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How to Address The Denial Of A Parent’s Court Ordered Access, Visitation, and/or Parental Rights | eHow.com

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Brainwashed Children, child abuse, Child Custody, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, state crimes on January 26, 2010 at 11:28 pm

How to Address The Denial Of A Parent’s Court Ordered Access, Visitation, and/or Parental Rights

georgemccasland Member

By George McCasland
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The US Dept. of Health & Human Services conducted a study on this titled “The Survey of Absentee Parents”. The results showed that 60% of the fathers needed to file for enforcement of their court orders within six months of receiving it, and that within five years, lost all contact with the children due to frustration with the lack of help from the courts. This is why it’s so important to learn what you can be doing.

Part of the problem with getting visitation enforced is knowing what to do to prove your case.

Instructions

Things You’ll Need:

  • Daily Journal
  • Chronological Statement
  1. Step 1

    See linked article on “How to Put Together Evidence of Denial of Visitation/Access in Violation of a Court Order”.

  2. Step 2

    It’s most important that you keep a DAILY JOURNAL (see linked article) of all your activities, including any contact with the child(ren). There does not need to be any violence for a claim of violence to be filed. She can get a restraining order because she fears him due to her preventing him from seeing her child. A restraining order can be filed up to a year after a supposed event in many states. With the journal, you can look back and see what you were doing that day and who were witnesses to it, such as being 30 miles away, as was the case with one father.

    He was helping to remove a tree out of the roof of a neighbor’s house. Five months later, the mother claimed that on that night, she had shot out her car windows, and had a police report to prove it. She also claimed he bragged about it. With the Journal, he was able to produce witnesses at the Restraining Order Hearing to show she was lying. However, there’s a drawback to this. In my 20 years of experience, when the mother is unsuccessful in a false allegation of domestic violence, within two years she will progress to child abuse and/or child sexual abuse allegations.

  3. Step 3

    See linked article on Recording Conversations. Remember, you can’t just record, you also have to transcribe the conversations your daily journal.

  4. Step 4

    Take note here that in some states, denial of court order visitation is treated the same as Interference With Custody or Parental Abduction. Though Prosecuting Attorneys usually refuse to enforce the law, getting a police report can help as evidence. In Missouri, the law is RSMO 565.156 §5

  5. Step 5

    If there’s an intent to deny access, prepare a “Notice of Intent to Exercise Visitation” letter stating the specific dates as laid out in your order. Add to this a “Notice of Intent to Exercise Parental Rights” in the same legal format of your other court papers. Sign both and make six copies. See links below for examples.

  6. Step 6

    Mail the originals “CERTIFIED MAIL” and another set with just “DELIVERY CONFIRMATION” (75¢ + postage). If she rejects the Certified Letter, she will still receive the letter with Delivery Confirmation. Remember that these are two different type of mail. To get a Confirmation of Delivery printout, go to the USPS web site at the link below.

  7. Step 7

    If the Certified letter or the Certified Letter Confirmation of Delivery Card, with her signature on it come back, attach either (letter unopened) to a copy of the “Notice of Intent to Exercise Visitation” letter and “Notice of Intent to Exercise Parental Rights”, plus the printout of the Delivery Confirmation from USPS. Take these documents to the County Courthouse and have the Clerk of the Court notarize and them place them in your case file. It’s very important that you repeat this process each time you are to exercise your visitation until either she obeys the orders or you go to court on it. This file gets read by the judge before any hearing, so he will see your effort to resolve this issue without involving the court.

    File the remaining copies for future use.

  8. Step 8

    Repeat process for each time you are to exercise your visitation until she either obeys the orders or you go to court on it.

  9. Step 9

    If the other parent continues to deny you access, you need to decide if you want to use an attorney or go Propria Persona (Pro Se) in taking an enforcement action to the courts. If you wish to use an attorney, you need to take the time to interview several attorneys before picking the one to work with (See linked article on how to do this). Prepare a Chronological Statement (see linked article in preparing one) expressing a history from the time you met her up until this need for action.

  10. Step 10

    A common complain in dealing with these action in court is a claim of bias on the part of the judge. To address any potential of this it is best to use Court Watchers, which are person who are there to witness the proceedings, and not to give testimony. Aside from friends, contact the high school or college about students from government class getting credit for attending the hearing. Each should be equipped with a hard tablet, pen, and a Court Evaluation Form (see link below). They should not sit together in a group, being spread out in the gallery.

  11. Step 11

    If you decide to represent yourself in court, check with your Clerk of the Court for forms for filing an enforcement action. If they do not have one specific for visitation, the ones for child support will work as a template. You need to produce a “Notice of Exercise of Parental Rights” See link for example), filing with the court and having the judge sign it. Serve or have it served on the other parent, depending on the requirements of your state. In Kansas, it can be sent Certified Mail.

  12. Step 12

    For more extensive advice specific to your case, see Dads House Educational Group for association with other dealing with this situation.

  13. Step 13

    Produce a “Notice of the Court of Denial of Exercise of Parental Rights” and “Motion to Show Cause for Contempt of Court of Denial of Visitation” (see links below) for filing with the court.

    Note: This is where it can get complicate in what choices you wish to make. If held in Contempt of Court, this is consider a “CHANGE OF CIRCUMSTANCES”, which is grounds for a Change in the Custody Arrangements. You or your attorney needs to have a Motion for Change of Custody ready to hand the judge (see article on custody changes).

//

Tips & Warnings
  • For Extensive advice on this, and association with others dealing in it, see Dads House in Yahoo! Groups. It’s Free. See link below
  • In states like Missouri, you can file to have child support put on hold, not stopped, until action is taken to address denial of access.
  • A common claim is that the kids won’t come, but that is likely to be a symptom of Parental Alienation Syndrome, so don’t think this is a rejection of you. Just make note of it. Do not ask for the children to say it to you directly.

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How to Address The Denial Of A Parent’s Court Ordered Access, Visitation, and/or Parental Rights | eHow.com.

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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.

Does DSM-IV Have Equivalents for the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) Diagnosis?

In adoption abuse, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, California Parental Rights Amendment, Child Custody, child trafficking, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, deadbeat dads, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, DSM-IV, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Foster CAre Abuse, judicial corruption, MMPI, MMPI 2, mothers rights, Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, National Parents Day, Obama, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, state crimes on November 7, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Does DSM-IV Have Equivalents for the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) Diagnosis?

Richard A. Gardner. M.D.
Department of Child Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons
Columbia University, New York, New York, USA

Child custody evaluators commonly find themselves confronted with resistance when they attempt to use the term parental alienation syndrome (PAS) in courts of law. Although convinced that the patient being evaluated suffers with the disorder, they often find that the attorneys who represent alienated parents, although agreeing with the diagnosis, will discourage use of the term in the evaluators’ reports and testimony. Most often, they will request that the evaluator merely use the term parental alienation (PA). On occasion they will ask whether other DSM-IV diagnoses may be applicable. The purpose of this article is to elucidate the reasons for the reluctance to use the PAS diagnosis and the applicability of PA as well as current DSM-IV substitute diagnoses.

Mental health professionals, family law attorneys, and judges are generally in agreement that in recent years we have seen a disorder in which one parent alienates the child against the other parent. This problem is especially common in the context of child-custody disputes where such programming enables the indoctrinating parent to gain leverage in the court of law. There is significant controversy, however, regarding the term to use for this phenomenon. In 1985 I introduced the term parental alienation syndrome to describe this phenomenon (Gardner, 1985a).

The Parental Alienation Syndrome

In association with this burgeoning of child-custody litigation, we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the frequency of a disorder rarely seen previously, a disorder that I refer to as the parental alienation syndrome (PAS). In this disorder we see not only programming (“brainwashing”) of the child by one parent to denigrate the other parent, but self-created contributions by the child in support of the alienating parent’s campaign of denigration against the alienated parent. Because of the child’s contribution I did not consider the terms brainwashing, programming, or other equivalent words to be sufficient. Furthermore, I observed a cluster of symptoms that typically appear together, a cluster that warranted the designation syndrome. Accordingly, I introduced the term parental alienation syndrome to encompass the combination of these two contributing factors that contributed to the development of the syndrome (Gardner, 1985a). In accordance with this use of the term I suggest this definition of the parental alienation syndrome:

The parental alienation syndrome (PAS) is a childhood disorder that arises almost exclusively 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. When true parental abuse and/or neglect is present, the child’s animosity may be justified and so the parental alienation syndrome explanation for the child’s hostility is not applicable.

It is important to note that indoctrinating a PAS into a child is a form of abuse—emotional abuse—because it can reasonably result in progressive attenuation of the psychological bond between the child and a loving parent. In many cases it can result in total destruction of that bond, with lifelong alienation. In some cases, then, it may be even worse than other forms of abuse, e.g., physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. A parent who demonstrates such reprehensible behavior has a serious parenting defect, their professions of exemplary parenting notwithstanding. Typically, they are so intent on destroying the bond between the child and the alienated parent that they blind themselves to the formidable psychological consequences on the child of their PAS indoctrinations, both at the time of the indoctrinations and in the future.

Most evaluators, family law attorneys, and judges recognize that such programming and child alienation is common in the context of child-custody disputes. They agree, also, that there are situations in which the child’s alienation is the result of parental programming. Some object to the use of the term syndrome and claim that it is not a syndrome, but that the term parental alienation (PA) should be used. The problem with the use of the term PA is that there are many reasons why a child might be alienated from parents, reasons having nothing to do with programming. A child might be alienated from a parent because of parental abuse of the child, e.g., physical, emotional, or sexual. A child might be alienated because of parental neglect. Children with conduct disorders are often alienated from their parents, and adolescents commonly go through phases of alienation. The PAS is well viewed as one subtype of parental alienation. Accordingly, substituting the term PA for PAS cannot but cause confusion.

Is the PAS a True Syndrome?

Some who prefer to use the term parental alienation (PA) claim that the PAS is not really a syndrome. This position is especially seen in courts of law in the context of child-custody disputes. A syndrome, by medical definition, is a cluster of symptoms, occurring together, that characterize a specific disease. The symptoms, although seemingly disparate, warrant being grouped together because of a common etiology or basic underlying cause. Furthermore, there is a consistency with regard to such a cluster in that most (if not all) of the symptoms appear together. The term syndrome is more specific than the related term disease. A disease is usually a more general term, because there can be many causes of a particular disease. For example, pneumonia is a disease, but there are many types of pneumonia—e.g., pneumococcal pneumonia and bronchopneumonia—each of which has more specific symptoms, and each of which could reasonably be considered a syndrome (although common usage may not utilize the term).

The syndrome has a purity because most (if not all) of the symptoms in the cluster predictably manifest themselves together as a group. Often, the symptoms appear to be unrelated, but they actually are because they usually have a common etiology. An example would be Down’s Syndrome, which includes a host of seemingly disparate symptoms that do not appear to have a common link. These include mental retardation, Mongoloid faces, drooping lips, slanting eyes, short fifth finger, and atypical creases in the palms of the hands. Down’s Syndrome patients often look very much alike and most typically exhibit all these symptoms. The common etiology of these disparate symptoms relates to a specific chromosomal abnormality. It is this genetic factor that is responsible for linking together these seemingly disparate symptoms. There is then a primary, basic cause of Down’s Syndrome: a genetic abnormality.

Similarly, the PAS is characterized by a cluster of symptoms that usually appear together in the child, especially in the moderate and severe types. These include:

     

  1. A campaign of denigration
  2. Weak, absurd, or frivolous rationalizations for the deprecation
  3. Lack of ambivalence
  4. The “independent-thinker” phenomenon
  5. Reflexive support of the alienating parent in the parental conflict
  6. Absence of guilt over cruelty to and/or exploitation of the alienated parent
  7. The presence of borrowed scenarios
  8. Spread of the animosity to the friends and/or extended family of the alienated parent
  9.  

Typically, children who suffer with PAS will exhibit most (if not all) of these symptoms. However, in the mild cases one might not see all eight symptoms. When mild cases progress to moderate or severe, it is highly likely that most (if not all) of the symptoms will be present. This consistency results in PAS children resembling one another. It is because of these considerations that the PAS is a relatively “pure” diagnosis that can easily be made. Because of this purity, the PAS lends itself well to research studies because the population to be studied can usually be easily identified. Furthermore, I am confident that this purity will be verified by future interrater reliability studies. In contrast, children subsumed under the rubric PA are not likely to lend themselves well to research studies because of the wide variety of disorders to which it can refer, e.g., physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and defective parenting. As is true of other syndromes, there is in the PAS a specific underlying cause: programming by an alienating parent in conjunction with additional contributions by the programmed child. It is for these reasons that PAS is indeed a syndrome, and it is a syndrome by the best medical definition of the term.

In contrast, PA is not a syndrome and has no specific underlying cause. Nor do the proponents of the term PA claim that it is a syndrome. Actually, PA can be viewed as a group of syndromes, which share in common the phenomenon of the child’s alienation from a parent. To refer to PA as a group of syndromes would, by necessity, lead to the conclusion that the PAS is one of the syndromes subsumed under the PA rubric and would thereby weaken the argument of those who claim that PAS is not a syndrome.

The PAS and DSM-IV

There are some, especially adversaries in child-custody disputes, who claim that there is no such entity as the PAS. This position is especially likely to be taken by legal and mental health professionals who are supporting the position of someone who is clearly a PAS programmer. The main argument given to justify this position is that the PAS does not appear in DSM-IV. To say that PAS does not exist because it is not listed in DSM-IV is like saying in 1980 that AIDS (Autoimmune Deficiency Syndrome) did not exist because it was not then listed in standard diagnostic medical textbooks. DSM-IV was published in 1994. From 1991 to 1993, when DSM committees were meeting to consider the inclusion of additional disorders, there were too few articles in the literature to warrant submission of the PAS for consideration. That is no longer the case. It is my understanding that committees will begin to meet for the next edition of the DSM (probably to be called DSM-V) in 2002 or 2003. Considering the fact that there are now at least 133 articles in peer-review journals on the PAS, it is highly likely that by that time there will be even more articles. (A list of peer-reviewed PAS articles is to be found on my website, www.rgardner.com/refs, a list that is continually being updated.)

It is important to note that DSM-IV does not frivolously accept every new proposal. Their requirements are very stringent with regard to the inclusion of newly described clinical entities. The committees require many years of research and numerous publications in peer-review scientific journals before considering the inclusion of a disorder, and justifiably so. Gille de La Tourette first described his syndrome in 1885. It was not until 1980, 95 years later, that the disorder found its way into the DSM. It is important to note that at that point, Tourette’s Syndrome became Tourette’s Disorder. Asperger first described his syndrome in 1957. It was not until 1994, 37 years later, that it was accepted into DSM-IV and Asperger’s Syndrome became Asperger’s Disorder.

