What Courts Can Do About Parental Alienation

Last February I was honored to be invited to Victoria, British Columbia to film segments as a guest on the leading talk show produced in Canada: Family Matters. The show is hosted by Justice Harvey Brownstone who is actually a sitting family court judge regularly hearing divorce and custody cases.

Victoria, BC the night before filming

Justice Brownstone obviously cares deeply about the issues that he deals with on a daily basis. One of the biggest complaints I hear from parents whose children are kept from them physically and turned against them emotionally, is that the court is ineffective in protecting children from being used as pawns by a vindictive parent. Courts allow repeated violations of court orders to continue without consequence. Professional custody evaluators and therapists often contribute to the court’s passivity by claiming that nothing can be done when a child refuses to see a parent, or treats the parent with contempt.

In this recently aired episode, Justice Brownstone and I discuss what courts and professionals can do to better protect children’s birthright to two parents. I enjoyed filming this segment and I hope you find it rewarding to watch.

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6 Responses to What Courts Can Do About Parental Alienation

  1. mike jefffries says:

    Keep up the great work. You are making a difference.

  2. [name withheld by administrator] says:

    Good Morning,

    My daughter and I are in desperate need of help with parental alienation, abuse, and child abandonment.

    My ex-boyfriend has taken my child out of the country for the third summer in a row, since he got custody,

    I have multiple tape recordings and evidence.

    My ex is a famous climber and writer, and us retired. However, he gets 60 percent of my income, and has received thousands of dollars from me through judgements and incorrect income determinations.

    I am paying extensive money and I am controlled by my ex through my daughter.

    Please help me,

  3. As a remarried parent to 4 kids, I’ve experienced PA as a stepmom and as a mom. Divorce is hard enough, but to lose a child due to a vindictive ex who puts their needs of anger and revenge ahead of the child’s right to have two parents in their lives (or a parent’s right to have their child in their life!)–it’s been a frustrating, disheartening, time-consuming, and expensive endeavor to keep them in our lives. When kids reach their teens (as young as 14), they have “aged out” in the court which means they have the power to choose if the judge asks them. These kids can’t drink, smoke, or vote, but they can choose the parent they want to live with (what a huge burden to place on a child). So, without any of our influence on them to undue the damage; they continue to be poisoned, become more anxious, more sad and conflicted–and we have to stand by, file the requisite paperwork only to get it back and see that the alienator “won” again (at a huge cost to our kids). We received so much bad advice, that at this point, even though the mother moved 6 hours away without notice, without a forwarding address, without a valid reason to move; we still have little or no chance of asserting our parental rights and seeing the child again. One big lesson we’ve learned: if your child starts to refuse visitation and your ex bails them out and rescues them saying “well, I can’t make them. It’s not my fault they don’t want to come,” immediately go to court to enforce the custody orders. It only gets worse. My whole point in writing this is really, not to express the emotional pain we are in, but to thank you Dr. Warshak for your contributions to PA. The Pluto video is excellent (but the one who needs to watch it the most, won’t), the articles and book Divorce Poison are extremely helpful, but I can’t help thinking that it’s the rejected/targeted parents who read all the literature, watch all the videos–and the alienators just go merrily along, through the courts and life, wrecking their children’s lives for the sake of their own vindictive and selfish needs.

  4. [name withheld by administrator] says:

    Hi, I have a friend who is in desperate need for assistance due to parental alienation. She is the alienated parent although she has another daughter and is a great mother. She would need any help and guidance she can get. The problem is that she is now representing herself after having spent thousands of dollars on attorneys who ultimately did not help her so she is in danger of losing her houseand being broke.

    It seems as though you are located in Toronto? She lives in Orange County California. Can you provide any guidance or maybe a referral for someone who cares about this issue like yourself? She has another court date this week on Wednesday. She has not had unsupervised contact with her daughter in over a year. Her ex-husband is now suing for full legal custody because she will not allow for her daughter to have a passport. She fears her ex-husband will take her daughter out of the country and never come back.

    I can provide additional details if needed. I am just a friend trying to help another friend not lose her daughter whom she loves so much. Please help! Thank you!

  5. Your blog was very interesting and I look forward to watching Justice Brownstone’s episode.
    Michael Craven
    Chicago Divorce Lawyer