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Old 11-26-2008, 09:38 PM
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Default Parental Alienation

Hello again all; I had received such wonderful advice on my problem IRT Section 7 expenses that I thought this was the place to find out more answers. I am seeing the most wonderful man in the world, he also happens to be an amazing father to his 2 children. The problem, he wants more access, for the simple fact that it breaks his heart to be away from his kids. His ex is doing EVERYTHING in her power to cut off as many ties as possible when the children are not with him, screening calls, not having cells turned on, telling them it's time to get off the phone immediately when we do actually get through. My question is from what I have read here this seems like it may be close to being a Parental Alienation situation, is so how do we go about proving it? This is really really upsetting to him and me, as I have a great relationship with them too (as do my kids who wanted to invite them to their birthday parties but they are not allowed to come.)Thanks.
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:17 PM
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Don't really have a specific answer about establishing PAS, it will be an uphill climb.

If stiffing custodial parents on child support payments was the old "biggest abuse that goes unpunished", then denial of access is the new one. It's difficult to conceive why someone would go out of their way to do this, but it happens too much without consequence.

That's one reason why, in determining custody, the willingness of the custodial parent to involve the other parent in the childrens' lives is an important factor.
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:43 PM
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Time2lookahead, it is difficult to prove by word-of-mouth, however there are agencies out there that help parents and kids who are affected by HAP - Hostile Aggressive Parenting. A wonderful website - one I've often used in the past - is Hostile Aggressive Parenting - Emotional & mental child abuse

I'm sure you will find an array of information (and hopefully some answers) there, including an evaluation questionnaire. Happy reading!
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:48 PM
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Thanks will check that out right now!
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Old 11-27-2008, 08:11 AM
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We suffered a serious case of parent alienation, but unfortunately we did not realize the ex's behaviour had a clinical name until it was too far too late.

I am the second wife to a wonderful man that just adores his children from both our relationship and his first. The world would do wonders if they had dads like him. He gave 100% of his income when his wife left him and lived with family because he didn't want his child to go without. Then one day he got a horrible call and the gist was, "if I have any say, you'll never see your child again".

Long story short, and fast forward 8 years, the more access he asked for, IE for B-Day's special family events, etc, the more she came up with excuses or full out denials. We went to court more times then I can count for "going against a court order", and mom was NEVER held accountable. Time passed and then her parents are in on the PAS. They make the child feel like it is not ok to have fun with dad and Dad's family. They spoil her with expensive gifts and trips to Europe if she is upset after a visit even if she was laughing when he dropped her off.

It got so bad that she would ask dad to stay at the car while she went in, we later found out she would run to the closet and had a temper tantrum, and of course if grand and grandpa were there she was spoiled with attention and gifts because “poor child, she didn't ask for this life”.

We requested that the courts order a psychological assessment when we finally realized what was happening, child is now 10. It cost us more then $25,000, and the mom refused to make the daughter available when it came time for the Dr. to assess the father with his daughter. She made sure to be present for her assessment and the assessment between daughter and grandparents, but not dad. So the Dr.'s final assessment wasn't "bad" against dad but not complete as he could not assess how the daughter acted with dad. So we claimed that the assessment could not be admitted since it was fundamentally flawed and incomplete. After all the PRIMARY reason for the assessment was to show Dad was NOT the cause of the daughter’s psychological stress. The Dr requested slow supervised access one hour ever other week to increase as the child became comfortable again with the dad. We were like what the ****, she wasn't an infant, she was now 11 (the assessment took a full year) and she was exceptionally bright and attuned to emotions of others. The report went on to say that the child had an unusually strong maternal pattern towards her mother, behaviour only present in children of abandonment or that have never seen their biological fathers, and have suffered trauma as a result of the premature and prolonged detachment from their father. We thought this part would clearly show how the mother and her family were alienating her to the point she was so emotionally confused, but the courts still sided with the mother. Access was not eliminated, but it was not reinstated. The courts left the choice of access to the desires of the minor child, who in our opinion and the Dr.'s opinion was clearly traumatized to a unhealthy point.