DSM-IV states specifically that all disorders contained in the volume are “syndromes or patterns” (p. xxi), and they would not be there if they were not syndromes (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Once accepted, the name syndrome is changed to disorder. However, this is not automatically the pattern for nonpsychiatric disorders. Often the term syndrome becomes locked into the name and becomes so well known that changing the word syndrome to disorder would seem awkward. For example, Down’s syndrome, although well recognized, has never become Down’s disorder. Similarly, AIDS (Autoimmune Deficiency Syndrome) is a well-recognized disease but still retains the syndrome term.

One of the most important (if not the most important) determinants as to whether a newly described disorder will be accepted into the DSM is the quantity and quality of research articles on the clinical entity, especially articles that have been published in peer-review journals. The committees are particularly interested in interrater reliability studies that will validate the relative “purity” of the disease entity being described. PAS lends itself well to such studies; PA does not. One of the first steps one must take when setting up a scientific study is to define and circumscribe the group(s) being studied. PAS lends itself well to such circumscription. PA is so diffuse and all-encompassing that no competent researcher would consider such a group to be a viable object of study. Whether one is going to study etiology, symptomatic manifestations, pathogenesis, treatment modalities, treatment efficacy, or conduct follow-up studies, one is more likely to obtain meaningful results if one starts with a discrete group (such as PAS) than if one starts with an amorphous group (such as PA). One of the major criticisms directed against many research projects is that the authors’ study group was not “pure” enough and/or well-selected enough to warrant the professed conclusions. Studies of PAS children are far less likely to justify this criticism than studies of PA children.

Whereas the PAS may ultimately be recognized in DSM-V, it is extremely unlikely that DSM committees will consider an entity referred to as parental alienation. It is too vague a term and covers such a wide variety of clinical phenomena that they could not justifiably be clumped together to warrant inclusion in DSM as a specific disorder. Because listing in the DSM ensures admissibility in courts of law, those who use the term PA instead of PAS are lessening the likelihood that PAS will be listed in DSM-V. The result will be that many PAS families will be deprived of the proper recognition they deserve in courts of law, which often depend heavily on the DSM.

Recognition of the PAS in Courts of Law

Some who hesitate to use the term PAS claim that it has not been accepted in courts of law. This is not so. Although there are certainly judges who have not recognized the PAS, there is no question that courts of law with increasing rapidity are recognizing the disorder. My website (www.rgardner.com/refs) currently cites 66 cases in which the PAS has been recognized. By the time this article is published, the number of citations will certainly be greater. Furthermore, I am certain that there are other citations that have not been brought to my attention.

It is important to note that on January 30, 2001, after a two-day hearing devoted to whether the PAS satisfied Frye Test criteria for admissibility in a court of law, a Tampa, Florida court ruled that the PAS had gained enough acceptance in the scientific community to be admissible in a court of law (Kilgore v. Boyd, 2001). This ruling was subsequently affirmed by the District Court of Appeals (February 6, 2001). In the course of my testimony, I brought to the court’s attention the more than 100 peer-reviewed articles (there are 133 at the time of this writing) by approximately 150 other authors and over 40 court rulings (there are 66 at the time of this writing) in which the PAS had been recognized. These lists of the PAS peer-reviewed articles and legal citations are frequently updated on my website (www.rgardner.com). I am certain that these publications played an important role in the judge’s decision. This case will clearly serve as a precedent and facilitate the admission of the PAS in other cases—not only in Florida, but elsewhere.

Whereas there are some courts of law that have not recognized PAS, there are far fewer courts that have not recognized PA. This is one of the important arguments given by those who prefer the term PA. They do not risk an opposing attorney claiming that PA does not exist or that courts of law have not recognized it. There are some evaluators who recognize that children are indeed suffering with a PAS, but studiously avoid using the term in their reports and courtroom, because they fear that their testimony will not be admissible. Accordingly, they use PA, which is much safer, because they are protected from the criticisms so commonly directed at those who use PAS. Later in this article I will detail the reasons why I consider this position injudicious.

Many of those who espouse PA claim not to be concerned with the fact that their more general construct will be less useful in courts of law. Their primary interest, they profess, is the expansion of knowledge about children’s alienation from parents. Considering the fact that the PAS is primarily (if not exclusively) a product of the adversary system, and considering the fact that PAS symptoms are directly proportionate to the intensity of the parental litigation, and considering the fact that the court that has more power than the therapist to alleviate and even cure the disorder, PA proponents who claim no concern for the long-term legal implications of their position are injudicious and, I suspect, their claims of unconcern are specious.

Sources of the Controversy Over the Parental Alienation Syndrome

There are some who claim that because there is such controversy swirling around the PAS, there must be something specious about the existence of the disorder. Those who discount the PAS entirely because it is “controversial” sidestep the real issues, namely, what specifically has engendered the controversy, and, more importantly, is the PAS formulation reasonable and valid? The fact that something is controversial does not invalidate it. But why do we have such controversy over the PAS? With regard to whether PAS exists, we generally do not see such controversy regarding most other clinical entities in psychiatry. Examiners may have different opinions regarding the etiology and treatment of a particular psychiatric disorder, but there is usually some consensus about its existence. And this should especially be the case for a relatively “pure” disorder such as the PAS, a disorder that is easily diagnosable because of the similarity of the children’s symptoms when one compares one family with another. Why, then, should there be such controversy over whether or not PAS exists?

The PAS and the Adversary System

The PAS is very much a product of the adversary system (Gardner, 1985a, 1986, 1987a, 1987b, 1989, 1992, 1998). Furthermore, a court of law is generally the place where clients attempt to resolve the PAS. Most newly developed scientific principles inevitably become controversial when they are dealt with in the courtroom. It behooves the attorneys — when working within the adversary system — to take an adversarial stand and create controversy where it may not exist. In that setting, it behooves one side to take just the opposite position from the other if one is to prevail. Furthermore, it behooves each attorney to attempt to discredit the experts of the opposing counsel. A good example of this phenomenon is the way in which DNA testing was dealt with in the OJ Simpson trial. DNA testing is one of the most scientifically valid procedures for identifying perpetrators. Yet the jury saw fit to question the validity of such evidence, and DNA became, for that trial, controversial. I strongly suspect that those jury members who concluded that DNA evidence was not scientifically valid for OJ Simpson would have vehemently fought for its admissibility if they themselves were being tried for a crime, which they did not commit. I am certain, as well, that any man in that jury who found himself falsely accused of paternity would be quite eager to accept DNA proof of his innocence.

The Denial of the PAS is the Primary Defense of the Alienator

A parent accused of inducing a PAS in a child is likely to engage the services of a lawyer who may invoke the argument that there is no such thing as a PAS. The reasoning goes like this: “If there is no such thing as the PAS, then there is no programmer, and therefore my client cannot be accused of brainwashing the children.” This is an extremely important point, and I cannot emphasize it strongly enough. It is a central element in the controversy over the PAS, a controversy that has been played out in courtrooms not only in the United States but in various other countries as well. And if the allegedly dubious lawyer can demonstrate that the PAS is not listed in DSM-IV, then the position is considered “proven” (I say “allegedly” because the lawyer may well recognize the PAS but is only serving his client by his deceitfulness). The only thing this proves is that in 1994 DSM-IV did not list the PAS. The lawyers hope, however, that the judge will be taken in by this specious argument and will then conclude that if there is no PAS, there is no programming, and so the client is thereby exonerated. Substituting the term PA circumvents this problem. No alienator is identified, the sources are vaguer, and the causes could lie with the mother, the father, or both. The drawback here is that the evaluator may not provide the court with proper information about the cause of the children’s alienation. It lessens the likelihood, then, that the court will have the proper data with which to make its recommendations.

Which Term to Use in the Courtroom: PA or PAS?

Many examiners, then, even those who recognize the existence of the PAS, may consciously and deliberately choose to use the term parental alienation in the courtroom. Their argument may go along these lines: “I fully recognize that there is such a disease as the PAS. I have seen many such cases and it is a widespread phenomenon. However, if I mention PAS in my report, I expose myself to criticism in the courtroom such as, ‘It doesn’t exist,’ ‘It’s not in DSM-IV’ etc. Therefore, I just use PA, and no one denies that.” I can recognize the attractiveness of this argument, but I have serious reservations about this way of dealing with the controversy—especially in a court of law.

Using PA is basically a terrible disservice to the PAS family because the cause of the children’s alienation is not properly identified. It is also a compromise in one’s obligation to the court, which is to provide accurate and useful information so that the court will be in the best position to make a proper ruling. Using PA is an abrogation of this responsibility; using PAS is in the service of fulfilling this obligation.

Furthermore, evaluators who use PA instead of PAS are losing sight of the fact that they are impeding the general acceptance of the term in the courtroom. This is a disservice to the legal system, because it deprives the legal network of the more specific PAS diagnosis that could be more helpful to courts for dealing with such families. Moreover, using the PA term is shortsighted because it lessens the likelihood that some future edition of DSM will recognize the subtype of PA that we call PAS. This not only has diagnostic implications, but even more importantly, therapeutic implications. The diagnoses included in the DSM serve as a foundation for treatment. The symptoms listed therein serve as guidelines for therapeutic interventions and goals. Insurance companies (who are always quick to look for reasons to deny coverage) strictly refrain from providing coverage for any disorder not listed in the DSM. Accordingly, PAS families cannot expect to be covered for treatment. I describe below additional diagnoses that are applicable to the PAS, diagnoses that justify requests for insurance coverage. Examiners in both the mental health and legal professions who genuinely recognize the PAS, but who refrain from using the term until it appears in DSM, are lessening the likelihood that it will ultimately be included, because widespread utilization is one of the criteria that DSM committees consider. Such restraint, therefore, is an abrogation of their responsibility to contribute to the enhancement of knowledge in their professions.

There is, however, a compromise. I use PAS in all those reports in which I consider the diagnosis justified. I also use the PAS term throughout my testimony. However, I sometimes make comments along these lines, both in my reports and in my testimony:

Although I have used the term PAS, the important questions for the court are: Are these children alienated? What is the cause of the alienation? and What can we then do about it? So if one wants to just use the term PA, one has learned something. But we haven’t really learned very much, because everyone involved in this case knows well that the children have been alienated. The question is what is the cause of the children’s alienation? In this case the alienation is caused by the mother’s (father’s) programming and something must be done about protecting the children from the programming. That is the central issue for this court in this case, and it is more important than whether one is going to call the disorder PA or PAS, even though I strongly prefer the PAS term for the reasons already given.

In addition, if the court does not wish to recognize the PAS diagnosis there are other DSM-IV diagnoses that are very much applicable in this case. For the alienating father (mother) the following diagnoses are warranted: (the examiner can select from the list provided in the next section of this article). For the PAS child the following DSM-IV diagnoses are warranted: (the examiner can select from the list provided in the next section of this article). With regard to the alienated parent, the mother (father), no DSM-IV diagnosis is warranted. (However, a DSM-IV diagnosis may be warranted, but generally it is not related to the PAS as the symptoms have not played a role in contributing to the disorder).

I wish to emphasize that I do not routinely include this compromise, because whenever I do so, I recognize that I am providing support for those who are injudiciously eschewing the term and compromising thereby their professional obligations to their clients and the court.

Warshak (1999, 2001), has also addressed the PA vs. PAS controversy. He emphasizes the point that espousers of both PA and PAS agree that in the severe cases the only hope for the victimized children is significant restriction of the programmer’s access to the children and, in many cases, custodial transfer—sometimes via a transitional site. Warshak concludes that the arguments for the utilization for PAS outweigh the arguments for the utilization of PA, although he has more sympathy for the PA position than do I. Elsewhere, I have also addressed myself to this issue (Gardner, 2002).

DSM-IV Diagnoses Related to the Parental Alienation Syndrome

Examiners writing reports for and testifying in courts of law can generally find diagnoses in DSM-IV that are immune to the argument, “It doesn’t exist because it’s not in DSM-IV.” These diagnoses are not identical to the PAS, but they have common elements that can justify their utilization. None of them, however, are identical to the PAS and cannot be used as substitutes for it. I present here those that are most applicable and potentially useful in courts of law.

Diagnoses Applicable to Both Alienating Parents and PAS Childrem

297.3 Shared Psychotic Disorder

     

  1. A delusion develops in an individual in the context of a close relationship with another person(s) who has an already-established delusion.
  2. The delusion is similar in content to that of the person who already has the established delusion.
  3.  

This DSM-IV diagnosis is warranted in some of the severe PAS cases in which the programmer is paranoid, and the child’s campaign of denigration incorporates the same paranoid ideation. In a sense, most of the moderate, and even some of the mild cases of PAS, are examples of the folie à deux phenomenon. However, one cannot justifiably consider the mild and moderate cases of PAS to warrant the label psychotic with the implication of complete break with reality. In severe cases we do see bona fide delusions of persecution that can justifiably be considered paranoid. Most often, the delusional system is circumscribed to the alienated parent. It is important to note that this single diagnosis can be applied to both the alienator and the alienated child.

V61.20 Parent-Child Relational Problem

This category should be used when the focus of clinical attention is a pattern of interaction between parent and child (e.g., impaired communication, overprotection, inadequate discipline) that is associated with clinically significant impairment in individual or family functioning or the development of clinically significant symptoms in parent or child.

This diagnosis generally applies to a dyad. Obviously, there are a wide variety of parent-child relational problems that have nothing to do with PAS. In fact, it is reasonable to state that parent-child relational problems probably began with the first families that existed. This diagnosis is an excellent example of the aforementioned principle that none of the DSM-IV diagnoses described here can be reasonably substituted for the PAS. Rather, they are best viewed as disorders that have some symptoms in common with the PAS and may therefore justify being listed as additional diagnoses.

In the PAS situation there is a pathological dyad between the alienating parent and the child and another pathological dyad between the alienated parent and the child. The pathological dyad between the alienated parent and the child is one in which the child is being programmed into a campaign of denigration against the previously loving parent. The child is being programmed to exhibit any and all of the primary symptomatic manifestations of the PAS. With regard to the relationship between the child and the alienated parent, the child exhibits inordinate hostility, denigration, and fear of the target parent to the point where that parent is viewed as noxious and loathsome. Examiners using this criterion do well to emphasize that two separate parent-child relational problems are manifested.

Diagnoses Applicable to Alienating Parents

297.71 Delusional Disorder

     

  1. Nonbizarre delusions (i.e., involving situations that occur in real life, such as being followed, poisoned, infected, loved at a distance, or deceived by spouse or lover, or having a disease) of at least 1 month’s duration.
  2.  

