It is now a year since I have had any contact with my three beautiful young children.
My ex continues to deny me any contact with them. My ex continues to take advantage of a flawed system. A system that enables her to ignore and breach court orders for contact and engagement in interventions, with no legal consequence.
I do not claim to be an expert in parental alienation. My story is no worse than any other of the incalculable number of alienated out there.
The following is certainly not intended to be viewed as some kind of checklist to battle parental alienation.
I have simply reflected on the last year and compiled a list of what I have learnt during the last twelve months.
Normalising the sense of sadness and low mood one will invariably experience as an alienated parent is okay to do.
I have just read an excellent summary from the transparency project (link below) about a case from 2011 that has just been published in the UK.
Interesting is the fact that the child was at the time a ward of court, and the parents were still fighting for the child. In 2009 there had been enough evidence to see that the actions of both parents were detrimental to the child. In 2011 the judge summed up so:
The difficulty in the case is that each of them has heard clearly what I have said about the other, but for the most part, have not heard what was said about them … The conflict continues unabated. The mother continues to make allegations which the court has found unsubstantiated in her discussions with other professionals. The father still has no chink of understanding about why it all went wrong in the first place so far as his behaviour was concerned…
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.
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.
Excellent analysis of a recent decision to move a child that had been alienated from her father to the father.
Certainly, parental alienation is a topic of significant public interest and importance for families and family justice professionals. It provokes strong opinions, including on whether and how the family court system (including Cafcass) ought to do better in identifying and managing parental alienation. International Parental Alienation Day on 25 April 2017 inspired a fair amount of commentary. See this Hansard debate secured by ex-Labour Party MP Simon Danczuk on 17 March for a flavour.
I have just finished watching one of my favourite films. “The Day the Earth Caught Fire” about when the effects of two nuclear weapons tests result in the Earth being pushed slowly towards the sun.
In the film there is a not insignificant scene where one of the reporters of the Daily Express meets up with his ex-wife and his child. The impression given is that the mother, in this case, is ‘allowing’ him to see his child. A similar situation to some custody situations now.