Family Court Seems to Promote Parental Alienation
What is parental alienation? Well, this is when a situation arises where one parent (or that parent’s friends & family) uses strategies such as alienating, brainwashing and/or programming to get the child(ren) to be distanced from the other parent no matter how false the reasons may be.
For those unfamiliar with the family court system when it comes to custody or parental visitation with a child(ren), they are supposed to be the impartial entity that takes into account the facts disputed by both parental parties with legal representation and fairly come to a decision that best suits the child’s well-being moving forward. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and for many, it feels as if it’s never the case as the courts favor women over men 83% of the time. This isn’t because 83 percent of mothers are better parents than fathers when it comes to the child’s well-being, it’s mainly due to the systematic bias the family court system finds itself in.
In the 1960’s, women fought diligently and respectably to get the protections they needed due to being victims of domestic violence situations far too often. These fights went on for years and the family court system seems to have been on a decades long plight to try and make up for it by overwhelmingly awarding women with custody and making visitation unfair for fathers ever since.
One of the sad parts of this apparent plight, is that there are great fathers who continuously get labeled and packaged with those fathers that fall short of the court’s expectations on what an ideal parent is. The family court system isn’t known to be the most investigatory system either. They expect the parents to deliver all information needed and, in some instances, access to the needed information is one sided or in other situations, it’s the word of the female vs the word of the male in the female favored system.
An example of this is women have been influenced to blame men for being abusive in some manner just to win in family court and no matter the falseness in the statements and the lack of proof, the court will take it into account because of its long history of failing women decades before.
It is a sad commonality that a parent may decide that the best way to win the custody battle is to go beyond trying to even the playing field but to try and tip the scales in their favor by making up stories of intimidation, abuse or the potential for abuse about the other parent.
There are dire ramifications for a man when a woman lies about him in court. The time taken to try and disprove the lie is critical in the father trying to continue his relationship with his child(ren). In this game of court system chess, the child not only is being withheld from time from the alienated parent, but also and more importantly, the child may be introduced to these lies in a cross examination or in a hearing with their own attorney. At some point the lie will be exposed or taken into question which can damage the child psychologically moving forward.
Since the family court system favors females more so than males, the incentive to create and fabricate stories to give leverage is too often suggested wrongfully.
Even when court papers for custody are being filed, women are asked and at times indirectly directed to make a statement of some type of abuse or disrespect from the father. I know of a situation where a family court employee in New York City influenced a mother to exaggerate her story for leverage. Ultimately the mother admitted this when a mediator got involved and when the child spoke, every lie the mother stated was exposed to be untruths.
There was one historic yet tainted and debunked study in particular in which delivered its findings in 1985. This study by Lenore Weitzman made the claim that women were in extreme financial disarray due to divorce and that men financially benefitted from it exponentially. These debunked findings rambled the claim that the household of women suffered an astonishing 73 percent decrease in their standard of living in the first year of divorce alone.
This horrific study went on to claim that men had a 42 percent rise in that exact very time that women suffered a 73 percent reduction. This “Divorce Revolution” was so popular that in the late 90’s it was found to have been cited in hundreds of newspapers and magazine stories, hundreds of social science articles, hundreds of la review articles and dozens of appeals in Supreme Court cases. What was most astonishing, and disheartening is this statistic even was found in President Clinton’s 1996 budget. Policy makers used this to alter the fabric of America. This had immense ramifications and countless men have suffered since.
When numbers of sociologists and professors tackled the study and then independently applied studies of their own, their findings were all so far off from Weitzman’s findings that it took on a life of its own. Even when Weitzman admitted to her faults, the system refused to re-adapt and adopt new fair measures that would justly rectify the family court alterations that would destroy lives for decades to follow.
The entire family court system was hijacked and altered to unfairly benefit women, and nothing has changed since these numbers and the study itself was debunked. What made this look like a bitter and intentional act was the fact that Weitzman hid her data and refused to make it available, she just released the findings. This act of despicable horror has altered homes and lives to the extent where it still is a prominent manner in which the family court system operates. Look at how divorces and custody battles are handled.