Of the various subtypes of delusional disorder, the one that is most applicable to the PAS:

Persecutory Type: delusions that the person (or someone to whom the person is close) is being malevolently treated in some way

This diagnosis is generally applicable to the PAS indoctrinator who may initially recognize that the complaints about the behavior of the alienated parent are conscious and deliberate fabrications. However, over time, the fabrications may become delusions, actually believed by the programming parent. And the same process may ultimately be applicable to the child. Specifically, at first the child may recognize that the professions of hatred are feigned and serve to ingratiate the child to the programmer. However, over time the child may come to actually believe what were originally conscious and deliberate fabrications. When that point is reached the delusional disorder diagnosis is applicable to the child. Generally, this diagnosis is applicable to relentless programmers who are obsessed with their hatred of the victim parent, by which time the child will have probably entered the severe level of PAS. It is to be noted that when the PAS is present, most often one observes a circumscribed delusional system, confined almost exclusively to the alienated parent. This diagnosis may also be applicable to the PAS child, especially the child who is in the severe category.

301.0 Paranoid Personality Disorder

     

  1. A pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:
    1. suspects, without sufficient basis, that others are exploiting, harming, or deceiving him or her
    2. is preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates
    3. is reluctant to confide in others because of unwarranted fear that the information will be used maliciously against him or her
    4. reads hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events
    5. persistently bears grudges, i.e., is unforgiving of insults, injuries, or slights
    6. perceives attacks on his or her character or reputation that are not apparent to others and is quick to react angrily or to counterattack
    7. has recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding fidelity of spouse or sexual partner
  2.  

PAS programmers who warrant this diagnosis would often satisfy these criteria before the marital separation. A detailed history from the victim parent as well as collaterals may be important because the programming parent is not likely to directly reveal such symptoms. They may, however, reveal them in the course of the evaluation, because they are such deep-seated traits, and are so deeply embedded in their personality structure, that they cannot be hidden. Most people involved in protracted child-custody litigation become “a little paranoid,” and this is often revealed by elevations on the paranoid scale of the MMPI. After all, there are indeed people who are speaking behind the patient’s back, are plotting against them, and are developing schemes and strategies with opposing lawyers. This reality results in an elevation of the paranoid scale in people who would not have manifested such elevations prior to the onset of the litigation. We see here how adversarial proceedings intensify psychopathology in general (Gardner, 1986), and in this case, paranoid psychopathology especially. The PAS child is less likely to warrant this diagnosis. When the severe level is reached PAS children may warrant the aforementioned Shared Psychotic Disorder diagnosis. On occasion, the diagnosis Schizophrenia, Paranoid Type (295.30) is warranted for the programming parent, but such patients generally exhibited other manifestations of schizophrenia, especially prior to the separation. It goes beyond the purposes of this paper to detail the marital symptoms of schizophrenia which should be investigated if the examiner has reason to believe that this diagnosis may be applicable.

It is important for the examiner to appreciate that there is a continuum from delusional disorder, to paranoid personality disorder, to paranoid schizophrenia. Furthermore, in the course of protracted litigation, a patient may move along the track from the milder to a more severe disorder on this continuum.

301.83 Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

     

  1. frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
    Note:Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.
  2. a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation
  3. identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self
  4. impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating).
    Note Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.
  5. recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior
  6. affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g. intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)
  7. chronic feelings of emptiness
  8. inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)
  9. transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms
  10.  

Some alienators may exhibit some of these symptoms prior to the separation. However, as a result of the stresses of the separation, the symptoms may progress to the point where the diagnosis is applicable. Criterion (1) is likely to be exhibited soon after the separation because the marital dissolution is generally associated with real feelings of abandonment. Criterion (2) is often seen when there is a dramatic shift from idealization of the spouse to extreme devaluation. The campaign of denigration is the best example of this manifestation of BPD.

Criterion (4) may manifest itself by excessive spending, especially when such spending causes significant stress and grief to the alienated parent. Following the separation, alienating parents may satisfy Criterion (6) with affect instability, irritability, and intense episodic dysphoria. Although such reactions are common among most people involved in a divorce, especially when litigating the divorce, patients with BPD exhibit these symptoms to an even greater degree. Chronic feelings of emptiness (Criterion [7]) go beyond those that are generally felt by people following a separation. Criterion (8) is extremely common among PAS programmers. The tirades of anger against the alienated parent serve as a model for the child and contribute to the development of the campaign of denigration. The stress-related paranoia, an intensification of the usual suspiciousness exhibited by people involved in litigation, may reach the point that Criterion (9) is satisfied.

The examiner should note which of the symptoms are present and comment: “Five criteria need to be satisfied for the BPD diagnosis. Ms. X satisfies four. Although she does not qualify for the diagnosis at this point, she is at high risk for its development. Furthermore, when one lists diagnoses at the end of the report one might note the DSM-IV diagnosis and add in parenthesis “incipient.”

301.81 Narcissistic Personality Disorder

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

     

  1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements
  2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  3. believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  4. requires excessive admiration
  5. has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  6. is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  7. lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  8. is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
  9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
  10.  

My experience has been that most PAS indoctrinators do not satisfy enough criteria (five) to warrant this diagnosis. However, many do exhibit three or four of them, which is worthy of the examiner’s attention and should be noted in the report.

Criterion (5) is especially common in PAS indoctrinators. They act as if court orders have absolutely nothing to do with them, even though their names may be specifically spelled out in the ruling. Unfortunately, they often violate these orders with impunity because courts are typically lax with regard to implementing punitive measures for PAS contemnors. As mentioned in other publications of mine (Gardner, 1998; 2001), the failure of courts to take action against PAS programmers is one of the most common reasons why the symptoms become entrenched in the children.

Criterion (6) is often frequently satisfied by the programmer’s ongoing attempts to extract ever more money from the victim parent, but feels little need to allow access to the children. There is no sense of shame or guilt over this common form of exploitation. The programmer’s lack of empathy and sympathy for the victim parent is quite common and easily satisfies Criterion (7). The PAS, by definition, is a disorder in which a programmer tries to destroy the bond between the children and a good, loving parent. In order to accomplish the goal, the alienator must have a serious deficiency in the ability to empathize with the target parent. Criterion (9) is often seen in that PAS indoctrinators are often haughty and arrogant and this symptom goes along with their sense of entitlement. Again, if warranted, the diagnosis can be listed as “incipient.”

DSM-IV Diagnoses Applicable to PAS Children

312.8 Conduct Disorder

  1. A repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are violated, as manifested by the presence of three (or more) of the following criteria in the past 12 months, with at least one criterion present in the past 6 months:
  2.  

This diagnosis is often applicable to the PAS child, especially in situations when the conduct disturbances are the most salient manifestation. Under such circumstances, an examiner who is not familiar with the PAS may erroneously conclude that this is the only diagnosis. Such a conclusion necessitates selective inattention to the programming process, which is the hallmark of the PAS. Once again, we see here how a diagnosis, although in DSM-IV, cannot be used as a substitute for the PAS, but may be used as an additional diagnosis. I will not list here all 15 of the DSM-IV criteria, but only those that are most applicable to the PAS:

    Aggression to people and animals

     

  1. often bullies, threatens, or intimidates others
  2. often initiates physical fights
  3. has used a weapon that can cause serious physical harm to others (e.g., a bat, brick, broken bottle, knife, gun)
  4. has been physically cruel to animals
  5. has stolen while confronting a victim (e.g., mugging, purse snatching, extortion, armed robbery) Destruction of property
  6. has deliberately engaged in fire setting with the intention of causing serious damage
  7. has deliberately destroyed others’ property (other than by fire setting)Deceitfulness or theft
  8. often lies to obtain goods or favors or to avoid obligations (i.e., “cons” others)
  9. has stolen items of nontrivial value without confronting a victim (e.g., shoplifting, but without breaking and entering; forgery)Serious violations of rules
  10. has run away from home overnight at least twice while living in parental or parental surrogate home (or once without returning for a lengthy period
  11.  

As can be seen, most of the 15 criteria for the conduct disorder diagnosis can be satisfied by PAS children, especially those in the severe category. The target parent is very much scapegoated and victimized by PAS children. In severe cases they are screamed at, intimidated, and sometimes physically assaulted with objects such as bats, bottles, and knives. The child may perpetrate acts of sabotage in the home of the victim parent. Destruction of property in that person’s home is common and, on rare occasion, even fire setting. Deceitfulness is common, especially fabrications facilitated and supported by the alienator. Stealing things, such as legal documents and important records, and bringing them to the home of the alienator is common. Running away from the home of the target parent and returning to the home of the alienator is common, especially in moderate and severe cases.

309.21 Separation Anxiety Disorder

     

  1. Developmentally inappropriate and excessive anxiety concerning separation from home or from those to whom the individual is attached, as evidenced by three (or more) of the following:
  2.  

I reproduce here those of the eight criteria that are applicable to the PAS:

1) recurrent excessive distress when separation from home or major attachment figures occurs or is anticipated

4) persistent reluctance or refusal to go to school or elsewhere because of fear of separation

8) repeated complaints of physical symptoms (such as headaches, stomachaches, nausea, or vomiting) when separation from major attachment figures occurs or is anticipated

It is important for the reader to appreciate that the original diagnosis for separation anxiety disorder was school phobia. The term separation anxiety disorder is a relatively recent development emerging from the recognition that the child’s fear was less that of the school per se and much more related to the fear of separation from a parent, commonly an overprotective mother (Gardner, 1985b). DSM-IV recognizes this and doesn’t necessarily require the school to be the object of fear, but rather separation from the home, especially from someone with whom the child is pathologically attached.

It is important to note that the PAS child’s hatred of the victim parent has less to do with actual dislike of that parent and has much more to do with fear that if affection is displayed toward the target parent, the alienating parent will be angry at and rejecting of the child. At the prospect of going with the victim parent, the child may exhibit a wide variety of psychosomatic symptoms, all manifestations of the tension associated with the visit. The distress may be especially apparent when the alienating parent is at the site of the transfer. The child recognizes that expression of willingness or happiness to go off with the alienated parent might result in rejection by the alienator. The separation anxiety disorder diagnosis is most often applicable to the mild and moderate cases of PAS. In the severe cases, the anxiety element is less operative than the anger element.

When applying these criteria to the PAS child, one does well to substitute the PAS indoctrinating parent for the parent with whom the child is pathologically attached. At the same time one should substitute the alienated parent for the school or other place outside the child’s home. When one does this, one can see how most of the aforementioned criteria apply. When the child with a separation anxiety disorder is fearful of leaving the home to go to many destinations, the school is the destination the child most fears. It is there that the child feels imprisoned. In contrast, PAS children generally fear only the target parent and are not afraid to leave the programming parent and go elsewhere, such as to the homes of friends and relatives. In short, the PAS child’s fear is focused on the alienated parent. In contrast, the child with a separation anxiety disorder has fears that focus on school but which have spread to many other situations and destinations.

300.15 Dissociative Disorder
Not Otherwise Specified

This category is included for disorders in which the predominant feature is a dissociative symptom (i.e., a disruption in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity, or perception of the environment) that does not meet the criteria for any specific Dissociative Disorder. Examples include:

     

  1. States of dissociation that occur in individuals who have been subjected to periods of prolonged and coercive persuasion (e.g., brainwashing, thought reform, or indoctrination while captive).
  2.  

Of the four categories of dissociative disorder (NOS), only Category 3 is applicable to the PAS. This criterion was designed for people who have been subjected to cult indoctrinations or for military prisoners subjected to brainwashing designed to convert their loyalty from their homeland to the enemy that has imprisoned them. It is very applicable to PAS children, especially those in the severe category. Such children have been programmed to convert their loyalty from a loving parent to the brainwashing parent exclusively. Cult victims and those subjected to prisoner indoctrinations often appear to be in a trance-like state in which they profess their indoctrinations in litany-like fashion. PAS children as well (especially those in the severe category) are often like robots or automatons in the way in which they profess the campaign of denigration in litany-like fashion. They seem to be in an altered state of consciousness when doing so.

Adjustment Disorders

The following subtypes of adjustment disorders are sometimes applicable to PAS children:

309.0 With Depressed Mood.

309.24 With Anxiety.

309.28 With Mixed Anxiety and Depressed Mood.

309.3 With Disturbance of Conduct.

309.4 With Mixed Disturbance of Emotions and Conduct

Each of these types of adjustment disorders may be applicable to the PAS child. The child is indeed adjusting to a situation in which one parent is trying to convince the youngster that a previously loving, dedicated, and loyal parent has really been noxious, loathsome, and dangerous. The programmed data does not seem to coincide with what the child has experienced. This produces confusion. The child fears that any expression of affection for the target parent will result in rejection by the alienator. Under such circumstances, the child may respond with anxiety, depression, and disturbances of conduct.

313.9 Disorder of Infancy, Childhood or Adolescence Not Otherwise Specified

This category is a residual category for disorders with onset in infancy, childhood, or adolescence that do not meet criteria for any specific order in the Classification.

This would be a “last resort” diagnosis for the PAS child, the child who, although suffering with a PAS, does not have symptoms that warrant other DSM-IV childhood diagnoses. However, if one still feels the need to use a DSM-IV diagnosis, especially if the report will be compromised without one, then this last-resort diagnosis can justifiably be utilized. However, it is so vague that it says absolutely nothing other than that the person who is suffering with this disorder is a child. I do not recommend its utilization because of its weakness and because it provides practically no new information to the court.

DSM-IV Diagnoses Applicable to Alienated Parents

In most PAS cases, a diagnosis is not warranted for the alienated parent. On occasion that parent does warrant a DSM-IV diagnosis, but its applicability usually antedated the separation and usually has not played a role in the PAS development or promulgation. As mentioned elsewhere (Gardner, 2001), the primary problem I have seen with alienated parents is their passivity. They are afraid to implement traditional disciplinary and punitive measures with their children, lest they alienate them even further. And they are afraid to criticize the alienator because of the risk that such criticism will be reported to the court and compromise even further their position in the child-custody litigation. Generally, their passivity is not so deep-seated that they would warrant DSM-IV diagnoses such as avoidant personality disorder (301.82) or dependent personality disorder (301.6), because such passivity does not extend into other areas of life and did not antedate the marital separation. One could argue that they have an adjustment disorder, but there is no DSM diagnosis called “adjustment disorder, with passivity.” Accordingly, I will often state for alienated parents, “No Axis 1 diagnosis.”

If, indeed, the alienated parent did suffer with a psychiatric disorder that contributed to the alienation, then this should be noted. Certainly, there are situations in which the alienated parent’s psychiatric disorder is so profound that it is the primary cause of the children’s alienation. In such cases, the PAS diagnosis is not warranted. Under such circumstances, this disorder should be described instead as the cause of the children’s alienation.

