Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Is It Lack of Understanding or lack of Backbone?

Recently, I had the ambivalent experience of reading a Court Order in a case with clear cut Parental Alienation. The Court ordered a Custody Evaluation by a forensic evaluator with deep experience with parental alienation. The report was very thorough and the recommendations were very clear. Given the severity of the circumstances (which had been allowed to simmer for years due to procedural delays), it was recommended by the evaluator that custody be given from the alienating parent - who was clearly identified as such - to the targeted parent, in order to effect a remedy and to get the minor children out of the middle. It was clear from the language of the Order that the Judge understood alienation and its presence in this case. The Judge's ruling contained the awarding of various fees to be paid by the alienating parent to the targeted, which seemed very reasonable as the alienating parent's behavior was clearly what caused the matter to have to go to court.

Then I think the Judge blinked, or stumbled, or something. The court ordered that the parents essentially share equally in the time with the minor children. In spite of all of the other details provided by the evaluation, which supported the need for the children to be almost exclusively with the targeted parent, the Judge decided to split the time equally between the parents, which keeps them in the middle. Only now, fueled by anger and resentment over having to pay attorney's fees, this alienating parent will be even more so.

So what was it? Did the judge not really understand and only give lip service to the notion of parental alienation, or did the Judge loose his nerve? I really do not know, however I do know that what the court did order will not remedy the situation.


Anonymous said...

Trial starts in 14 days...hope it goes better for us..


Unknown said...

I think you hit the nail on the head -- the judge blinked!

As you know, manny judges recognize exactly what's going on -- but refuse to draft orders to properly address the situation. And the judge's unwillingness to properly address these situation will guarantee that all parties will be back in court again and again -- until the targeted parent runs out of money and can't borrow, beg or steal another penny.

Keep up the good work!

Kay said...

This is almost exactly the experience I had. I then tried a review and revision of the order, and a Denovo hearing both were dismissed because of slight errors in protocol.

My concern with this sort of order, is that Judges, who cherry pick or alter the treatment plan of a an experienced, knowledgeable evaluator are practicing medicine without a license. And since the ordered treatment will not only be ineffective, it will have a negative impact on the health of the child and rejected parent, that would be medical malpractice.

States like mine, Wisconsin, are hung up on a fence of 50/50. I am curious if there is more of a pattern here when the alienating parent is the father. Through the long fight for father's rights, 50/50 was a blessing, but I wonder if the courts realize that gender does not make a difference anymore in alienating cases.

Regardless, in these painfully obvious cases of Parental Alienation, I believe Judges express their lack of understanding of the serious nature of alienation when they deviate from a medically sound treatment plan.