I suggest that you nip this in the butt ASAP, request an order to have a clear completely defined access schedule and make sure that this includes extra access for things like, but not limited to, birthdays, anniversaries, family reunions, etc with 72 hours noticed, not to be denied by the custodial parent unless the child is enrolled in organized activities that cannot be rescheduled. I wish we had done this before it got to the point it was irreversible. The daughter is so traumatized that she is still undergoing clinical assessments and sessions with psychologists. We still have no access but we still ask, we still send letters of updates to her about what's going on, the special occasions with pictures and DVD's and videos, just to keep her in the loop should she one day realize what has happened to her. She is now 14. We have yet to receive a reply from her, but from mom we get all kinds of excuses to why we cannot talk to her or come and see her as per the order. You see our order includes, "the father will be well advised not to force the child into access if she is not comfortable with it", so mom always says, "she's not ready, and I'm not about to force her to do something she doesn't want to do".

Please do not let this hurt the children like I have watched it hurt this precious girl. She has literally gotten to the point that the damage is irreversible, and many Dr's have echoed this to us. Until such a time as the daughter "snaps" out of the world she has created to shield her from the emotional turmoil, there is nothing any one can do. We have asked the courts to do many things to alleviate the emotional abuse but they never seemed to listen.

Sorry this is so long, but parents that use their children as weapons in separation etc, just makes my blood boil. Who gets hurt in the end? Dad? Yes to an extent. The mother? Of course not, she has her kids, her life moves on without so much as a bump in the road. The Kids? ABSOLUTLY, they are the primary target to “everything” that happens between two parents in the middle of divorce or separation. If you fear PAS, the time is now to act, even if you, as we were, unsuccessful in demonstrating that it is happening, but you CAN take the steps to avoid the damage if left to continue. Getting a defined access schedule is just the start, then make sure not to give her any opportunities to deny access or make excuses for extra activities that are “special in nature that she would greatly benefit from. After all you cannot get back the time and memories once they are gone. The children can still see the friends on a different date or reschedule lessons, etc. But anniversaries, reunions etc only happen once or rarely and cannot be recaptured.
Please email me privatly and I can offer more advise on how to proceed.
In the mean time here are some excelent sites on PAS.

Parental Alienation Syndrome - PAS
Kids 'n' Dad -- Parent Alienation Syndrome
Parents Who Have Successfully Fought Parent Alienation Syndrome by A. Jayne Major
SpringerLink - Journal Article
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Old 12-09-2008, 03:26 PM
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Default Everyone that has children and is divorced please read this

Stage 3 - A Severely Alienated Child of Parental Alienation Syndrome

The Honorable Judge Gomery of Canada stated, “Hatred is not an emotion that comes naturally to a child. It has to be taught. A parent who would teach a child to hate the other parent represents a grave and persistent danger to the mental and emotional health of that child.”
A Severely Alienated Child of Parental Alienation Syndrome
In severe PAS the child is often fanatic or obsessional in his/her hatred of the target parent. For this reason alone the PAS-inducing parent no longer needs to be active, although the PAS–inducing parent will resort to anything to prevent the child maintaining a relationship with the targeted parent. The child takes on the PAS-inducing parent’s desires, emotions and hatreds and verbalises them all as its own. The child views the history of the targeted parent and the targeted parent’s family as all negative and is unable to either remember or express any positive feelings for the target parent.
The child is very likely to refuse Contact, make false allegations of abuse, threaten to run away, threaten to commit suicide or even murder - if forced to see the targeted parent. The PAS-inducing parent will hold little or no value for the targeted parent and hatred may be completely overt. The child and the alienating parent have a pathological bond that is invariably based on shared paranoid fantasies of the targeted parent, sometimes to the point of folie a deux.
What Does a Severely Alienated Child look like?