Final Comments About Alternative DSM-IV Diagnoses for the PAS

As mentioned, the primary reason for using these diagnoses is that the PAS, at this point, is not recognized in some courts of law. They cannot be used as substitute diagnoses for the PAS, but sometimes share in common some of the symptoms. Accordingly, they can be used as additional diagnoses. It is too early to expect widespread recognition because it was not feasible for the PAS to have been placed in the 1994 edition, so few were the publications on the disorder when the preparatory committees were meeting. This will certainly not be the case when the committees meet in the next few years for the preparation of DSM-V, which is scheduled for publication in 2010. None of the aforementioned substitute diagnoses are fully applicable to the PAS; however, as mentioned, each one has certain characteristics which overlap the PAS diagnosis. Because no combination of these alternative diagnoses can properly replace the PAS, they should be used in addition to rather than instead of the PAS. There is hardly a diagnosis in DSM-IV that does not share symptoms in common with other diagnoses. There is significant overlap and often fluidity in DSM diagnoses. None are “pure,” but some are purer than others, and the PAS is one of the purer ones.

At this point, examiners who conclude that PAS is an applicable diagnosis do well to list it in the appropriate place(s) in their reports (especially at the end). At the same time, they do well to list any DSM-IV diagnoses that are applicable for the alienator, the alienated child, and (if warranted) for the alienated parent. Accordingly, even if the court will not recognize the PAS diagnosis, it will have a more difficult time ignoring these alternative DSM diagnoses.

Conclusions

Controversies are likely when a new disorder is first described. This is predictable. The PAS, however, has probably generated more controversy than most new diagnostic contributions. The primary reason for this is that the PAS is very much a product of the adversary legal system that adjudicates child-custody disputes. Under such circumstances, it behooves opposing attorneys to discredit the contribution and to find every argument possible for obstructing its admission into courts of law. And this is what happened with the PAS. The purpose of this article has been to help evaluators involved in such disputes understand better the nature of the controversy and to deal with it in the context of the present legal situation. Like all compromises, the solution is not perfect. None of the additional diagnoses are identical to the PAS, but they do serve a purpose in a court of law in that they are established psychiatric diagnoses that are applicable to PAS alienators, PAS children, and (on occasion) the alienated parent. Ultimately, if PAS is admitted into DSM-V, the main argument for its inadmissibility in courts of law will no longer be applicable and the need for listing these additional diagnoses in courts of law will be reduced.

References

American Psychiatric Association (1994), Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition, Revised (DSM-IV). Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association.

Boyd v. Kilgore, 773 So. 2d 546 (Fla. 3d DCA 2000) (Prohibition Denied)

Kilgore v. Boyd, 13th Circuit Court, Hillsborough County, FL., Case No. 94-7573, 733 So. 2d 546 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000) Jan 30, 2001

Gardner, R. A. (1985a), Recent trends in divorce and custody litigation. The Academy Forum, 29(2):3-7.

_______ (1985b), Separation Anxiety Disorder: Psychodynamics and Psychotherapy. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.

_______ (1986), Child Custody Litigation: A Guide for Parents and Mental Health Professionals. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.

_______ (1987), The Parental Alienation Syndrome and the Differentiation Between Fabricated and Genuine Child Sex Abuse. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.

_______ (1987), Child Custody. In Basic Handbook of Child Psychiatry, ed. J. Noshpitz, Vol. V, pp. 637-646. New York: Basic Books, Inc.

_______ (1989), Family Evaluation in Child Custody Mediation, Arbitration, and Litigation. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.

_______ (1992), The Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Guide for Mental Health and Legal Professionals. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.

_______ (1998), The Parental Alienation Syndrome, Second Edition. Cresskill, New Jersey: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.

________ (2001), Therapeutic Interventions for Children with Parental Alienation Syndrome. Cresskill, New Jersey: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.

_______ (2002), Parental alienation syndrome vs. parental alienation: Which diagnosis should be used in child-custody litigation? The American Journal of Family Therapy, 30(2):101-123.

rgardner.com, Articles in Peer-reviewed journals and Published Books on the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). www.rgardner.com/refs

_______, Testimony Concerning the Parental Alienation Syndrome Has Been Admitted in Courts of Law in Many States and Countries. www.rgardner.com/refs

Warshak, R. A. (1999), Psychological syndromes: Parental alienation syndrome. Expert Witness Manual, Chapter 3-32. Dallas, TX:State Bar of Texas, Family Law Section.

_______ (2001), Current controversies regarding parental alienation syndrome. The American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 19(3):29-59.

©2002 Richard A. Gardner, M.D.

The Making of a Modern Dad | Psychology Today

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, child abuse, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, custody, Department of Social Servies, Domestic Violence, due process rights, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, parental alienation, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Sociopath, state crimes on October 9, 2009 at 4:13 pm

The Making of a Modern Dad

“One of my first memories growing up was wishing that my father would be home more” recalls Andrew Hudnut M.D, a family doctor in Sacramento, California. “I was 8, and we had just returned from a canoe trip. I remember thinking, ‘I don’t want a bigger house or more money. I just want my dad around.'”

When his wife gave birth, Hudnut arranged his practice so he could be home to take care of his son, Seamus, two days a week; he sees patients on the other three workdays. “It was a very natural transition,” he reports. “I’m grateful to have the opportunity my father never had.”

Part of a new generation of men who are redefining fatherhood and masculinity, Hudnut, who is 33, is unwilling to accept the role of absentee provider that his father’s generation assumed. With mothers often being the breadwinners of the family, many young fathers are deciding that a man’s place can also be in the home—part-time or even full-time.

According to census figures, one in four dads takes care of his preschooler during the time the mother is working. The number of children who are raised by a primary-care father is now more than 2 million and counting. By all measures, fathers, even those who work full-time, are more involved in their children’s lives than ever before. According to the Families and Work Institute in New York City, fathers now provide three-fourths of the child care mothers do, up from one-half 30 years ago.

Is Father Nurture Natural?

Many men and women wonder if all of this father care is really natural. According to popular perceptions, men are supposedly driven by their hormones (primarily testosterone) to compete for status, to seek out sex and even to be violent—conditions hardly conducive to raising kids. A recent article in Reader’s Digest, “Why Men Act As They Do,” is subtitled “It’s the Testosterone, Stupid.” Calling the hormone “a metaphor for masculinity,” the article concludes, “…testosterone correlates with risk: physical, criminal, and personal.” Don’t men’s testosterone-induced chest-beating and risk-taking limit their ability to cradle and comfort their children?

Two Canadian studies suggest that there is much more to masculinity than testosterone. While testosterone is certainly important in driving men to conceive a child, it takes an array of other hormones to turn men into fathers. And among the best fathers, it turns out, testosterone levels actually drop significantly after the birth of a child. If manhood includes fatherhood, which it does for a majority of men, then testosterone is hardly the ultimate measure of masculinity.

In fact, the second of the two studies, which was recently published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, suggests that fathers have higher levels of estrogen the well-known female sex hormone—than other men. The research shows that men go through significant hormonal changes alongside their pregnant partners changes most likely initiated by their partner’s pregnancy and ones that even cause some men to experience pregnancy-like symptoms such as nausea and weight gain. It seems increasingly clear that just as nature prepares women to be committed moms, it prepares men to be devoted dads.

“I have always suspected that fatherhood has biological effects in some, perhaps all, men,” says biologist Sue Carter, distinguished professor at the University of Maryland. “Now here is the first hard evidence that men are biologically prepared for fatherhood.”

The studies have the potential to profoundly change our understanding of families, of fatherhood and of masculinity itself. Being a devoted parent is not only important but also natural for men. Indeed, there is evidence that men are biologically involved in their children’s lives from the beginning.

Is Biology Destiny for Dads?

It’s well known that hormonal changes caused by pregnancy encourage a mother to love and nurture her child. But it has long been assumed that a father’s attachment to his child is the result of a more uncertain process, a purely optional emotional bonding that develops over time, often years. Male animals in some species undergo hormonal changes that prime them for parenting. But do human dads? The two studies, conducted at Memorial University and Queens University in Canada, suggest that human dads do.

In the original study, published in Evolution and Human Behavior, psychologist Anne Storey, and her colleagues took blood samples from 34 couples at different times during pregnancy and shortly after birth. The researchers chose to monitor three specific hormones because of their links to nurturing behavior in human mothers and in animal fathers.

The first hormone, prolactin, gets its name from the role it plays in promoting lactation in women, but it also instigates parental behavior in a number of birds and mammals. Male doves who are given prolactin start brooding and feeding their young, Storey found that in human fathers, prolactin levels rise by approximately 20 percent during the three weeks before their partners give birth.

The second hormone, cortisol, is well known as a stress hormone, but it is also a good indicator of a mother’s attachment to her baby. New mothers who have high cortisol levels can detect their own infant by odor more easily than mothers with lower cortisol levels. The mothers also respond more sympathetically to their baby’s cries and describe their relationship with their baby in more positive terms. Storey and her colleagues found that for expectant fathers, cortisol was twice as high in the three weeks before birth than earlier in the pregnancy.

To see the rest of the article:

The Making of a Modern Dad | Psychology Today.

Ain’t It Beautiful: How to Sue a Judge

In Activism, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Foster Care, Freedom, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, state crimes on September 23, 2009 at 5:23 pm

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

How to Sue a Judge

How to Sue a Judge

By David C. Grossack, Constitutional Attorney
Common Law Copyright © 1994 All Rights Reserved

Has a judge violated your constitutional rights? Have you been discriminated against by being treated differently than other people in similar situations by reason of race, religion, national origin, gender, sexual preference or political opinion? Have you lost certain rights without a meaningful hearing or even an opportunity to be heard?

Have you been deprived of any other constitutional protection? Have you been subject to Court action for the purpose of intimidating you from exercising an opinion, or practicing your faith? Don’t let them get away with it.

Although it is almost impossible to recover monetary damages from a judge (unless you can prove he or she acted ultra-vires beyond his or her legal jurisdiction) it is in fact possible to obtain relief in equity against a judge through civil rights actions. Equitable relief includes:

  • declaratory relief – (rulings by another judge in the form of opinions establishing the constitutionality or lack of constitutionality of another judges actions.)
  • injunctive relief – a command or order to do something or refrain from doing so.

As a general rule, however, judges cannot be held liable for money damages for acts done in the exercise of his judicial function, within the limits of his jurisdiction, no matter how erroneous, illegal or malicious his acts may be. (48A Corpus Juris Secundum §86) A minority of decisions have held that if an inferior judge acts maliciously or corruptly he may incur liability. Kalb v. Luce, 291 N.W. 841, 234, WISC 509.

Federal Civil Rights statutes, and possibly Bivens actions, appear to offer the best path for redressing constitutional grievances with state and federal judges, respectively, in Federal Court. As a practical matter, such cases will usually be brought by pro se litigants. Neither the politics nor economics of law practice permits lawyers to pursue such cases nor makes them affordable except to a small elite of citizens.

However, lawyers who do successfully sue state judges in federal court in Title 42 U.S. Code § 1983 cases can recover attorney’s fees from judicial defendants provided they can show time sheets kept contemporaneously with their work.

The most important step you have to take in beginning your lawsuit is in writing the complaint that will be conforming to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (available in every Government Bookstore or from the Government Printing Office in Washington, DC.)

Properly drafted complaints need not be prepared by a lawyer. All that is required is a very fundamental understanding of a few basic constitutional principles and a typewriter and paper. Handwritten complaints can also be filed in court.

Each federal court publishes its own local rules which can impose some additional requirements, but essentially there are only a handful of things you need to know. 1. Each complaint has a caption reading “United States District Court, District of (name the jurisdiction e.g. Southern New York or Eastern California.) 2. Each complaint includes a caption indicating the name of the plaintiff, and the name of the defendant. The words “individually and in his official capacity” should appear after the name of the defendant judge. The words “Verified Complaint” should appear on the right side of the caption. Your caption should appear like this:

United States District Court
District of (State)
Civil Docket No. _______

John Doe,
Plaintiff
vs. VERIFIED COMPLAINT
Bobby Roe,
individually and in his/her official capacity as Justice of the Superior Court ) of [*****] County,
Defendant

A couple of spaces below, you must begin to spell out your reasons for bringing your complaint to Court. Make an outline of your case. First, state your “Jurisdictional Basis” in Paragraph I. I usually write as follows:

JURISDICTIONAL BASIS

I. Plaintiff claims federal jurisdiction pursuant to Article III § 2 which extends the jurisdiction to cases arising under the U.S. Constitution. Next you should write Paragraph II stating the precise Statutory Authority why you brought the case. If you are suing a state judge, you will state:

II. Plaintiff brings this suit pursuant to Title 42 U.S. Code § 1983 for violations of certain protections guaranteed to him by the First, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments (select which apply) of the federal Constitution, by the defendant under color of law in his/her capacity as a judge in the Superior Court of (****) County.

If you are suing a federal judge, state:

“Plaintiff brings this action against (name), a federal judicial officer, pursuant to Title 28 U.S. Code § 1331, in claims arising from violations of federal constitutional rights guaranteed in the (fill in) amendments to the U.S. Constitution and redressable pursuant to Bivens v. Six Unknown Narcotics Agents 403 U.S. 388 (1971).”

Be aware that the issue of whether federal judicial officers can in fact be sued under this authority is unresolved, but my opinion is that there is a strong implication in the affirmative based on the language in many cases.

Your complaint should then have a section entitled “Parties”. The next two paragraphs would read:

III. Plaintiff (Your name) is a natural person residing at (Your address), (County), (State).

IV. Defendant is a Judge presiding at (fill in.)

Following this you must now describe your claim in detail, giving legal and factual basis for your case. This portion of the case is entitled “Statement of Case”

What kind of factual pattern would give rise to a successful claim under the federal civil rights law? Title 42 U.S. Code § 1983 reads as follows:

Every person who, under color of any statute, ordinance, regulation, custom, or usage, of any State or Territory, subjects, or causes to be subjected, any citizen of the United States or other person within the jurisdiction thereof to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured by the Constitution and laws, shall be liable to the party injured in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress.

The burden of proof is upon the plaintiff to show that the defendant judge acted unconstitutionally or outside of his/her jurisdiction. If the judge engaged in an egregious discrimination against males in a divorce court, minorities in state criminal cases, members of an unpopular religious group in confrontation with government authorities and treated suspiciously in court or members of a “fringe” political group, these situations can give rise to a claim of denial of equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.

If a judge permits an ex parte attachment, i.e. seizure of real estate without giving you notice of a hearing in a state court proceeding, this is a deprivation of property without due process, violating the Fifth Amendment as well as the Fourteenth Amendment.

Ex parte restraining orders forcing men or women out of their homes based on abuse allegations in state courts are a primary and rampant example of violations of constitutional rights today, and certainly actionable in federal court.

