Family Court and Naivety

bang head on wall photo: Bang Head Here BangHeadHere.gif

Parental Alienation

Yesterday I spent the day at the first annual conference of the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario. Of particular interest to me was the panel of parents who spoke of their experience resolving matters with legal support. The panel consisted of 4 women, one of whom arrived late.

Three of the women sought to resolve their matter through the court system and the fourth through Collaborative law.

This is what I learned:

Two of three women litigated 7 years each at costs of about $200,000 each. Both of these women spoke of compromised mental health the result of their experience.

One woman used Collaborative Law and settled in 2.5 days.

One woman said she spent more on lawyers than she received in support payments. She reflected, “Court has a roar, but no bite.”

Another woman who went to court said she had 3 different judges on 3…

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The Psychological Effect of Separation on Children

Confusion photo: The state of confusion THESTATEOFCONFUSION.gif

Parental Alienation

When parents are separating, one thing uppermost in the minds of both parties is how it will affect their children. Although around one-third of marriages end in divorce, there are plenty of instances where unhappy couples remain together for the sake of their children, just so they have both parents present as they grow.

But how does separation and divorce actually affect children? Is it inevitably as destructive as some people believe? There are plenty of ideas, such as boys taking it worse than girls, for instance. But there have also been plenty of studies into the effects of separation, which debunk a lot of myths, and also produce some interesting results.

One common factor is that children will generally experience a great deal of distress when the separation occurs, but over time they will adjust and that will fade. A number of factors can help that recovery.

The Main…

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All About Resilience

Parental Alienation

Resilience is that ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes. Psychologists have identified some of the factors that make someone resilient, among them a positive attitude, optimism, the ability to regulate emotions, and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback. Even after misfortune, resilient people are blessed with such an outlook that they are able to change course and soldier on.

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Parental Alienation Part 2 – After Adolescence

Parental Alienation

Children often perceive a simple world of good or bad; of black or white. Followingparental alienation, children may perceive one parent as rejecting – as a victimizer or a tyrant, and the other parent as rejected – as a victim or wounded. Such childish perceptions can have unpleasant long-term consequences.

During adolescence, children become biologically ready for partnership and parenthood. Adult children who have perceived unhealthy relationships as normalmay not be emotionally ready for partnership – they may feel unable to fulfill these emotional needs. Instead, as teenagers, they may emotionally withdraw or emotionally act out.

The consequences can include:

Emotional Maturity


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Father-Daughter Enmeshment -Martyn Carruthers

Parental Alienation

Father – Daughter Relationships

Children who feel loved and supported by both parents seem to make mature life decisions. Memories of how their parents behaved appear to impact their perceptions of maturity and adult responsibilities for the rest of their lives.

Children of mature, happy parents seem much better prepared for adult life than children of immature, dissociated or depressed parents, who  may, as adults, seem unprepared for committed partnership or stable parenthood.

Some daughters may try to become substitute partners for their fathers or even surrogate mothers of their fathers. They may seem to grow up too quickly, while others may appear to delay their maturity and remain childish, especially if the daughters have problems relating to their mothers.

Later in life as women, they may seek partners who are much like their fathers – or as unlike their fathers as possible. Some few may avoid men…

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The science of supposition – Karen Woodall

Parental Alienation

This week I was on a late night panel (late for me anyway) via Skype to Toronto University Students for the Canadian Association for Equality. The subject was disappearing dads and parental alienation.  During the Q&A session afterwards, a targeted parent asked me a question relating to the ‘blog war’ as he termed it, between Dr Childress and me, over the article I had written for the Parental Alienation Studies Group, which I am a member of.  Leaving aside the fact that for me, at least, the batting back and forth of disagreement between Dr Childress and I, was less of a war and more of a mildish spat, the question this parent asked me was whether I thought that the scientific model of Pathogenic Parenting devised by Dr Childress, is the answer to the problem of parental alienation.

I felt frustrated by the question because the argument about whether…

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Parental Alienation Unawareness

Parental Alienation

Parental Alienation is NOT a simple contact dispute, it is, in severe cases, child abuse, nothing more nothing less. In less severe cases, hybrids perhaps or those which are created by naive alienators, it is all too easy for it to trip into child abuse and should always be approached as a case where children are at risk.

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