Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) is a collection of behaviors where one parent turns a child against the other parent. So when one parent deprives their child of a healthy relationship with the other parent, the child may experience chronic psychological distress leading to the deterioration of the parental relationship. Since distress can affect physical health, health care professionals must not overlook the possibility that the child has been subjected to abuse by the custodial parent.
Blocking or inhibiting contact with the children – The custodial parent blocks or discourages contact between children and the other parent. The most heinous word in family law is ‘visitation’. With this word, the non custodial parent and his (or her) children become mutual guests under the oversight of the custodial parent and the courts.
Only a father can imbue certain intangible qualities to his children that a mother cannot. The corollary that a mother can imbue intangible qualities is also true. Children benefit most when their parents work and act together for their children, rather than two biological parents in conflict acting separately. This is the well-known phenomenon of synergism where the sum of the efforts of persons working together is greater than the sum of each person working alone. This is also called teamwork.
Berating the other parent in the presence of children – Comments such as ‘your mother is no-good’ or ‘your father has abandoned us’ are degrading to the child who respect the parent. What the controlling parent is saying to the child is that their feelings toward the other parent are wrong. The controlling parent’s intent is to berate and change the child’s view of the other parent. This conflict between the controlling parent’s demands and what the child knows and believes can lead to later conflicts in the child’s life.
Threatening children with withdrawal of home, love, and support – J. Michael Bone and Michael R. Walsh came up with a simple statement. “My way or the highway.” That says it all. What the controlling parent is saying is that the child must think the way I do, believe as I do, and feel as I do or else! The ‘else’ word is a threat.
Teaching or forcing the child to fear or reject the other parent – The most prevalent tactic is coercion. Through repetition, the controlling parent relates false accounts of abuse by the other parent. When repeated, this deception can become accepted fact that replaces the child’s own true experiences – my way or no way. This tactic is not acceptable. A similar tactic is that the instigator tells a child that they cannot have contact with the innocent parent unless the child admits that he or she abused them. This is a guaranteed losing strategy for the child and the innocent parents. When the child is forced to admit that abuse occurred then the child cannot have further contact. This is called Catch-22, or my way or no way.
False Allegations of Abuse
The problem is that many courts ignore false allegations against fathers and men. False allegations of domestic violence and child abuse are common in family law proceedings and the person making the allegation (predominately female) far too often succeeds. This is a low risk tactic because the courts rarely hold false accusers accountable for their conduct.
I have found that mediators, social workers, police and probation officers extensively quote the accuser and ignore the facts given by the falsely accused person. Worse, they deliberately fabricate statements and then attribute these fabricated statements to the falsely accused party. I have seen sixty-three (63) separate occurrences where such persons used the same text and just filled in the blanks, changing only the name. Many judges fail to act in good faith and sometimes courts alter signed documents and testimony given under an oath of truthfulness.
The core of this issue is that one spouse wants to control the other through child custody and the money and the property they gain to receive. A key factor in false allegations of spousal abuse and in Parental Alienation Syndrome is that the controlling party is incapable of civility and truthfulness about their partner. These abusers are selfish and do not care what their spouse or children feel.
A false accusation can give an abusive woman exclusive control of the children and the property. This gives them a nearly insurmountable advantage in the legal system. Our misandrious courts often treat innocent males as the guilty party and do not require proof that an accusation is true. The problem is that false allegations of abuse, even when recanted or proven false, can devastatingly affect the victim and their children. This can bring about permanent physical, emotional, and economic effects. The problem is that those who lie or abet such conduct are rarely punished.
So with a stroke of a pen, a female can get her spouse out of her life and assure herself of control of the children. That power extends to her control of her husband, his earnings, and his property. Our support laws are structured to account for household income rather than the ex-husband’s income alone. Child support is taxable to the payer and not the recipient. With those so easily made signatures. The ex-wife can increase her tax-free income from combined incomes of her former husband and his current spouse or a live-in partner.
The problem is exacerbated in states having high child support guidelines, high wages, and high cost of living. Higher wages bring higher tax rates yet most payers of child support cannot claim children as dependents. Moving to other states that have a lower cost of living is not an option for non custodial parents because court ordered child support payments remain unchanged. Worse, moving to another region with a lower cost of living may trigger a court review that increases child support payments.
Custodial parents can often improve their living standard by moving to states or regions that have a lower cost of living and still collect the same court ordered tax-free child support payments. Child support payments are often based on the extent of contact that the non custodial parent has with their child (or children). Moving away and false accusations are tactics that have exacted larger child support payments.
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