The first ten amendments of the Bill of Rights are self explanatory. Violations of any of the rights described in these amendments give rise to causes of action, both against state judges under Title 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and arguably against federal judges in Bivens actions.

Pro se litigants should give a clear and concise description of what happened in chronological order, identifying the judge, the date, time, and place of his or her action, and specifying which acts violated which constitutional amendments.

The complaint finishes with a section entitled “Prayer for Relief.” In such a case you can ask for an injunction ordering another judge to so something, or to refrain from doing something. Successful use of these suits has been made to nullify attachments, end incarcerations, declare laws or court practices unconstitutional and scare the heck out of black robed tyrants with gavels. See Pulliam v. Allen, 466 U.S. 522 (1983).

I often phrase my prayers for relief as follows:

Wherefore plaintiff prays this Court issue equitable relief as follows:

1. Issue injunctive relief commanding defendant to . . .

2. Issue declaratory relief as this Court deems appropriate just.

3. Issue other relief as this Court deems appropriate and just.

4. Award plaintiff his costs of litigation.

Respectfully submitted,

(Your signature)

Your name printed
Your address
City, State, Zip Code
Telephone No.

Statement of Verification

I have read the above complaint and it is correct to the best of my knowledge.

Your signature

Complaints are filed in the Civil Clerk’s Office in the United States District Court for your district.

Federal rules now allow for service of process by certified mail. You will be required to serve the defendant judge and also your state attorney general if you are suing a state judge.

The pro se road will be easier if you study the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, obtain a Black’s Law Dictionary and familiarize yourself with legal research methods. You must also read the Local Rules of the Federal Court where you are suing, and learn Constitutional law fast.

Using a lawyer as a coach is helpful. Bear in mind that your lawsuit is disfavored because it is against a judge. Nevertheless, our system of “justice” is in such tough shape that suits against judges are a socio-political necessity.

Complaints should be photocopied, disseminated to the legislature, the media and political action groups.

Perhaps the cumulative impact of these suits will bring a healthy radical change for the American people.

The author is an attorney in private practice in Boston.

Constitutional Business
Post Office Box 90
Hull, Massachusetts 02045
Tel. 617-925-5253
Fax 617-925-3906
Copyright ©1994 All Rights Reserved

Limited License:
The right to publish this article off-line in print, or via CD-ROM, floppy diskette, tape, laser disk, or any other media, electronic or otherwise, can only be granted by the author and must be in writing. Online usage is unrestricted as long as this article, including the byline, copyright notice, publisher’s address, and limited license, is published in its entirety.

Public school teacher says men don’t belong in children’s lives

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, custody, Divorce, Domestic Relations, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Marriage, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Sociopath, state crimes on August 26, 2009 at 12:58 am

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Public school teacher says men don’t belong in children’s lives

The Indianapolis Star on Sunday 23 August 2009 featured an editorial letter that I had written.

The Star allows for readers to make comments below articles and it didn’t take long for the male-bashers to post theirs. While most are easily dismissed for lack of a valid or logic based argument. Others are simply not relevant to the topic and don’t belong in the discussion. Yet, one stood out and brought about the ire of some others.

Here is the comments made by seniorteacher

“I am all or Dad’s involvement in children’s lives, but for God’s sake let’s stop this process of shared custody where the children are shuffled from family to family every two days or so. These children have no place to call home, and don’t give me the crap about them having two homes. They don’t want two homes; they want one. I’m a teacher and I see the result of this selfish practice, and I am also the result of it. It’s a terrible childhood, and believe it or not parents it isn’t about what you want. It is about what the child needs. So all you greedy dads back off. Children need one home, be it one parent or two. They can visit you on the weekend and summer vacations, and you can be there when they need you. But please do not demand shared custody. You’ll save your child a world of insecurity, confusion, and hurt.”
8/23/2009 10:42:20 PM

This teacher starts out with “I am all [f]or Dad’s involvement in children’s lives.” but then regresses to “So all you greedy dads back off. Children need one home, be it one parent or two. They can visit you on the weekend and summer vacations, and you can be there when they need you.” Seniorteacher has been a teacher for 23 years mostly at public high schools. It is deplorable that we have a teacher of maturing boys who has the attitude that fathers should be occasional visitors in their children’s lives. She has clearly expressed that she does not feel that children need their fathers more than 4 days a month. This is damaging to children and is unacceptable.

I had a teacher in sixth grade who had gone through a difficult divorce and child custody battle. We boys were made to feel second class and degraded so much that some of us eventually picketed the classroom demanding equality. I am unable to recall any specific instances of what my teacher said but I do know we boys paraphrased it to each other as ‘she says girls are better than boys’. I doubt that ‘seniorteacher’ refrains from expressing this attitude either overtly or inconspicuously while in the classroom. Trying to break down masculinity and demeaning an entire gender and teaching them that they are not important is not acceptable.

Feminist Karla Mantilla summarized the philosophy behind this male bashing in an article entitled “Kids Need ‘Fathers’ Like Fish Need Bicycles.” She wrote, “I submit that men tend to emphasize values such as discipline, power, control, stoicism and independence. Sure, there can be some good from these things, but they are mostly damaging to kids (and other living things). They certainly made my son suffer an isolated and tortured existence until he began to see that there was a way out of the trap of masculinity.”[1]

“As boys pass from childhood to manhood, they develop their moral and ethical code.”[2] It is at this time it is most important that a teacher not be instilling into them that they are not as valued as women and don’t need to be a significant part of their future or current children’s lives.

Roger Scruton, author of “Modern Manhood,” explains what is going on with feminist ideology in classrooms, “Feminists have sniffed out male pride wherever it has grown and ruthlessly uprooted it. Under their pressure, modern culture has downgraded or rejected such masculine virtues as courage, tenacity and military prowess in favor of more gentle, more ‘socially inclusive’ habits.”[3]

I recommend that you read “The Lost Boys” by Cathy Young . She makes some very valid points about the hypocrisy of the radical feminist and the double standards applied to young boys including in the educational setting.

I call upon every school system in the State of Indiana to either create a formal policy advocating the importance of both parents or require that their teachers receive instruction on gender stereotypes and avoiding degrading an entire gender of parents such as ‘seniorteacher’ has done. This would not be tolerated if it was a statement about race; gender should be no different.

[1] Karla Mantilla, “Kids Need ‘Fathers’ Like Fish Need Bicycles,” Off Our Backs, June 1998, pp. 12-13.
[2] Boys to Men: Entertainment Media Messages About Masculinity – 1999
[3] Roger Scruton, “Modern Manhood,” New York City Journal, 19 January 2000.


Stuart Showalter

Indiana Custodial Rights Advocates

©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 Blog: Public school teacher says men don’t belong in children’s lives.

CA. Attorney–‘Assembly Line’ Justice in Domestic Violence Cases – GlennSacks.com » Blog Archive

In Child Custody, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Marriage, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Restraining Orders, state crimes on August 25, 2009 at 4:28 pm

CA. Attorney–‘Assembly Line’ Justice in Domestic Violence Cases

August 24th, 2009 by Glenn Sacks, MA for Fathers & Families

California attorney Chuck Tarr, a reader and supporter since 2004, has an interesting commentary on California’s Domestic Violence laws. Tarr writes:

Although on it’s face, California’s Domestic Violence laws would appear to be gender neutral, in practice, I think there is great disparity in attitudes. The DV calendar reminds me of an assembly line.

PC 273.5, the basic DV (domestic violence) statute, is a “wobbler”, that is, it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Hence, the “assembly line” procedure is that even in the most minor of situations (as the police must take away the “primary aggressor regardless of the “victim’s” wishes), a DV defendant is arrested and booked on felony charges.

Those charges carry high bail. If this takes place on a Thursday or Friday, they will sit in jail, usually until the following Monday.

They are humiliated and missing work. The first thing they want to do is get out of custody (assuming they could not afford to post bail). At the DV calendar for first appearances, when presented with the pitch that if they plead guilty they will be released with no further jail and just “probation,” many defendants do so, as they can’t afford to risk losing their job or staying in custody any longer.

Then, there is a mandatory one-year “Batterer’s Program” and repeated progress reports to the court during that year. A DV conviction, even if no weapons were involved, carries a 10-year firearm ban in California, and arguably, a lifetime ban federally.

What has happened in these types of cases and on many others is that in reaction to perhaps one heinous or outrageous case, some legislator introduces a bill (pandering to the electorate) changing the rules of evidence, changing penalties, changing procedures, etc. It’s a complex subject.

GlennSacks.com » Blog Archive » CA. Attorney–‘Assembly Line’ Justice in Domestic Violence Cases.

Equal physical custody? You try it. | thegrownupchild.ca

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, custody, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Feminism, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Sociopath, state crimes on July 21, 2009 at 6:13 pm

Equal physical custody? You try it.

by Carolyn on July 21, 2009

Everyone wants to hold on tight

Everyone wants to hold on tight

I started a bit of a kerfuffle on another site the other day and I decided to write an opinion piece to reflect it.  I didn’t think I would be writing these, but the topic is interesting and I’d love to hear other people’s perspectives:

Child custody.  There aren’t many topics as polarizing as this one.  Really.  It ranks right up with politics and religion.  And debating it is not for the meek or faint hearted.  I knew that, but it’s not what I was thinking about as I wrote my comment.  I had just finished reading an interesting blog post over here and it really caught my interest.  The piece highlighted the author’s belief in equal physical custody of children after divorce.  She relayed a bit of her own personal experience as a divorced mom.  She stated that her ex husband chose not to have a role in her children’s life and that it of course was damaging to them.  She then listed a smattering of studies, detailing the detriments to children from absent fathers.

Now I don’t think anyone can dispute the importance of fathers for all children.  Children of divorce are no different.  But equal physical custody?  You know what that means, right?  It means three nights at mom’s house this week and four nights the next.  Or maybe it means this week at mom’s, next week at dad’s.  Having all your time split evenly down the middle.  Living precisely one half of your life in one residence and one half in another.  Sound like fun?  Would you want to do it?

So I wrote my comment.  I simply questioned the need for a 50/50 split and stated that although I had extenuating circumstances that made my paternal visitation less than most, I was glad not to have had to endure that.  And boy, the father’s came out swinging!  It shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did.  I hadn’t paid close enough attention to my wording.  And in a polarizing argument, wording of course is everything.

I thought I was being misunderstood.  It seemed the father’s were mostly angry that the courts tend to automatically choose the mother as the primary custodian, when they were just as capable.  And to that I can only agree.  If they want to be primary caretakers, they should have an equal opportunity for that.  If it’s legal reform that’s needed; go lobby.  Chances are, they’d find me supporting them all the way.  I don’t really care which parent the child resides with.  Only that in end they reside with one of them.

Because we all need a home.  A place that is ours.  And I feel that no matter how well you try duplicate it, a 50% arrangement robs a child of that sense.  Not to mention the continual upheaval; the back and forth.  I also brought up how difficult it would be for kids to answer one of the basic questions of kid-dom.  “Where do you live?”  The question that answers whether they reside in close enough proximity to be playmates.  I know things have changed.  That children of divorce are more mainstream now.  But this is a gateway question for kids!  Who wants to explain their family drama after initial introductions?

Well, at least the moderator was nice enough to pull down the few comments that had name calling in them.  Because the response to that second comment was certainly passionate.  Amidst the profanity, there were examples of how well equal custody works and mentions of child support.  And I’m going to ignore the support thing.  Because a father wanting to spend time with his children should never be motivated by a desire to reduce their price tag.  And I’m going give everyone the benefit of the doubt and assume it never is.  I’m making my point from there.

Because in the end I don’t really care about the fathers who feel slighted and disadvantaged at being called ‘secondary’ or feeling like a visitor.  And I don’t care about the mother’s who feel that being primary during marriage entitles them to remain primary through divorce.  I know both ache to be with their children.  I know it kills them to give up any time.  But I care about the child.  Whatever age they might be.  And the biggest problem here is that you can’t ask them.  Because the child of divorce aches to be with both of their parents too.  And they will always put their own needs aside in the name of time with a parent.  So if continually jumping from house to house is the price of spending time with them equally; it will be paid.  Without nearly a thought and even dressed up with assurances that they’re okay.  They’ll pay the price and make it look like it cost them nothing at all.

And there is my point.  Why must they pay?  Can’t the child of divorce have both?  Mom and dad present in their life and a stable ‘home base’?  Don’t they deserve it?  Oh I know it won’t be easy, parents.  You want to talk co-parenting?  There it is.  It would require whoever is ‘secondary’ to make more phone calls, attend things their child is attending, have them over for evenings and (oh no, not the dreaded!) visit their child at their ex spouses home along with enjoying their scheduled visitation.  It would also require the ‘primary’ to aid,  accommodate and welcome those things.  Equal parenting doesn’t have to depend on equal physical custody.  All it really depends on is co-parenting.

Is it a pipe dream?  Do I ask too much of divorced parents?  I hope not.

Because mom and dad were mature enough to get married.  Then they were mature enough to have children.   After which they were mature enough to get divorced.  Can’t they be mature enough to put their own issues and wants aside and give their children everything?  Shouldn’t the price be theirs to pay?  I think so, but that’s just my opinion.  From a grown up child of divorce.

Polarizing.  I can almost feel the heat coming though my monitor as you twitch towards the comment button.  You may agree with me completely or want to wring my neck.  And that’s okay.  I’d love to hear from you.  Because I’m not meek.  And I’m not faint hearted. If anything, I’d call myself an…advocate.

Equal physical custody? You try it. | thegrownupchild.ca.

MICHIGAN: State Supreme Court OKs Removing Child From Native American Mother (2009-07-15)

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children legal status, children's behaviour, Civil Rights, cps fraud, custody, deadbeat dads, Divorce, Domestic Relations, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Foster CAre Abuse, Freedom, Indians, kidnapped children, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, state crimes, Title Iv-D on July 20, 2009 at 7:41 pm

Idiot state court workers followed the rules, but the rules broke the ICWA which protect Indian Children.

To terminate an Indian child parent relationship takes evidence “beyond a reasonable doubt”  not clear and convincing evidence.