The courts have been pushed in two ways, by faulty data and by making up for its wrongs of old. The problem is the wrongs of present have not been fixed or doesn’t appear to be on its way to being rectifying in a just manner.
Even when not directly instructed to mislead the courts to take indecisive leverage over a family court manner, it almost seems like a common knowledge in any family court you go to.
So, when the system is already unjust, already leaning in favor of women, it is almost impossible for men to have a fair fight standing alone in court. Even when the man has relevant ground, and evidence to support being the more fit parent for the child(ren)’s well-being, lies often enter the story of the woman. These lies are hard to dispute because it is the account of the woman as opposed to the account of the man. It isn’t as if anyone can prepare for a lie that they aren’t aware is coming. It is an incredibly hard feat to accomplish.
As if a lie is not enough, women tend to take it a step further and even get order of protections to keep the father away from the child. This is a dangerous tool that mothers use in family court to impress upon the court that the father is unfit and dangerous. Unfortunately, this prolongs the process of custody and keeps the strain on the relationship between child and father.
The court grants these orders of protections without proof and there have been very few instances where it was truly required, and as mentioned earlier, the court system is making up for decades of wronging abused women. The problem is, it now abuses men with allowing these deceitful tactics to continue.
Another major problem is that in some cases, the father is arrested then the order of protection is issued and in places like New York City, even when the charges are dismissed because they were unfounded or the mother admits it was untrue, the order of protection still stands until the time period ends (which could be anywhere from 6 months to 5 years).
In addition, family court judges will not overrule a criminal court judge if the judge has the order of protection standing and the father will be in a position to have been completely abandoned from their child. There are few instances where the court will set up visitation with a third party monitoring the father and child. Imagine this, a father who has never harmed his own child, has to sit with a complete stranger within a couple feet to monitor what they do and say for whatever number of hours the judge allows them contact. How does effective parenting come from that? It rarely does.
With all this potential for damage, why does the court allow this?
The reason why the court often accepts this on face value is because the actual process to disprove false claims is a very lengthy and financially costly litigation/investigation. This process would require child services to be involved (and paid), it would involve court psychologists to be involved and at times outside psychologist (who must get paid), experts (who must get paid), witnesses, police records (if any even exist), other legal documents that would take time that costs too much. This would extend the proceedings and shift the way the court system awards children to parents, and Judges will not allow that to happen.
This isn’t the normal gamble all courts are willing to take in a family court setting as this can lead to even bigger issues that the family court would not rather invite. What makes the matter worse is that while these proceedings are taking place, there are far too many instances where the parent being lied on is unable to see their child.
I witnessed a proceeding where the mother accused the father of sexually assaulting her. However, it took 2 years for the court to uncover proof that she had admitted to the assistant district attorney that she lied. This was after she told the Assistant District Attorney several different versions of the story that didn’t align. She then admitted to lying and stated she was mad about the break-up and wanted the father to suffer. The charges were dismissed. Yet, when the judge was finally in possession of these proof of lies, the judge did not side with the father because at this point the judge deemed that the time away from the child (2 years) would be a hard adjustment for the child, even though it was the court that separated the father and child to begin with.
This is one of many unjust instances where the family court system has rendered itself ineffective. To make matters worse, when parental alienation is involved, the time away is a complete injustice. When one parent has been empowered by the court system to keep the child away from the other parent while the proceedings take place, or empowered to minimally expose the child to the other parent, whatever the mother has been spewing to the child appears truthful, no matter how false it really is.
In these instances, the parental alienator (the parent that is alienating the other parent) isn’t seeing their child as nothing more than a pawn in a chess game, a mere possession to win some perverse and distorted game they created in their head. The parental alienator has allowed their more selfish and bitter feelings to overtake their rational thought process.
Parental alienation makes it hard to co-parent effectively as the possibility for a fluid and consistent parenting style is hampered by the alienated parent constantly trying to prove themselves to be anything other than the imposed words the alienator has spewed to the child(ren). This takes from effective and fluid parenting. The alienator causes more harm than they realize.
