad tales of desperate and defeated, or deadbeat.

Michael Robinson is now Fathers & Families’ full-time legislative representative in Sacramento

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Violence, due process rights, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, Marriage, National Parents Day, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Single Parenting on November 21, 2009 at 12:21 am

A Major Announcement from Fathers & Families

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

By Glenn Sacks, MA for Fathers & Families

In a move that will change the course of the family court reform movement, Fathers & Families has just hired two experienced, accomplished legislative representatives. Soon we will be launching campaigns in support of our family court reform legislation—to get involved, please click here.

California

Readers of www.GlennSacks.com are familiar with Michael Robinson’s work in Sacramento on family court reform legislation, and Robinson and I have often worked together. In 2004 and again in 2006, we helped scuttle two bills (SB 730 and SB 1482) that would have led to unrestricted post-divorce move-aways. This was an important victory for California’s children of divorce, and one that surprised many Sacramento insiders, including Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters.

Robinson and I also worked together to pass family law legislation to help military parents (SB 1082) and on shared parenting and domestic violence reform bills. In 2007 and again this year, Robinson helped build a professional coalition to scuttle AB 612, a bill that would have banned target parents of Parental Alienation from raising PA as an issue in their cases.

Robinson has also been instrumental in passing legislation on paternity fraud (AB 252 and SB 1333), noncustodial parents’ access to school records (AB 164), Collaborative Law (AB 402, AB 189, AB 3051), and protection for disabled veterans with child support obligations (SB 285). He helped create the COAP program, which allows mothers and fathers who are unfairly saddled with inflated, unpayable child support arrearages to settle them for modest cash payments.

Michael Robinson is now Fathers & Families‘ full-time legislative representative in Sacramento, and we will be introducing several family court reform bills into the California legislature in February. Starting soon, Fathers & Families activists will be meeting with legislators throughout the state. We want your participation–to get involved, please click here.

Massachusetts

Enzo Pastore, our new deputy director, has worked on health care reform legislation in Washington DC, Albany, NY, and Boston, MA for 15 years. Pastore designed and promoted model prescription drug legislation that was introduced in 27 states in 2001. He led a successful legislative campaign in New York in 2007 to fund special housing for senior citizens and the disabled. In 2005, he helped defeat a federal Bush initiative that would have drastically cut Medicaid funding and services.

In January, we will launch our campaign to pass HB 1400, the Massachusetts Shared Parenting bill, and Pastore will be spearheading our campaign.

Through Fathers & Families’ efforts, over one-quarter of the Massachusetts Legislature has expressed clear, public support for our Shared Parenting Bill, many of them signing on as co-sponsors. We gathered thousands of signatures to place shared parenting on the 2004 Massachusetts ballot and led a successful campaign for its passage, winning 86% of the vote. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick told the Legislature that if they pass Fathers & Families’ Shared Parenting, he will sign it, and F & F recently met with Governor Patrick.

We need volunteers to meet with legislators, do media work, and help build our campaign–to volunteer, please click here.

Federal Legislation, plus Legislation in Texas & Many Other States

Robinson has worked with legislators and staffers in many other states on military parent legislation, and many states have passed bills modeled in part on SB 1082, the military parents bill we passed in California in 2005. These include: Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Ohio, Michigan, Oklahoma, Utah, Mississippi, Alaska, Missouri, and others.

Robinson worked with Texas Senator Jane Nelson to pass SB 279, a bill to protect military parents’ custody rights which was signed by Texas Governor Rick Perry earlier this year.

Robinson worked with Mark Sullivan, Committee Chair of the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association’s Military Committee, on the National Defense Reauthorization Act (HR 2647), which was signed by President Obama last month. The bill mandates that the Secretary of Defense produce a report on child custody litigation involving members of the Armed Forces, as well as international intrafamilial abductions of servicemembers’ children.

The Secretary of Defense will submit its report to the Armed Services Committees of the Senate and the House of Representatives by the end of March. Robinson says:

“Fathers & Families can play a major role in the implementation of this legislation. We need to make sure that the impact isn’t watered down, that it’s powerful, not sugar-coated.”

This problem affects both fathers and mothers who serve. If you are a military mother or father whose custody rights have been adversely affected due to your service, we want to make sure your story is included in the Secretary of Defense’s report. To submit your story for inclusion, please fill out our form here.

