UK: Suspended jail sentence for breaching contact order

OK, this is from April, but I am genuinely surprised that it has not ‘surfaced’ before!

A family court in Nottingham sentenced a mother to 56 days for contempt of court. The sentence was suspended for one year which means that should she continue to be ‘unwilling’ in that time period to abide by the terms of the child arrangement order she will go to jail.

A signal against parental alienation, and parents that think they can get away with just not letting absent parents see their children.

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The abuse of the child’s voice in high conflict separation

Recently a Scottish court denied the existence of parental alienation. And this article from a retired child psychiatrist is a response to the head of Relationships Scotland Family Mediation services, Roseanne Cubitt.

Ms Cubitt believes “…children want to be involved in decisions that affect them.”.

This article demonstrates that children as a rule do not want to be involved in these decisions. I believe this as well. How on Earth can any professional want to ask a child what parent they want to live with for instance.

My children talked to the judge, and the judge ignored what they said, as it was not the language and reasoning a child of that age would use. They were obviously briefed beforehand on what to say, and he said as much in court.

So my take for what it is worth – listen to the children, but do not assume they are actually speaking their own mind. Young children are malleable – this is the whole point behind the concept of parental alienation.

the alienation experience

Here in Scotland, Relationships Scotland (RS) held an event on the Voice of the Child in Separation and Divorce (June 2017). Professor Jenn McIntosh presented her work. She is a researcher and child inclusive practitioner from Australia. Professionals from a wide range of agencies heard about best practice from other parts of the world.

Here and across the world ‘the voice of the child’ is a hugely important issue. Head of RS’s Family Mediation services, Roseanne Cubitt, writing in the Scotsman and on RS’s own blog. Here’s my – Nick Child’s – response:

Hi Roseanne

Thanks for your event and the article in the Scotsman.  I’d like to comment wearing the hat of a retired child psychiatrist and family therapist, and with a special interest in high conflict separating families, from long ago and more recently – and a wider interest in the similarity of harmful coercive patterns in families and…

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“To enable, or not to enable, that is the question…”

Another thoughtful article which could have been entitled “enablers by default”. People are so willing to help, but when it actually comes to action, unfortunately, their hands are tied!

Lee Serpa Azevado

The above play on words got me pondering on both the natureand choice of behaviours of those thatintentionally or unintentionally become enablers of parental alienation.

“To be, or not to be, that is the question,” from Shakespeare’s Hamlet is arguably the best known line from literature and theatre. In its entirety the speech shows Hamlet’sprofound dissatisfaction with life andits many struggles. He is uncertain what death by suicide may bring.This is subtly underpinnedwith the Christiandenunciation of suicide, the Tudor belief that suicideleads to the fires of hell.Hamlet is highlighting the dread and uncertainty of suicide. He believes the wrongjudgment call leads to the fiery gates of hell with no way back.

In life there are many decisions and actionsthat are pivotal. Enablers of parental alienationultimately make the wrong judgement call, when they intentionally or unintentionally engage in certain behaviours. Some choose to ‘turn a blind eye’ while others are prevented…

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Richterin Claudia Bandion-Ortner -> Kinder im Gerichtssaal? Auch hilfreich bei Urteil

Nice story about a daughter being allowed in the courtroom. When she ran over to her father and hugged him.

Familie & Familienrecht

Kinder lieben Mama UND Papa auch nach der Trennung,

ist Richterin C. BandionOrtner überzeugt.

Richterin Bandion-OrtnerRichterin Bandion-Ortner

Kinder im Gerichtssaal? Auch hilfreich bei Urteil

Es war eine ausgesprochen gute Idee, dass Klein Laura ihre Mama in Wien zum Gericht begleitet hat – obwohl Kinder im Gerichtssaal ja unerwünscht sind und dort auch nichts verloren haben. Es war, wie gesagt, eine gute Idee – wenn auch für den angeklagten Papa. Dem die Mama „ Kindesentziehung“vorgeworfen hatte . . .

Im Sommer soll es, so die Anklage, „ den Versuch gegeben zu haben, das Kind der Mutter im Park zu entreißen und wegzulaufen“.

„ Geeeehhhhhh bitte“, ist die fast entnervte Reaktion von Papa Sascha. „ Ich bin mit einem Freund wirklich zufällig an dem Park vorbeigefah- ren, bin ausgestiegen und hab erst dann gesehen, dass ihr Neuer dabei war. Ich hab meine Tochter auf den Arm genommen und wollt nur zwei Schritte weg…

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Hurting the Heart of a Child: Parental Alienation is Child Abuse

Karen Woodall

I continue to work with children in recovery from parental alienation, this is the bulk of my current work and as such it puts me in prime position to understand at the most fundamental levels, the harm that parental alienation does.  Close examination of how children recover from alienation is the subject of my doctoral research which, now that our book is being readied for publication (looks like end July folks), I can now spend more time on.

This week I heard the hurt of a child who has been harmed by the psychological splitting that comes with parental alienation. It was a visceral experience which took me straight to the core of the problem caused for children by parents and other adults who cause a child to reject a loved parent.  Overwhelming guilt and shame and the utter bewilderment that comes when a child blames themselves first.  Because being…

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Meditation - Attribution:

Meditation – Attribution:

I was reading this report today on transparency about a father that brought a  case of Parental Alienation against his wife with respect to his two boys. The analysis of the case by the superbly independent Transparency Group showed that he was probably to blame for his actions, and ultimately the fact that he did not allow himself to reconsider the ramifications of his actions, or show any empathy for the circumstances which effectively caused the situation that now existed.

I read this report three times, and as always I drifted off in contemplation. All sorts of questions came to mind: Did I cause my own situation?  I am to blame? Am I possessed with blaming my ex-wife and her new husband for something that is ultimately down to me?

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Ireland: ‘Dads aren’t recognised in our Constitution and the Citizen’s Assembly denied them a voice’

Article in todays Journal (Ireland) from Matt O’connor (father 4 Justice).

Insightful article from Matt, with details on why this fathers day is not a fathers day for quite a few fathers in Ireland.

Also interesting is the position of the catholic church.

The Church has consistently refused to support the rights of separated fathers to see their children and while Pope Francis has eulogised about the role of mothers, he has repeatedly made discriminatory comments about dads.

In his 2016 papal pronouncement Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), Pope Francis went as far to describe fathers as “absent, missing…too controlling…they neglect families…fail to offer sure and solid guidance to their children.”

In fact, not a single priest has raised his voice to express concern for the plight of fatherless children and their dads.

via ‘Dads aren’t recognised in our Constitution and the Citizen’s Assembly denied them a voice’

Three vignettes in the successful treatment of parental alienation

Karen Woodall

This week I am presenting at the Missing Children Europe Conference In Brussells on the loss of children through alienation and the impact of this upon their wellbeing ten years on.  This led me to thinking about the ways in which the impact on children of alienation are largely unrecognised and how little there is in the UK in the way of services to support children in these circumstances.  Of course, without structural and legislative change, we will continue to see the problem of alienation rise and rise and there will be many more children in the next generations who will sever their entire relationship with one side of their self as a defensive response to the separation of their family.  This causes me to think about the core specifications for any services that purport to support the needs of alienated children. Because with the rise of such children in…

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Choosing the right lawyer

This is potentially one of the most important decisions that you will make if custody becomes contested or access starts being violated.

I cannot stress this more strongly. 

I, unfortunately, went on a recommendation and landed a lawyer that just reacted. We cannot in the main expect lawyers to be pro-active, after all, they have other clients. But I now expect a lawyer to be pro-active in so far as they suggest different courses of action leading to a pre-defined and agreed goal.

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