> No More Secrets And Lies: Family Court and Parental Alienation

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Family Court and Parental Alienation



An insidious morass of redundancies and allegiances to a host of personal agendas least of which are those of the children.
                 – My description of family court 

As a victim of parent alienation – that is, after experiencing first-hand the alienating behaviors of a parent whose sole purpose seems to be to destroy my relationship with my children – actions that have caused two of my daughters to be consumed by what Richard Warshak calls the irrational rejection of a parent, I've had plenty of time to think about the warlike tactics and insidious poisoning that make up parental alienation and to reflect on how this behavior may have gotten its start.

And it's been an enlightening experience.

After reflecting on this, and after listening to similar stories from other targeted parents in the various support groups popping up on the internet – parents like me who have come through the meat grinder of a contentious divorce –  I've come the conclusion that the incendiary degree of contempt, rage, and revenge that lies at the heart of parental alienation most likely gets it's start from something equally as incendiary, contemptuous, and rage-filled: family court.

And I don't think this is stretch.

And even though family court alone may not account for the narcissistic-type behaviors that are often part of an alienating parent's personality, I do believe that in cases where latent tendencies of this personality disorder exist, family court is the perfect vehicle to bring this illness to the surface.

In fact, family court is perfect of the job. This adversarial battleground which has little to do with family and much to do with lawyered-up bullying of one parent by the other, goes a long way toward explaining why divorcing parents start behaving like sociopaths and begin using their children to harm their spouses. And the final form of this sociopathic-bullying is the poisoning of children's minds – or parental alienation – which quickly severs the parent-child bond and eliminates a loving parent from a child's life.

Often permanently.

But long before the destruction of the parent-child relationship takes place, actions leading to this have been taking place within family court where parents are encouraged to  restrict each others access to their children by reducing parenting time or eliminating  custody through court orders, restraining orders or any means necessary.

And rather than assisting families to work through what is probably the most difficult period in their lives, family court often feeds off their difficulties by ginning up outrage over what may only have been a disagreement over finances or child rearing or possibly the all-too-common problem couples find themselves in where their relationship has evolved beyond what it once was and they only wish to live apart from each other.

But not apart from their children.

Never apart from their children.

In fact most parents never even remotely entertain the idea of being separated from their children nor willfully wishing this tragedy upon each other.

That is, until they reach family court, where they're forced to hire a lawyer who earns their trust, wants to earn their money, and promises that the best thing for everyone is to jump headfirst into the meat grinder of family court.

Which they do.

Which we all do.

And which inevitably leads to the destruction of a one-time close-knit family and starts the downward spiral into a nightmarish world replete with accompanying trauma and suffering which almost always leaves permanent psychological scars that continue on to subsequent generations.

.           .           .


Like many parents, I know about the this firsthand. For ten years after my divorce my girls and I were on the receiving end of a malicious, one-sided, warlike rage from an ex-spouse who tried everything she could think of to separate us, and there was nothing I could do to stop her.  And all any of it accomplished was to leave us all psychologically and emotionally scarred and two of my daughters poisoned so severely that they never want me in their lives again.

And neither of us know why this is.

But that's how it is. And that's how it will probably stay. All in the name of family court.

Which I'm convinced is where this crazed rage gets its start. And I'm convinced that the only way to explain how parents can go from wanting only to move on to the next phase in their lives, in a mutually beneficial fashion, to the point where all-out-war is the new normal and putting children in the impossible position of having to choose one parent to love one parent to hate is acceptable.

There's no other way to explain it. Family court is the one common denominator almost all alienating parents have. There's no other precipitating mechanism to account for this behavior except the actual precipitating experience of family-court, which nearly all alienating parents have prior to starting their campaign of denigration against each other. There's no other way to explain how parents can go from caring so completely and intensely for their child that they would never allow anything even remotely injurious to affect their emotional or psychological health, to new point where they purposely poison their children's minds in such a twisted fashion that their child is forced to abandon a loving parent, often for remainder of their lives.

Family court swallows families whole, and it does this because it's mode of operation is given the imprimatur and official standing of an institution that we deem to be respectable, safe, and even family-friendly. And yet with within it's borders, it encapsulates an anything-goes and an all's-fair philosophy where society's rules of individual protection no longer apply.

It seems to take on the status of a third-world country where atrocities against parents and children are no one's business, where no one is off limits (not even children) and where, if these same crimes were attempted anywhere else in our society, there would be an immediate uproar and immediate investigations by police, welfare agencies, domestic violence watch groups, humanitarian agencies, and certainly our family and friends.

We'd all be better off without it.

Not that I think there's any conspiracy amongst family lawyers, judges, GALS, court appointees, or even social workers to want to play these game or purposely cause children and parents harm. I just think it's too easy to get caught up in an out-of-control, antiquated and adversarial court system that was never intended to be a place for families to settle disputes. And I think that after decades of operating like this it's hard to notice something is wrong. We can easily be blinded to things we would normally be alarmed by.

And yet we continue this blindness long after court is over because we tend to view a divorced family as always a divorced family and we come to "expect" that these sins against family members  – these atrocities that we hear about and that leave the lasting scars – still fall under the protective shield of family court and are sanctioned by and given the imprimatur of a court, or a judge, or a lawyer, long after the lawyers, the judges and the trappings of family court are gone. And these actions of one parent against another or of a parent against a child continue to be seen as extensions of that legalistic nightmare and we turn away assuming that someone has okayed whatever is taking place and that it's all under the guise and jurisdiction of the legal community.

Which it isn't.

But that's family court. 

Stay away if you can. Because as long we keep pitting parent against parent and parent against child in this type of barbaric fashion we're only going to see more and more barbaric outcomes, such as, parental alienation.


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4 comments:

costlules said...

I've had plenty of time to consider the warlike techniques and insidious poisoning that make up parental alienation and to reflect on how this habits could have gotten its begin

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Anonymous said...

Excellent post, though I believe family court is not the start of alienation. The start of alienation is when ones holography compromised parent is "wounded" by their spouse. That may be by rejecting them in bed or in marriage, or by filings by divorce. A psychologically compromised parent exacts revenge through the child, aided and abetted by a family court system which simply does not know how to recognize nor effectively deal with severe alienation.

I would be very curious to learn how many rejected parents are the ones who filed for divorce (and thus wounding the parent who goes on to alienate children)? My guess is the vast majority.

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