The Michican Supreme Court justices apparently cannot read or understand federal law is the supreme law of the land.  – Parental Rights

25 U.S.C. § 1912 (d), (e), (f).

Reasonable Doubt Standard for Termination of Parental Rights

Section 1912(f), supra, specifies a beyond a reasonable doubt standard of proof for termination of parental rights proceedings. A number of other jurisdictions use a dual standard of proof in ICWA cases in which a clear and convincing standard is applied to the state law requirements for termination of parental rights and the reasonable doubt standard is applied only to the requirement in 25 U.S.C. § 1912(f) that continued custody by the parent is likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage to the child. E.g., In re H.A.M., 961 P.2d 716, 719 (Kan. App. 1998). The prevailing practice in Oklahoma trial courts has been to use the reasonable doubt standard for both the state law requirements for termination of parental rights and the requirements in 25 U.S.C. § 1912(f), however. In addition, in In the Matter of T.L., 2003 OK CIV APP 49, ¶ 15, 71 P.3d 43, the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals applied the reasonable doubt standard to both the requirements in 25 U.S.C. § 1912(f) and the Oklahoma state law requirements that the parent failed to correct conditions leading to adjudication and that the child had been in foster care for 15 of the 22 months preceding the filing of the termination proceedings. Using the reasonable doubt standard for both the state law requirements and the requirements in 25 U.S.C. § 1912(f) avoids the difficulty of explaining different standards of proof to the jury, and is therefore less confusing to the jury. Applying the higher reasonable doubt standard also gives greatest effect to the ICWA, and it is therefore less likely to result in reversal of a termination of parental rights decision than applying the lower clear and convincing evidence standard. Accordingly, the reasonable doubt standard is used in these instructions for both the state law requirements and the requirements in 25 U.S.C. § 1912(f).

———————————————————————————-

MICHIGAN: State Supreme Court OKs Removing Child From Native American Mother (2009-07-15)

(2009-07-15)

(MPRN)

The Michigan Supreme Court says state welfare workers followed the rules when they removed an American Indian child from her mother’s home, and asked a court to terminate her parental rights.

The issue here is whether state Department of Human Services employees complied with a court rule. It says the state has to make a special effort to avoid breaking up American Indian families. The mother is a member of the Sault Sainte Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

Five justices of the Supreme Court said there was clear and convincing evidence that removing the boy was necessary to rescue from further emotional or physical harm. The mother had already had already lost custody of her other children. And the majority said the fact that she was convicted of drunk driving showed substance abuse counseling was not helping her.

Two justices dissented. Justices Michael Cavanagh and Marilyn Kelly said child welfare workers should have done more to show how the mother’s current circumstances, and not just her history, required authorities to remove the child. © Copyright 2009, MPRN

MICHIGAN: State Supreme Court OKs Removing Child From Native American Mother (2009-07-15).

Divorce and false allegations of child abuse – the story of Dr. David Menchell

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, CPS, cps fraud, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Sociopath, state crimes on July 15, 2009 at 7:25 pm

Divorce and false allegations of child abuse – the story of Dr. David Menchell

July 15, 5:54 AM

Dr. David Menchell never dreamed when he reported bruises on his older son’s body that it would lead to Child Protective Services investigating him. He first noticed the bruises when he took his children to the Poconos for a vacation. While at a water park, he asked his son where they came from. His son has emotional issues, so it was difficult to find out from him how he had gotten bruised.

Later that weekend, Dr. Menchell’s mother talked to her grandson. She then told Dr. Menchell the child had implied that an older child at school had been fighting with him and had bruised him.

The next day, Dr. Menchell phoned the school and talked to the psychologist who works with his son. She assured him that the students were usually supervised, and it would be unlikely for his son to be in a fight without someone knowing about it. She said, however, that she would follow up with his teachers and also call Dr. Menchell’s ex-wife to discuss the situation.

The next day Dr. Menchell’s ex-wife took the boy to the pediatrician, and he documented the same bruises. The day after that, Dr. Menchell received a call from Child Protective Services stating that they were investigating the boy’s bruises. Dr. Menchell responded that he had expected that they would do that. It was then that Child Protective Services informed Dr. Menchell that he was the subject of the investigation.

Dr. Menchell’s rights to visit his children were immediately suspended, and he has not seen his children for three months. Child Protective Services indicated the report, meaning that the investigator claims to have found some credible evidence that he committed the abuse. Some credible evidence is an extremely low standard of proof. It is not unusual for an investigator to indicate a report when there is little or even no evidence.

When Dr. Menchell goes before an administrative law judge to get the indicated report amended to unfounded, Child Protective Services will have to meet a higher standard of proof–a fair preponderance of evidence. Doctor Menchell understands this because he was put through the same ringer on another occasion.

Following the first investigation, Dr. Menchell was not allowed to see his children for two months. After Dr. Menchell was interrogated by a court appointed psychologist, he was allowed visits with his children but only if they were supervised.

While he was finally exonerated of any wrong doing following a fair hearing, the doctor had this to say.

“…it was an easy matter to disprove the inept findings of the report and reverse the decision of CPS, but it took two years, stuck me with a label of child abuser, cost a fortune in psychologist’s and attorney’s fees, and disrupted the normal parenting time I might have had with my children.”

Dr. Menchell is confident that the results of the second investigation will be overturned as well. He says,

“I don’t doubt that I will overturn this additional finding from CPS. The very fact that I have had to endure this insult twice is an indictment of the system. The principles that apply in other venues, like criminal court, should extend to CPS and Family Court: the right to a fair trial or hearing, the assumption of innocence, the right to address your accusers. Until these issues are addressed and CPS is held accountable, there will be continued abuse and injustice perpetrated by CPS and the courts. And our children and their parents are both the victims.”

While Child Protective Services does not divulge the names of people making calls to the child abuse hotline, Doctor Menchell attributes his problems with Child Protective Services to a marriage gone sour.

Many estranged or divorced spouses have testified to similar problems.

Ledger.com reported yesterday that a Lakeland, Florida father, William Dunn, is suing the Florida Department of Children and Families for not allowing him to see his daughter for eleven months after he was falsely accused of sexually abusing her. The judge who ruled that Dunn did not abuse his daughter and returned her to his care expressed concern that the girl’s mother coached her to say that she had been abused, although the mother denies it.  Both the father and daughter have suffered physical and emotional problems due to the false allegations.

Earlier this week, the grown children of Clyde Raye Spencer testified at a hearing that their father never abused them. Spencer has served 19 years in prison for child abuse. Both of Spencer’s children say that their mother told them they were just blocking out the memory of the abuse when they told her they had not been abused.

Dean Tong, who is an expert on false allegations of abuse, spent $150,000 and ten years to clear his name after his estranged wife accused him of sexually abusing his daughter. He has since become an author and a leading expert witness on parent alienation syndrome, and false allegations of sexual and other forms of abuse during or after a  divorce,

Tong has this to say about divorce and false allegations of abuse.

“Even in so called “no-fault” divorce states, parents and relatives of divorcing parties seeking to gain an upper hand in custody and financial arrangements file false or unfounded allegations of domestic violence or child abuse. Once falsely accused, an innocent party oftentimes must spend tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars defending their good name while finding it nearly impossible to remove the stain of abuse allegations. Such allegations also damage the children involved by forcing them to participate unnecessarily in intrusive psychological examinations and courtroom proceedings.”

Divorce and false allegations of child abuse – the story of Dr. David Menchell.

Man jailed for child support, even though he was not the father, released | ajc.com

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, state crimes on July 15, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Man jailed for child support, even though he was not the father, released

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A South Georgia man who had been jailed for more than a year for not paying child support — even though he was not the biological father — was released from custody on Wednesday.

“I thank God for this day,” Frank Hatley, 50, said in a telephone interview shortly after his release. “It feels good being free.”

Hatley had sat in a Cook County jail since June 25, 2008, even though a special assistant state attorney general and the judge knew Hatley was not the child’s biological father.

After showing a judge during a hearing Wednesday that he was indigent, Hatley was ordered released from confinement, his lawyer, Sarah Geraghty of the Southern Center for Human Rights, said.

The judge, however, postponed deciding whether Hatley must still repay the more than $10,000 in child support the state says he owes. But Hatley does not have to make any monthly payments until that issue is resolved, Geraghty said.

“I’m certainly glad Mr. Hatley has been released but the underlying issue has still yet to be resolved,” Geraghty said.

Two DNA tests — one conducted nine years ago and another earlier this month — proved that Hatley was not the father of Travon Morrison, who is now 21. Even after learning he was not the father, Hatley paid thousands of dollars the state said he owed for support. After losing his job and becoming homeless, he still made payments out of his unemployment benefits.

In the 1980s, Hatley had a relationship with Essie Lee Morrison, who became pregnant. Morrison had a baby boy in 1987 and told Hatley the child was his, according to court records. The couple never married and split up shortly after Travon was born.

In 1989, Morrison applied for public assistance through the state Department of Human Resources. The state moved to get Hatley to reimburse the cost of Travon’s support, and Hatley agreed because he believed Travon was his son.

But in 2000, DNA samples from Hatley and Travon showed the two were not related, according to court records.

With the help of a Georgia Legal Services lawyer, Hatley went to court and was relieved of his responsibility to pay future child support. But he still had to deal with being a deadbeat dad when it was assumed that he was really the dad.

Homerville lawyer Charles Reddick, working as a special assistant state attorney general, prepared an order requiring Hatley to pay the $16,398 he still owed the state for child support.

The Aug. 21, 2001, order, signed by Cook County Superior Court Judge Dane Perkins, acknowledges that Hatley was not Travon’s father.

After that, Hatley paid almost $6,000. But last year he was laid off from his job unloading charcoal grills from shipping containers. He became homeless and lived in his car. Still, Hatley made some child support payments using his unemployment benefits.

By May 2008, he apparently had not paid enough. In another order prepared by Reddick and signed by Perkins, Hatley was found in contempt and jailed.

On Wednesday, after being freed, Hatley said he wanted to be relieved from his financial obligations.

“Out of it all, I just feel like justice should be served for me in this case,” he said. “I shouldn’t have to keep being punished for a child that is not mine.”

Man jailed for child support, even though he was not the father, released | ajc.com.

Divorce: The Impact on our Children

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, custody, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, federal crimes, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, state crimes, Title Iv-D, Torts on July 8, 2009 at 12:30 am

The Impact on our Children

Inter-spousal violence perpetrated by men is only a small aspect of family violence. False abuse allegations are only a small tile in the mosaic of vilifying the men in our society. They serve well in successful attempts to remove fathers from the lives of our children. Here are some statistics resulting from that which show more of the whole picture.

  • 79.6% of custodial mothers receive a support award
  • 29.9% of custodial fathers receive a support award.
  • 46.9% of non-custodial mothers totally default on support.
  • 26.9% of non-custodial fathers totally default on support.
  • 20.0% of non-custodial mothers pay support at some level
  • 61.0% of non-custodial fathers pay support at some level
  • 66.2% of single custodial mothers work less than full time.
  • 10.2% of single custodial fathers work less than full time.
  • 7.0% of single custodial mothers work more than 44 hours weekly.
  • 24.5% of single custodial fathers work more that 44 hours weekly.
  • 46.2% of single custodial mothers receive public assistance.
  • 20.8% of single custodial fathers receive public assistance.

[Technical Analysis Paper No. 42 – U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services – Office of Income Security Policy]

  • 40% of mothers reported that they had interfered with the fathers visitation to punish their ex-spouse.

[“Frequency of Visitation” by Sanford Braver, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry]

  • 50% of mothers see no value in the fathers continued contact with his children.

[“Surviving the Breakup” by Joan Berlin Kelly]

  • 90.2% of fathers with joint custody pay the support due.
  • 79.1% of fathers with visitation privileges pay the support due.
  • 44.5% of fathers with no visitation pay the support due.
  • 37.9% of fathers are denied any visitation.
  • 66% of all support not paid by non-custodial fathers is due to the inability to pay.

[1988 Census “Child Support and Alimony: 1989 Series” P-60, No. 173 p.6-7, and “U.S. General Accounting Office Report” GAO/HRD-92-39FS January 1992]

[U. S. D.H.H.S. Bureau of the Census]

  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
  • 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.

[Center for Disease Control]

  • 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.

[Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol. 14 p. 403-26]

  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.

[National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools]

  • 70% of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes

[U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept., 1988]

  • 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.

[Fulton County Georgia Jail Populations and Texas Dept. of Corrections, 1992]

  • Nearly 2 of every 5 children in America do not live with their fathers.

[US News and World Report, February 27, 1995, p.39]

There are:

  • 11,268,000 total custodial mothers
  • 2,907,000 total custodial fathers

[Current Populations Reports, US Bureau of the Census, Series P-20, No. 458, 1991]

What does this mean? Children from fatherless homes are:

  • 4.6 times more likely to commit suicide,

  • 6.6 times to become teenaged mothers (if they are girls, of course),
  • 24.3 times more likely to run away,
  • 15.3 times more likely to have behavioral disorders,
  • 6.3 times more likely to be in a state-operated institutions,
  • 10.8 times more likely to commit rape,
  • 6.6 times more likely to drop out of school,
  • 15.3 times more likely to end up in prison while a teenager.

(The calculation of the relative risks shown in the preceding list is based on 27% of children being in the care of single mothers.)

and — compared to children who are in the care of two biological, married parents — children who are in the care of single mothers are:

  • 33 times more likely to be seriously abused (so that they will require medical attention), and
  • 73 times more likely to be killed.

[“Marriage: The Safest Place for Women and Children“, by Patrick F. Fagan and Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D. Backgrounder #1535.]

COMMON SENSE & DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, #3.

Demi’s Message to Parental Alienation Children

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children's behaviour, Civil Rights, CPS, custody, Department of Social Servies, due process rights, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, state crimes on July 6, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Demi’s Message to All Alienated Children

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjX_OmArgcs

Parental Alienation Syndrome – Posts from the Canadian Children’s Rights Council

In adoption abuse, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, California Parental Rights Amendment, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, custody, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Feminism, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Sociopath, state crimes, Title Iv-D on July 4, 2009 at 12:12 am

Parental Alienation – Brainwashing a child to hate a parent

About Parental Alienation
The parental alienation 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) parents indoctrinations and the child’s own contributions to the vilification of the target parent. The alienation usually extends to the non-custodial parent’s family and friends as well.

Many children involved in divorce and custody litigation undergo thought reform or mild brainwashing by their parents. This disturbing fact is a product of the nature of divorce and the disintegration of the spousal relationship in our culture. Inevitably, children receive subtly transmitted messages that both parents have serious criticisms of each other.

Parental Alienation, however, is much more serious. It involves the systematic vilification by one parent of the other parent and brainwashing of the child, with the intent of alienating the child from the other parent


What happens when children are denied access to a parent and are victims of Parental Alienation?

Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 1988
A child who was separated from his or her father for a period of three months or longer while between the ages of 6 months to 5 years old, suffered a 2.5 to 5 times higher risk of conduct disorder, emotional disorders and hysteria than a child that did not go through the same period of separation.

Bron, Strack & Rudolph, Univ. of Gottingen, Germany, 1991
Drastically increased suicidal tendencies were found in people who had experienced the loss of the father.

American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 1990
Children showed the most behaviour problems if their parents were in a legal conflict and the visitation was not frequent or regular with both parents.