Prominent Biotechnology Executive Mark Benedyk, PhD Joins Our Board of Directors

Dr. Benedyk is the head of The Pfizer Incubator, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Pfizer, Inc., the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company. The Pfizer Incubator was initiated by Pfizer to support life science start-ups and to explore novel approaches to discovering new medicines.

Dr. Benedyk has over 15 years experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, where he has been involved in business development, product management, and corporate fundraising. His business strategy and fundraising skills will be invaluable for Fathers & Families, and we welcome him as our newest national board member.

What You Can Do

Experienced legislative experts like Robinson and Pastore cost money, as does the organizational work we do surrounding their efforts–please make a tax-deductible gift to support our important work by clicking here.

One very affordable way to help build Fathers & Families is to make a monthly gift–to do so, click here and enter an amount under “monthly contribution.”

The Family Court Reform Movement will not progress unless we engage in the political process on a professional level, as our opponents do.

Fathers & Families has the largest membership base, the highest media profile, the most funding, and now the best legislative advocates of any family court reform organization. The time to take this movement to a higher level is now, and it takes money to do it–please give generously by clicking here.

To volunteer to help, please click here.

Together with you in the love of our children,

Glenn Sacks, MA
Executive Director, Fathers & Families

Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S.
Founder, Chairman of the Board, Fathers & Families

A Major Announcement from Fathers & Families | Glenn Sacks on MND.

Crystel Strelioff’s family; History of PAS

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, DSM-IV, DSM-V, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, federal crimes, Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Single Parenting, state crimes on November 20, 2009 at 4:30 am
November 18, 12:56 PMLA Family Courts ExaminerLaura Lynn

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PAS, Parental Alienation Syndrome knows no gender boundaries. You may not like the term PAS, but there is a behavior exhibited by some parents that cause the children to tell lies, and maybe even begin to believe those lies, about another parent.

There was some discussion about Crystel Strelioff, serving time for abducting her children. One of the children, now an adult, spoke at the Elkins Family Task Force Hearing in Los Angeles recently. He implied that his father had sexually abused him for 15 years while the court stood by.

I am certain tragedies like that do happen, but I am equally certain that in this particular case, there was no abuse by the father. The father had no contact with the son since 2004 and very little contact before that.

But, here is deposition testimony from court appointed evaluator Joanne Feigin in regards to Crystel’s brother Tim. The children’s names have been changed and their parent’s identity slightly veiled. Otherwise, this testimony is verbatim. There was no cross examination in regards to these statements.

Lawyer: At that time you interviewed the child again, this is since the last — since report number one, at that interview the child told you that his dad [Tim] told him to say to you “I want 100 percent with my dad and no time with mom”; is that correct?

Joanne Feigin: Yes.

Lawyer: As a matter of fact, you state in your report on page 24 that the child clearly — you use the word “clearly” — indicated that his father had told him very explicitly — and you use the word “explicitly” –to talk to [Ms. Feigin] about his preference and what to say about it. Is that correct?

Joanne Feigin: Correct.

Later…about an anti-drug video made by Tim with the mother acting as the drug addict, a video given to Joanne Feigin by either Tim or Crystel’s mother Helen, given without the soundtrack and only an explanation they thought the mother was using drugs…

Lawyer: Now, also in report one, I’m just going to just hit on this because you testified to it, that Tim alleged that the mother was using cocaine; correct?

Joanne Feigin: Correct.

Lawyer: He showed you a video which involved the mother?

Joanne Feigin: Correct.

Lawyer: And I think you even stated in the report that the father was disingenuous and deceptive; is that correct?

Joanne Feigin: Correct.

Lawyer: And that’s relating to the video?

Joanne Feigin: Yes.

Lawyer: And how he labeled it?

Joanne Feigin: Yes.

If Crystel’s family was showing this deceptive tape to the court appointed evaluator, who else did they show it to? The children?

And why, after this testimony, did the LASC commissioner transfer custody of the children from the mother to the father? Whether you call it PAS or just “lies told about one parent by the other parent”, isn’t this behavior that does not foster a relationship between both parents?

Crystel Strelioff’s family; History of PAS.

Worst Case of Parental Alienation Ever, Investigator States – Arrest Warrant for PA in Texas Case

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, DSM-IV, DSM-V, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, MMPI, MMPI 2, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on November 20, 2009 at 2:55 am

Ireland mom faces U.S. extradition over child snatching

Ireland mom faces U.S. extradition over child snatching | Irish News | IrishCentral.

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