Posted in Alienated children, Alienation, Child abuse, Child Custody Rights, Child Maltreatment, Child Protection, Children's Rights, Childrens Act 1989

Parental Alienation as a Form of Emotional Child Abuse: Current State of Knowledge and Future Directions for Research

This article examines the current state of research on parental alienation, which
reveals that alienation is far more common and debilitating for children and parents than was previously believed. In extreme cases, one can make the argument that parental alienation is a serious form of emotional child abuse. Careful scrutiny of key elements of parental alienation in the research literature consistently identifies two core elements of child abuse: parental alienation as a significant form of harm to children that is attributable to human action. As a form of individual child abuse, parental alienation calls for a child protection response. As a form of collective abuse, parental alienation warrants fundamental reform of the family law system in the
direction of shared parenting as the foundation of family law. There is an emerging scientific consensus on prevalence, effects, and professional recognition of parental alienation as a form of child abuse. In response, the authors discuss the need for research on effectiveness of parental alienation interventions, particularly in more extreme cases. This paper argues for more quantitative and qualitative research focused on four pillars of intervention at micro and macro levels, with specific recommendations for further study of child protection responses, reunification programs, and other therapeutic approaches. Continue reading “Parental Alienation as a Form of Emotional Child Abuse: Current State of Knowledge and Future Directions for Research”

Posted in Alienated children, Alienation, Child abuse, Child Custody Rights, Child Maltreatment, Child Protection, Children's Rights, Childrens Act 1989

Parental Alienation (Syndrome)-A serious form of psychological child abuse

Induced parental alienation is a specific form of psychological child abuse, which is listed in DSM-5, the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), under diagnostic code V 995.51 “child psychological
abuse”. Untreated induced parental alienation can lead to long-term traumatic psychological and physical effects in the children concerned. This fact is still not given sufficient attention in family court cases. The article gives a condensed overview of parental alienation, summarising its definition, the symptoms and the various levels of severity. It also describes some major alienation techniques and possible psychosomatic and psychiatric effects of induced parental alienation. Finally,
attention is drawn to programmes of prevention and intervention now used and evaluated in some countries. The article concludes with two real-life examples from psychiatric practice, and a comprehensive list of international references. Continue reading “Parental Alienation (Syndrome)-A serious form of psychological child abuse”

Posted in Alienation, CAFCASS, Child Custody Rights, Social services

Tips on working with a social worker

Here are some tips on working with a social worker.
• Here are some tips also on getting ready for a child protection conference – including how to deal with factually incorrect information in reports.
• If you have support from family or friends you could ask for a family group conference to be arranged to bring them together to help support you and make a safe plan for the children.
• If you think it is necessary you can consider making a complaint – but don’t stop keeping to the plan and working with everyone involved.

Just to note, a child protection plan is not an order – if there is any mention of children’s services going to court to seek a court orderthen please do get in touch with a solicitor urgently or ring FRG’s Freephone advice line to get some advice.

Posted in Alienation, Child Custody Rights, Child Protection

Blurred Lines Between Coercive Control and ‘Petty Harassment’

Unique challenges abound when parents involved in contested matrimonial litigation live under the same roof while the divorce action is pending. This article discusses the standard used for the remedy known as “exclusive use and occupancy” of the marital home while a divorce action is pending.

Continue reading “Blurred Lines Between Coercive Control and ‘Petty Harassment’”

Posted in Alienation, Child abuse, Child Custody Rights, Child Maltreatment

The Particular Problems of Hearing the Voice of the Child in cases of Parental Alienation.

The Voice of the Child has become a world wide phenomenon in which the wishes and feelings of children are sought in the family courts, in matters concerning the care of a child and in areas of hea…

Source: The Particular Problems of Hearing the Voice of the Child in cases of Parental Alienation.

Posted in Child Custody Rights

Child Custody Rights

In the UK child custody law determines who should be responsible for the care and charge of a child, after divorce or separation. The term custody is now more commonly referred to as residency – indicating where the children’s main residence is, following a parental break up.

In the many cases, parents preference is for joint custody (or residency), which enables the child to spend an equal amount of time with each parent. This option also allows both parents to participate in any decision making which may affect the child. However, if parents are unable to decide amicably on what living arrangement is best for their child, the courts will decide on their behalf.

Parent Vs Parent

Most bitter disputes between married couples end up in the family courts. Whilst the separation and ensuing bitterness will undoubtedly affect the children it’s important to remember that:

  • Most child residency court cases end amicably with either agreed residency or joint residency as the outcome
  • Access and maintenance payments from the non resident parent are also taken into consideration
  • In disputed cases each parent is individually assessed before a decision on which parent is given custody of the child, or children, is made

The best interests of the child is the general standard at the heart of all residency cases.

Joint Residency – I would personally not recommend this

Joint residency is considered to be the preferred solution as being in the best interests of most children.

BUT…There are no laws or ‘rights’ that state that a child should live specifically with either the mother or father.

Assuming you both have parental responsibility it is up to you to negotiate residency on the basis of what is best for the children. Many couples neglect to consider this fact and err on the side of what they themselves would prefer (or what suits them).

If you cannot come to an agreement, you should try mediation first. If that is unsuccessful, the courts will become involved and will issue a court order based on what it sees as appropriate.

Joint Residency Reflect Modern Society

The choice of joint residency, reflects the changes in society and takes into consideration work that mothers do outside of the home and a more hands-on approach of child care by fathers. By allowing both parents to have an equal share in the physical care of their child, or children, all legal rights connected to responsibilities and obligations to children are divided.

Custody Disputes

Most custody disputes involve the child’s mother and father. However, in some cases a third party – a grandparent, for instance – may seek custody at the time of a parent’s death or incapacity. If a couple has never married – making provisions for the care of their child may also develop into a dispute. Generally though a court will accept that a parent is in the best position to maintain the welfare of their child.

Unusual Circumstances

In some rare circumstances one parent may be permanently excluded from having any access to their child. However, the court has the right to change the decision at any point in time, should the parent’s circumstances change. The parent is able to re-apply for access at any time, and once an application is made the court may reconsider arrangements after examining evidence.

The Court Decides

The courts will generally accept custody arrangements that parents submit as part of their separation agreement. To ensure these arrangements serve the child’s interests the courts will review the plan. The role that grandparents, step-parents and other influential adults play in the child’s life may also be taken into consideration by the courts.

Changing Or Regaining Custody

Changing a child’s residency arrangements is possible. In order to support the change, substantial evidence of the stability the child will need to be submitted. There are many other factors to consider, which may include relocation of a parent, stability of employment, integration of the child into the new environment etc. Read on for more information about your rights as a parent.