The sad reality is, even with education and mediation, parental alienation cannot be fully removed from existence. When you consider the manner in which it occurs, how could the family court system actually prevent it? The judge could instruct the parent to not speak untruths but how is this verified or enforced? Should parental alienation be proven in the court, an immediate switch of custody until the case settles would change to a higher degree the extremities in which we see parental alienation presently.
When you hold alienators accountable, this will help control the increasing cases where parental alienation happens. So how do we resolve cases where there is parental alienation involved? The family court system must involve the mental health system to not only interview and assess all parties but to monitor the case in family court to see progress or lack thereof.
If you look at the U.K., they have a stronger stance against family separation than the U.S., whereas, in the U.S., children are expected to get over things as long as child support is paid, and no physical harm is done to the child. The rest is rarely taken into serious account.
The reason why most cases of parental alienation end up in family court is because there really isn’t a legal standing against it and the only way the alienated parent feels a slight glimmer of hope is to have a record of everything.
To work on treating parental alienation, instead of assuming the parents will figure it out (as judges may assume), there has to be a structured therapy and continuum of transfer of residence that is healthy for all parties. There has to be an immediate stop to the alienation of contact between the alienated parent and the child(ren). The reintroducing to regular contact is essential to the health of the child(ren) moving forward. While all this is happening there has to be a continuum of therapeutic support from family and the mental health professional throughout the entire process. The psychological split state of mind through the constant alienation of one parent will take some time to heal as the reunification takes place.
I think it is important to understand in parental alienation cases, it feels as if it is mostly a he said-she said kind of battle, but do not neglect nor overlook the fact that often, parental alienation can be proven.
One step to proving that parental alienation exists in your situation is to identify all witnesses that may have knowledge of these behaviors. Obviously, the parents are aware, and one is the guilty party. The children are not just the subject of alienation but also witnesses too. Those suggested sessions with mental health workers can prove to be powerful on the journey to a more healing and effective resolution.
Do not be afraid to look at other potential witnesses such as nannies or care takers, grandparents, uncles, etc. Anyone who has spent time with your family construct, your children before and now can be called as potential witnesses for your attorney to speak to in order to prove parental alienation exists. Make sure you demand the child has their own court appointed attorney and evaluators to oversee the initial exchanges of the child from residence to residence. Have them note any discomfort that may appear on the alienator’s face as well as the child’s face. Have our professional support system to guide you through this. You are here reading this, on this site for a reason.
Now that we have our legalities in order and understand the family court system a little more on parental alienation and custody cases, let’s touch on the behavioral side of this. As we know, it is not foreign for parents to have some negative words shared when a breakup occurs. Initially, children may even ignore it and chalk it up to anger. Then how do we initially get wind of knowing whether these harsh words or situational or continuous?
Sometimes parental alienation happens while the alienated parent is still seeing their child. It is the constant behaviors and words that are forced upon the child not in the presence of the alienated parent that can make all the difference. In these situations, the alienating behaviors are belittling comments, hostile comments or unfavorable comments to the child about the alienated parent. These words intend to impose upon the child, a new unfavorable painted image of the alienated parent. Now, a couple disparaging remarks from a hurt breakup is understandable but when it is carried on into changing the child’s relationship with the other parent, alienation takes form.
If you notice early on that this is occurring, you should take immediate corrective action and offer assistance to the hurt parent. Sometimes the alienation is unintentional, and they can’t handle the hurt of a fresh divorce/break-up. Malicious behaviors should be documented and reported as this could be the difference in your family court case, especially when it is known that the parent who files first with the court usually wins and the false allegations are often believed until proven otherwise.
With the family court system unwilling to change, parents that are alienated must demand more and take charge. Alienated parents must demand mental health intervention immediately. They must demand separate attorney for the child(ren) and a mediator to impartially take notes on engagements that the court should be aware of. In a gender biased family court system that favors women over men, the child(ren) are the biggest victims. The alienated parent must not enter their case defeated, they must go on record making demands to try and even the odds stacked against them. Do not hesitate to reach out for guidance and assistance. You are here for a reason