Acta Psychiatrica, Scandinavia, 1990, 1993
Scandinavian research found a significantly higher number of attempted adult suicides for people who, in childhood, had lost a parent through parental separation or divorce.

British Journal of Psychiatry, 1989
British researchers found that adults who suffered the loss of a parent because of separation or divorce have a significantly higher risk of developing agoraphobia with panic attacks and panic disorder.

<!–An Irish Equal-Parenting Parenting Equality has collection of , t http://homepages.iol.ie/~pe/ for other interesting information.–>

Canadian Children’s Rights Council – See our whole section regarding fatherlessness and single parent families for increased rates of teen pregnancy, increased suicide rates and more. According to STATSCAN, the Government of Canada statistics agency, single parent families headed by men were 20% of single parent households in October 2007. Our position is that this growing trend will produce similar negative results for motherless children. More..

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS): Sixteen Years Later

Academy Forum, 2001, 45(1):10-12 ( A Publication of The American Academy of Psychoanalysis ), by RICHARD A. GARDNER, M.D.

In 1985, the Academy Forum published my article, “Recent Trends in Divorce and Custody Litigation.” This was the first article in which I described the parental alienation syndrome (PAS), a disorder that I began seeing in the early 1980s. The Forum article is generally considered to be the seminal publication on the PAS, parent to at least 100 peer-reviewed articles. Although this is certainly a source of gratification for me, the sixteen years that have ensued cannot be viewed as a straight path to glory, especially because of controversies that have swirled around the diagnosis. I address here the reasons for the controversies and provide suggested solutions. More..

Newspaper Articles

The Globe and Mail

FAMILY LAW

Parental alienation cases draining court resources

Study says such cases should be moved out of court system, handled by individual judges

The Globe and Mail, by KIRK MAKIN, JUSTICE REPORTER, May 13, 2009

An escalation in parental alienation allegations is draining valuable courtroom resources, a major study of 145 alienation cases between 1989-2008 concludes.

“Access problems and alienation cases – especially those which are more severe – take up a disproportionate amount of judicial time and energy,” said the study, conducted by Queen’s University law professor Nicholas Bala, a respected family law expert.

“One can ask whether the courts should even be trying to deal with these very challenging cases.” More..


The Australian

Mother loses kids for anti-dad stance

The Australian, Australia’s national daily newspaper, by Caroline Overington, March 31, 2009

TWO children who have been in the care of their mother since their parents separated in 2005 have been sent from Hobart to live with their father in Melbourne after the Family Court heard the mother encouraged them to have “negative” feelings about their dad.

The two children – a girl, aged nine, and a boy, aged seven – had been struggling with “change overs” between parents, saying things such as “I don’t want to go” and “I don’t have to go” when their father arrived in Tasmania from Melbourne to collect them for access visits.

The court found the mother did not discourage them from saying these things, and did not encourage a positive relationship between the children and their father. More..

Parental Alienation in family law cases – One American high profile case

Read the story in the American magazine Newsweek and then read the information provided by the court office

Newsweek wrote:

“It took six years for Genia Shockome to gather the courage to leave her husband, Tim. He pushed her, kicked her and insulted her almost from the moment they married in 1994, she says. She tried to start over with their children when the family moved from Texas to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. It didn’t last long. Tim called her constantly at work and, after they split up, pounded on her door and screamed obscenities, she alleged in a complaint filed in 2001. Tim was charged with harassment. As part of a plea deal, Tim agreed to a stay-away order–but denies ever abusing her or the children. In custody hearings over the past six years, Tim has insisted that he’s been a good father, and argued that Genia’s allegations poisoned their children against him. The judge sided with Tim. This summer he was granted full custody of the kids, now 11 and 9. Genia was barred from contacting them.” More..


Edmonton Journal

Judicial passivism turning fathers into deadbeats

Judges refuse to enforce Divorce Act section that embraces equal access to child

The Edmonton Journal, Grant A. Brown, Freelance, Saturday, June 17, 2006When mothers lose in court, they are not made to pay court costs — again on the premise that this would only take money away from the children. But payment of penalties and costs is merely a transfer between parents, and only prejudice supports the proposition that fathers would be less generous toward their children than mothers, given the time and financial ability to do so.

Contrast the endless lame excuses judges use not to impose remedies for access denial with their attitude toward making and enforcing child-support orders. More ..


Parental alienation gets a day

Tribune, U.S.A., By Kathleen Parker, May 12, 2006

Proclamations generally have the same riveting power as supermarket ribbon-cuttings, but a recent one in Maine is being celebrated as a small victory for children and noncustodial parents wounded by divorce.

The proclamation, signed by Gov. John E. Baldacci, recognized April 25 as “Parental Alienation Awareness Day.”

If you don’t know what “parental alienation” is, you probably haven’t had the pleasure of a divorce with children. Veterans of those wars know without a governor’s seal exactly what it means – agony for a noncustodial parent and emotional problems for children alienated from one parent. More ..


Sexual Abuse Accusations Color Custody Battles
Consider child’s age, physical or mental disabilities, feelings of alienation when evaluating allegations.

Clinical Psychiatry News,  U.S.A., June 2005 Volume 33 Number 6, Heidi Splete, Senior Writer

HOUSTON, U.S.A. Sexual abuse allegations in a child custody case are not always true, and even professionals who work with these children can have trouble distinguishing fact from fantasy in the children’s stories, Joseph Kenan,M.D., said at the annual meeting of the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry.

When a forensic psychiatrist evaluates potential sexual abuse of a child in a custody case, he or she considers a host of factors, including the child’s age, any physical or mental disabilities, and a child’s feelings of alienation toward one parent or history of siding with one parent during arguments, he said at the meeting cosponsored by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Although psychiatrists use careful questioning and information-gathering skills to evaluate children’s allegations, a study of 12 professionals showed that none of them could tell the difference between true and false stories after viewing videotapes of 10 different child testimonies, said Dr. Kenan, chief forensic psychiatrist at the Psychological Trauma Center, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. More..


Does DSM-IV Have Equivalents for the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) Diagnosis?

Richard A. Gardner. M.D.
Department of Child Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons
Columbia University, New York, New York, USA click here


Psychiatric disorder may have led boy to fatally shoot father

Rick James Lohstroh, a doctor at UTMB, was fatally shot this summer, apparently by his 10-year-old son.

ABC13 Eyewitness News,  Houston, Texas, U.S.A., Dec. 29, 2004

The 10-year-old Katy boy accused of murdering his father this summer is now the face of an unofficial psychiatric disorder that may have lead to his father’s death. More ..


Billboards remember slain dad

Houston Chronicle, Feb. 13, 2005

Some new billboards in Houston are intended to keep alive the memory of Dr. Rick Lohstroh, the surgeon who police say was shot and killed by his 10-year-old son last year.

Several of Lohstroh’s friends have formed a group called Help Stop Parental Alienation Syndrome, named for the unofficial disorder that they say contributed to the 41-year-old father’s death.

Lohstroh’s family and friends believe his 2003 divorce was so contentious that his ex-wife turned their children against him, setting the stage for the Aug. 27 shooting. More ..


FAMILY WARS: The Alienation of Children

New Hampshire Bar Journal, March 1993
Composite case from actual examples More ..


Remarriage as a Trigger of Parental Alienation Syndrome

The American Journal of Family Therapy,  2000
By Richard A. Warshak of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA  More ..


The Emerging Problem of Parental Alienation

by Caroline Willbourne and Lesley-Anne Cull, Barristers, December 1997,  Fam Law p. 807-8  More ..


Custody and Visitation Interference: Alternative Remedies

American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Journal, Winter 1994,

By Joy M. Feinberg and Lori S. Loeb

The potential for psychological and physical damage to children of divorce and the parental relationship looms as a potential harbinger of doom over every divorce case. This specter becomes reality when one parent interferes with the rights of custody or visitation of the other parent by preventing the child from visiting the other parent, or by kidnapping or secreting the child from the parent who has the right to custody or visitation.

This article will discuss the visitation and custody interferences that occur during divorce and alert practitioners and judges to the psychological damage to the children. This article will review the alternative remedies available to circumvent custody and visitation interference and address the problems associated with enforcing these remedies. This examination will reveal that the available remedies lose effectiveness proportionate to the severity of the interference with custody and visitation rights.  More ..


Interference with Parental Rights of Noncustodial Parent as Grounds for Modification of Child Custody

Divorce Litigation, by Edward B. Borris, Assistant Editor, January, 1997, p. 1

Interference by one parent in the relationship of a child and the other parent is almost never in the child’s best interests. In fact, in extreme cases, actions by one parent to alienate the affections of the child from the other parent, to interfere win the other parent’s visitation rights, or to remove the child to a distant state or country can often lead to liability in tort. See generally E. Borris, “Torts Arising Out of Interference with Custody and Visitation,” 7 Divorce Litigation 192 (1995). Tort liability is not always an option, however, as many courts refuse to award damages based upon interference with visitation rights. E.g., Cosner v. Ridinger, 882 P.2d 1243 (Wyo.1994). More ..

Parental Alienation Syndrome, PAS, parental alienation in Divorce, children’s rights, Canada.

What we need is a fatherhood revolution: Parental Alienation (Canada)

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, California Parental Rights Amendment, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Feminism, Foster CAre Abuse, kidnapped children, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, 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, Restraining Orders, state crimes, Title Iv-D, Torts on July 2, 2009 at 2:32 am

Monday, June 29, 2009

What we need is a fatherhood revolution

It is nice to see more positive discussions on fatherhood. The Victim Feminist mantra that we are all bad and abusers is slowly being suffused with the benefits of paternity for children and that patriarchy is not completely without merit. I don’t mean the kind of patriarchy that suppresses anyone rather the kind that offers protection to those in need like our children. There is room for the equality women seek and the strengths dads have to offer in a family of parental equals. Have you ever noticed there is only a one non-vowel letter difference in the words matriarchy and patriarchy. Perhaps we can call a family of parental equals a natriarchy – the “n” standing for neutral. All 3 words start with a consonant.MJM

Warwick Marsh | Saturday, 20 June 2009

The times they are a-changing. Being a dad is becoming cool.

Father’s Day 2009 is being celebrated with a renewed sense of vigour and excitement. Fathers and children are appearing in more advertisements. The media are running father-friendly stories. Restaurants are booked out for Father’s Day as well as Mother’s Day.

When the Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation was formed in 2002 to help and encourage Australian dads, our television community service advertisements were initially threatened with a black ban by the Advertising Standards Board. Political correctness ruled the day and fathers were incorrect. This would not happen today. Fatherhood has become sexy, a newspaper here said recently. A quick squiz at pop culture supports this optimistic statement.

Take the 2003 film Finding Nemo. That was a story about a father fish looking for his son. Amazingly, it is well inside the top 20 grossing movies of all time. Just a bit further down that list are other popular movies with positive fatherhood themes: I am Sam, Dear Frankie, The Incredibles, Night at the Museum, Pursuit of Happyness, and the brilliant Australian movie with Eric Bana, Romulus My Father. Even Snoop Dogg is cashing in on the fatherhood revival with his Father Hood TV show.

Last night, with my wife, I watched Swing Vote, Kevin Costner’s popular film about a no-hoper dad whose vote determines an entire presidential election. Interestingly, the plot revolves around a single father and his daughter and treats him with a great deal of respect. This story could never have screened 20 years ago. Fatherhood is coming in from the cold — and not before time.

Here in Australia, songwriter Colin George put together a compilation CD called Fatherhood which features some of our best artists such as Paul Kelly, Shane Howard, Neil Murray and John Butler. They sing about their children, fatherhood and families. This album has morphed into an annual Fatherhood Festival in the surfing town of Byron Bay, which is better known for hardcore punk, drugs and yoga festivals. The home of Australian counterculture has become the home of fatherhood. The idea of a Fatherhood Festival has spread to several other cities in Australia. Similar events are happening in the US. “Family First” is the name of a minor political party in Australia, but the idea putting your family first is catching on. Just like the 60s counterculture, it could be the beginning of a revolution.

The renovation of fatherhood and the renewal of masculinity have been heralded by writers like Ed Cole, author of Maximised Manhood; Gordon Dalby, Healing the Masculine Soul; Robert Bly, Iron John; and Warren Farrell, Father and Child Reunion and even by feminist authors such as Adrienne Burgess, Fatherhood Reclaimed and Susan Falundi, Stiffed. Australian author Steve Biddulph has been a trailblazer for the Australian fatherhood and men’s movement for many years. His books sell very smartly overseas as well.

The Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation believes that fatherlessness is a major contributor to the problems our children face. A leading expert, Dr Bruce Robinson, says that fatherlessness costs Australia A$13 billion a year. Similar estimates on the cost of fatherlessness in America by the National Fatherhood Initiative are well over US$100 billion per year. Fatherlessness increases the likelihood that children will grow up in poverty, increased crime, drug abuse, youth suicide, child sexual abuse, mental health problems, high levels of child obesity, poor health, poor nutrition and lower levels of educational performance for children. In spite of what radical feminists may say about the ills of patriarchy, involved and loving fathers are essential for the development of healthy children and strong families.

Last year Matthew Hayden, one of Australia’s most famous cricketers, was pleased to go in to bat for Aussie dads and their children. He starred in our community service advertisements around Australia as the epitome of the renewal of Australian fatherhood. I asked Matthew how he felt when he had his first child and how he now feels as a father of three children.

There’s nothing that replaces the moment of joy in your life when you have children. As a male I think you actually go through a bit of a chest beating stage. It’s like, “Gees, I’ve produced this beautiful baby, I’m a man.” It actually physically does change you as well because suddenly it’s not just your wife and you. It’s a very unselfish thing, you’ve now got this beautiful little individual and life, that you have to care and nurture and you become very selfless and that’s a difficult time in your life, but look, whatever you put into life, you get back ten-fold. With our three beautiful children, it’s just amazing how they give back to you in such simple but such rewarding ways. I wouldn’t change one damn thing.

Hayden’s passion for his family is inspirational and it is men like him, all across Australia, America and around the world, who are arresting the harmful effects of fatherlessness by their love and commitment to their families. We need a fatherhood revolution which will create involved, committed and responsible fathers. Everyone benefits. A fatherhood revolution will bring support and joy to hardworking mothers and will help children lead exceptional lives.

Warwick Marsh and his wife Alison are the founders of Dads4Kids Fatherhood Foundation. They have five children and have been married for 33 years.

http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/what_we_need_is_a_fatherhood_revolution/

//

Parental Alienation (Canada): What we need is a fatherhood revolution.

Restoring U.S. Fathers’ Confidence « Gaspard Lafalaise Jr | web log

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Obama, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, state crimes, Torts on July 1, 2009 at 8:14 pm

This is an excellent letter to President Barack Obama.  The president holds it within his power to respect fatherhood, or to continue down the path to pandering to victims groups that favor destroying tradtional marriage.

