The Legal Argument Package

The parents and children then present their “evidence” to the child custody evaluator who makes an arbitrary decision as to whether “parental alienation” is present based on vague criteria arbitrarily applied. Typically, the evaluator reports a mix of “parental alienation” and “estrangement” (both made up constructs without clear definition). Rarely (almost never) will the evaluator recommend a reversal of custody based on an opinion of “parental alienation.”

Occasionally, after years of fighting in court, a second or even third custody evaluation may find that the “alienation” is so severe that the evaluator is compelled to recommend a reversal of custody – but this is rare, and this point is typically reached only in the most severe cases.

Dr. Craig Childress: Attachment Based "Parental Alienation" (AB-PA)

Forensic psychology gives parents and the courts only one legal argument option, and it seeks its particular goal by marshaling a particular set of evidence to present to the court in favor of that goal.

The goal of the legal argument package from forensic psychology is to obtain a court order for a reversal of custody away from the allied and “favored” parent, over to the targeted and rejected parent, and the evidence to support this desired reversal-of-custody court order is through proving, at trial, to a judge, that “parental alienation” is the cause of the child’s rejection of the targeted parent.

Up until recently, this forensic psychology legal argument approach has been the ONLY option available for parents and for the court.

Things have changed.

Parents and the court now have two separate legal argument packages, seeking different orders from the court, and there are now three separate approaches…

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