  • They have a relentless hatred for towards the targeted parent.
  • They parrot the Obsessed Alienator.
  • The child does not want to visit or spend any time with the targeted parent.
  • Many of the child’s beliefs are enmeshed with the alienator.
  • The beliefs are delusional and frequently irrational.
  • They are not intimidated by the court.
  • Frequently, their reasons are not based on personal experiences with the targeted parent but reflect what they are told by the Obsessed Alienator. They have difficulty making any differentiate between the two.
  • The child has no ambivalence in his feelings; it’s all hatred with no ability to see the good.
  • They have no capacity to feel guilty about how they behave towards the targeted parent or forgive any past indiscretions.
  • They share the Obsessed Alienators cause. Together, they are in lockstep to denigrate the hated parent.
  • The children's obsessional hatred extends to the targeted parent's extended family without any guilt or remorse.
  • They can appear like normal healthy children until asked about the targeted parent that triggers their hatred.
Children in the severe category are generally quite disturbed and are usually fanatic. They join together with their alienating parent in a folie * deux relationship in which they share her paranoid fantasies about the alienated parent. All eight of the primary symptomatic manifestations are likely to be present to a significant degree, even more prominent than in the moderate category. Children in this category may become panic-stricken over the prospect of visiting with their alienated parent. Their blood-curdling shrieks, panicked states, and rage outbursts may be so severe that visitation is impossible. If placed in the alienated parent's home they may run away, become paralyzed with morbid fear, or may become so continuously provocative and so destructive that removal becomes necessary. Unlike children in the moderate and mild categories, their panic and hostility may not be reduced in the alienated parent's home, even when separated from their alienating parents for significant periods. Whereas in the mild and moderate categories the children's primary motive is to strengthen the stronger, healthy psychological bond with the alienating parent, in the severe category the psychological bond with the alienating parent is pathological (often paranoid) and the symptoms serve to strengthen this pathological bond.

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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 12-10-2008, 03:39 PM
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Reading all these things scare the heck out of me. I can see the oldest son starting to slip away...the youngest is still great. We have made the suggestion to the lawyer that this could be a possible road to take in order to get more access but it just seems like it could be a non-starter in his opinion. The ex's lawyer is also a criminal lawyer so his view on this whole matter is take no prisoners. We have endured a two week long letter passing IRT Christmas holiday with her and her lawyer offering nothing even remotely close to fair. How do you not let yourself get so completely discouraged? How can people use their children against one another?
I mean my ex is no angel but he is the kids father so I have split everything fairly down the middle....I just don't get it. I know that some of these are rhetorical questions it is just so disheartening to see such a vibrant loving father have to beg to see his kids. Sad sad sad.
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Old 12-11-2008, 06:48 AM
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It happens more often then one would like to even think about, sadly.
I think perhaps in cases where the ex tries so hard to eliminate the children as well from the ex, is where there are unresolved personal issues.
And the ex's only control over the ex, to make them hurt as much as they feel they are hurting, is to use the only tool that they have, and unfortunately it's the children. I honestly want to believe that they "really" deep down have no idea that they are intentionally hurting their own kids. In their mind, they think cutting this last tie frees them from ever having to deal with the ex again.

They are NOT thinking of the children, otherwise things like this would never happen.
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Old 12-12-2008, 01:06 PM
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She just astounds me on how she puts on this perfect front and is killing her kids. This week was BRUTAL! The kids are back for access time and the attitude coming from the oldest is awful...argumentitive towards his father and disagreeing with EVERYTHING he says.

The other day she even had to drive right by my partners house,and needed to stop and pick up something one of the kids left behind, on her way to a business meeting. When my partner suggested that the kids stay with him while she was at her meeting he was told that they were going to see her mother, whom they see at least once a week if not more, because it was important for them to spend "quality time" with their grandma.

I am just astounded that when we approached the lawyer he just brushed this off. I mean is this a fairly new thing that the lawyers don't like to pursue? I mean this is clearly a case of PA from all the information I have read that all you wonderful people have sent me...why is it so difficult for others to see and do something about it?
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Old 12-12-2008, 01:47 PM
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The problem is education, lawyers have not been exposed to it, and it is extremely difficult to prove even with all the research and tell tale signs.

We couldn't win even with a $25,000 psychological assessment because as the assessing doctor himself said, with proper legal representation this case can be swayed in either direction. Swayed???, this was not a he said she said issue the proof was in the documentation all any one had to do was grow a set and call the elephant an elephant.
He failed to provide professional opinions on anything, and only mimicked the recommendations of the previous judge we had.

I don't know if he was worried about his position or what, but education is the key and so to is documentation in this type of thing.
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