— Parental Rights.

Restoring U.S. Fathers’ Confidence

Blinded, or heavily concerned about the destructive effects of fatherlessness in the United States; President Barack H. Obama – perhaps because of misinformation or his ignorance on this matter – is taking a very dangerous stand against U.S. Fathers.  He is using the same old fearful speech that only alienates American Fathers and; by the same token, he is casting a shadow of bad reputation on his own dad.  However, as the President of the United States, a legislator, and an intelligent man; he also holds the key to destroy institutionalized American fatherlessness forever in his country – if he wants.
Consequently, it becomes more urgent that all concerned families and fatherhood  organizations; and all oppressed fathers to keep on the light, and to spread the truth about fatherhood.

We can help President Barack H Obama to understand that:

  1. Good responsible Fathers are frightened by the same old rhetoric that he and other political leaders are treacherously using;
  2. Fathers are not the enemy. They are the solution.
  3. Family court judges with their confederated watchdogs and with the complicity of duped single mothers are systematically and viciously orchestrating the abandonment by the fathers with falsehood and coercion.

I encourage you and all concerned organizations and U.S. citizens to contact President Barack H Obama directly by phone, fax, email, mail or in person – if possible – to urge him to take the lead in the restoration of American Fathers’ dignity before they can confidently return to their children to raise young men and young women who will have the capacity to bring prosperity back in the United States.

As a symbolic gesture of his commitment, let’s urge him to proclaim this Fourth of July 2009 the day of the liberation of the United States from the yokes of institutionalized fatherlessness by declaring it a day of prayers with reasonable and liberal visitation rights for all fathers and their children who are denied access to each other because of a disgraceful judge’s court order.
Read a copy of my “Open Letter to President Barack H Obama” on this matter – sent to several partner organizations for immediate release – for your consideration.
In our community of nations, we have learned the hard way that when one nation falls, we all suffer. Incidentally, when one nation rises up, we all benefit.
The restoration of U.S. Fathers’ confidence is a proven good investment in their children and in the future of nations. Political leaders must abide by that principle.

Ww/JD/9625

The Sleeper Effect – The Price Children Pay for Divorce

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, deadbeat dads, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Feminism, Freedom, Homeschool, kidnapped children, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, state crimes on June 30, 2009 at 12:30 am

Newsweek 10/2/00 By John Leo

The sleeper effect:  A new book ups the price that children pay for divorce

A startling thought is occurring to the folks who study the impact of divorce on children: A good divorce may be much worse than a bad marriage.

The conventional wisdom that followed the rapid spread of divorce in the 1970s and 1980sthat children are resilient and usually overcome the shock of divorcehas been mugged by a brutal gang of facts. Some children cope well and thrive. But taken as a group, the children of divorce are at serious risk.

For a decade now, the evidence has piled up. Children of divorce are more depressed and aggressive toward parents and teachers than are youngsters from intact families. They are much more likely to develop mental and emotional disorders later in life. They start sexual activity earlier, have more children out of wedlock, are less likely to marry, and if they do marry, are more likely to divorce. They are likelier to abuse drugs, turn to crime, and commit suicide. One study shows that the children of divorce, when they grow up, are significantly less likely than adults from intact families to think they ought to help support their parents in old age. This is an indication that resentments do not fade and that the divorce boom could create disruption between generations. A report in June from the Heritage Foundation began: “American society may have erased the stigma that once accompanied divorce, but it can no longer ignore its massive effects.”

Now this discussion among researchers and policy experts is becoming part of the national conversation thanks to Judith Wallerstein and her important new book, The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce. The “unexpected” part is that divorce produces “sleeper effects,” deep and long-term emotional problems that arise only when the children enter early adulthood and begin to confront issues of romance and marriage. The “powerful ghosts” of their parents’ experience rise only in later life, Wallerstein told a seminar in New York City last week.

Sense of dread.

Wallerstein is a psychologist who has been studying 131 children of divorce since 1971, interviewing them intensively at different stages of life. Now these children are ages 28 through 43, and the news about them is not good. Their parents’ divorce hangs like a cloud over their lives. Compared with similar grown children from intact families in the same neighborhood, the children of divorce were more erratic and self-defeating.  Some sought out unreliable partners or dull ones who at least would never leave. Others ran from conflict or avoided relationships entirely. Expecting disaster, they often worked to create it. Some grew up to achieve success in work and romance, Wallerstein says, but even they are filled with a sense of dread and foreboding that it could all col- lapse at any moment, like the intact home they once had.

Wallerstein’s work undercuts the notion that divorce saves children by eliminating the open conflict of parents. She finds that kids generally tune out their parents’ bitter quarrels and aren’t much bothered by them. They don’t much care whether their parents like each other or sleep in different beds. A cordial divorce doesn’t help. The children just need parents to stay together. Wallerstein says that the loss of the powerful mental image of the intact family inflicts the crucial harm. The damage is compounded by the loss of attention from frazzled parents trying to rebuild their lives.

She has her critics. Her sample is small and not necessarily representative, drawn entirely from an upscale neighborhood in Marin County, Calif. But she has reached deeper into the psyche of children of divorce over a longer period of time than any other psychologist, and her fellow researchers seem to be leaning her way. Her most strident critic, sociologist Andrew Cherlin of Johns Hopkins University, now acknowledges that divorce has significant long-term negative effects on children. David Blankenhorn, head of the Institute for American Values, calls this a sign of “the shift”a major turnaround in thinking about divorce.

Part of the shift is the growing realization that divorce is more widespread than it needs to be. In their book, A Generation at Risk, researchers Paul Amato and Alan Booth report that 70 percent of American divorces are occurring in “low-conflict” marriages. In the study of some 2,000 married people, just 30 percent of divorcing spouses reported more than two serious quarrels in a month, and only 25 percent said they disagreed “often” or “very often.” So three quarters of divorcing couples don’t say they quarrel often or even disagree much.

Even bad marriages are likely to improve, according to sociologist Linda Waite of the University of Chicago. Analyzing data from the National Survey of Families and Households, Waite found that 86 percent of people who said they were in bad marriages, but who decided to stick it out, said five years later that their marriages had turned around and were now happier. Sixty percent said their marriages were “very happy.” “Bad marriage is nowhere near as permanent a condition as we sometimes assume,” Waite says in her new book, The Case for Marriage. Considering what we now know about the impact of divorce on children, that should give many divorce-minded couples some second thoughts.

Sleeper Effect of Divorce.

Bayh, Davis Introduce Legislation to Promote Healthy Families, Active Fatherhood

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Marriage, motherlessness, 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, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, state crimes, Title Iv-D on June 29, 2009 at 9:41 pm
June 19, 2009

Bayh, Davis Introduce Legislation to Promote Healthy Families, Active Fatherhood

Washington—With one in three children in the United States living apart from their biological fathers, Senator Evan Bayh (D-IN) and Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL) are renewing their efforts to promote healthy families and support American fathers who are trying to earn a livable wage and take a more active role in the lives of their children.

Bayh today introduced his Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act of 2009, a bill cosponsored by then-Senator Barack Obama in the last Congress. Bayh’s bill is co-sponsored by Senators Blanche Lincoln (D-AK) and Roland Burris (D-IL).

Davis today introduced companion legislation in the House called the Julia Carson Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act of 2009, in honor of Representative Julia Carson, the late Indianapolis congresswoman who championed fatherhood reform throughout her long career.

“It is a sad and sobering fact that one out of every three kids in America will wake up this Father’s Day without their father present,” Bayh said. “Conceiving a child doesn’t make you a man, but raising one responsibly does. Unfortunately, absentee fathers have become a national epidemic. The result is that millions of American children are more likely to struggle in school and have emotional and behavioral problems.”

“The absence of fathers or a father figure often contributes to negative behavior in children and disrupts the normal pattern of social and emotional development,” Davis said. “In many instances it also limits the child’s ability to have necessary economic resources with which to feel secure.”

In the last 40 years, the number of children without fathers in America has more than quadrupled, from five million in 1960 to more than 24 million today.  Nearly 30 percent of children in fatherless households have not seen their fathers in the past year, and only 40 percent have had contact with their father once or more in the last month.

Studies show that children without fathers in their lives are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of school, and 20 times more likely to end up in prison. They also are more likely to have behavioral problems, to run away from home, and to become teenage parents themselves. The bills offered by Bayh and Davis seek to support fathers trying to do the right thing and take steps to collect child support from non-custodial parents shirking their parental responsibilities.

Bayh added, “Our government spends $100 billion a year to deal with the fallout of absent fathers. The government can’t pass a law to make men good dads, but we can support local programs that specialize in job training, career counseling and financial literacy to help those men who embrace their parental responsibility and are trying to earn a livable wage to do right by their kids. I am glad President Obama is starting a national conversation to draw public attention to the critical role that fathers play in raising responsible, healthy adults.”

The legislation offered by Bayh and Davis will:

  • Fund job training programs and community partnerships to help parents find employment;
  • Fund financial literacy programs and budgeting education, employment services, and mediation and conflict resolution for low-income parents;
  • Ensure that child support payments to families do not count as income and result in loss of food stamps;
  • Restore cuts in federal child support enforcement funding to help state and local governments collect $13 billion in additional payments for single parents;
  • Require states to send 100 percent of all child support payments to the single parent within five years, rather than letting states take a portion of money for administrative costs;
  • Prohibit unfair and unequal treatment of two-parent families receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), ensuring the state work participation standard is the same for all families;
  • Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit to increase the incentive for full-time work and fulfillment of child support obligations; and,
  • Fund programs designed to protect the families who have been affected by domestic violence.

Senator Bayh and Congressman Davis will attend a White House event today with President Obama to honor America’s fathers and urge men to play more active and constructive roles in their children’s lives.

###

Senator Evan Bayh — Senator for Indiana: News – Press Release.

When kids get caught in the middle – Edmonton Examiner – Alberta, CA

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Support, child trafficking, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, custody, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Feminism, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, state crimes, Torts on June 28, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Children of divorce are often forced to choose between mom and dad

Posted By Melanie Thompson,
EXAMINER STAFF

(EDITOR’S NOTE: The names in this story have been changed in order to protect “Jenny.”)

Ben no longer sees his daughter. He has lost all contact. A separation from his spouse forced their daughter to choose one parent over the other.

Jenny chose her mother.

Ben always had a normal father-daughter relationship with Jenny. After the separation, Jenny remained with her mother but Ben maintained a regular bi-weekly visitation schedule as agreed to by himself and his ex-spouse.

Things were going well. But soon he began to notice changes in Jenny.

HASN’T GIVEN UP HOPE

Now, seven years after the separation, she doesn’t want him near. She doesn’t want to go to his home for visits. She doesn’t want his birthday gifts.

Ben has almost given up all hope for a relationship with his daughter.

Jenny is caught in the middle of a case of parental alienation, which commonly occurs among divorced families.

This condition is described by the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO) as a group of verbal and non-verbal behaviours by one or both parents that are damaging to children’s mental and emotional well being. Children are manipulated or brainwashed into choosing one parent over the other.

via When kids get caught in the middle – Edmonton Examiner – Alberta, CA.

Mothers Act Fuels Multibillion Dollar Industry – Part 2 of 3

In Best Interest of the Child, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, Feminism, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, mothers rights, National Parents Day, state crimes on June 28, 2009 at 10:00 am
April 10, 2009. By Evelyn Pringle //

More Democrats than Republicans are supporting the Mother’s Act. The increased campaign funding to Democrats may well explain this turn of events. For the last eight election cycles the pharmaceutical industry has contributed far more to Republicans than Democrats. In the 2006 cycle the percentage was 28% to Democrats and 70% to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit group that tracks political funding.

Child PrescriptionBut the Democrats were close to matching the Republicans for the 2008 cycle with $5,099,942 to Democrats compared to $5,680,871 to Republicans, which is probably why the Democrats would allow such an obvious drug marketing scheme to be implemented.

“The Mothers Act, while appearing like an Act of benevolence, is a dangerous and unnecessary measure that will result in the further over-prescription of drugs that are already grotesquely over-prescribed,”
says Kate Gillespie, one of the lead attorneys handling SSRI birth defect lawsuits and Paxil suicide cases at the Los Angeles based Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman law firm.

“The Act is a slippery slope,” she warns, “toward the forced drugging of women of childbearing years with drugs of questionable efficacy and serious safety issues effecting mothers and their innocent children – drugs that can cause horrific side effects, including, suicidal behavior, violence and devastating birth defects.”

“Of course, mothers who truly cannot cope should be helped,” Ms Gillespie says, “but do we really need legislation requiring mothers to be screened and drugged?”

“Take out politics and Big Pharma and the push for this legislation just doesn’t make sense,” she states.

“For politicians, a much safer issue than pushing drugs for pregnant mothers is promoting the expansion of medical treatment for postpartum depression,” according to Dr Levine.

He says the Mother’s Act “omits relevant truths” about Melanie Blocker-Stokes, the woman the bill is named after, and the following information about her suicide should be made known:

“Blocker-Stokes… did in fact receive extensive psychiatric treatment. She was hospitalized three times in seven weeks, given four combinations of anti-psychotic, anti-anxiety, and antidepressant medications, and underwent electroconvulsive therapy (electroshock). But despite her psychiatric treatment — or because of it — Melanie Blocker-Stokes jumped to her death from the twelfth floor of a Chicago hotel.”

“There is no evidence that antidepressant use by depressed mothers lowers their likelihood of suicide,” Dr Levine says, “and there is a great deal of evidence that antidepressant use can make some people manic, agitated, and violent.”

Money-making promoters behind the Act

Katherine Stone runs an internet website called “Postpartum Progress” and posts a daily blog. She also serves on the board of Postpartum Support International as the public relations outreach chairwoman. Her Bio says she “is a nationally-recognized, award-winning advocate for women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.”

“In 2001,” Katherine reports on her website, that “she suffered postpartum obsessive compulsive disorder after the birth of her first child. The feeling of isolation and shame she suffered inspired her to create Postpartum Progress, which has become the most widely-read blog in the United States on postpartum depression, postpartum OCD, antepartum depression, postpartum PTSD and postpartum psychosis.”

On another page titled, “The Art of Psychiatric Medication,” Katherine tells women to hang in there if a medication does not work because for her diagnosis of OCD, she states:

“I’ve taken many medications, including Effexor, Celexa, Seroquel, Risperdal, Wellbutrin, Luvox, Cymbalta, etc. Throughout all of them, I was on the road to recovery. Some just worked better than others at treating my symptoms.”

She ends the commentary by telling women: “You will find the right medication for you, and you will get better.”

Mother’s Act – infant |LawyersandSettlements.com.