A Parent's Mental Health Illness Diagnosis DOES NOT, by itself, Constitute Neglect

The DSM5 on The PAS and Labeling it Psychological Child Abuse Or A Rose by Any Other Name is Still a Rose

Published on Mar 5, 2013 Author Linda Gottlieb from New York discusses Parental Alienation Syndrome with host Chris Dimaggio

The DSM 5 has resolved any disagreement about the existence of the family dynamic characteristic of the PAS. Because the DSM 5 does not use the “syndrome” label in describing this dysfunctional family dynamic, which is so detrimental to children, I will also reframe from applying the label. I am describing, instead, a family dynamic that had been observed dating back to the 1950’s, pre-dating Richard Gardner, who, in 1985, applied the label of Parental Alienation Syndrome (or PAS.)

What I mean by “parental alienation” is an observable family interactional dynamic in which one parent engages in a pattern of behaviors to co-opt a child in a coalition with that parent to deprecate and reject the other parent. This observable family dynamic may go by many names. That is, it may alternatively be labeled as “parental interference by one parent with the relationship between the other parent and their child” or it may be called “hostile parenting” or “selfish parenting” or it may be called the “pathological triangle.” In the end, a rose by any other name is still a rose.

Let me clarify the origination of the terminology “the pathological triangle” and how it relates to the family dynamic of alienation.

In the 1950's, the child psychiatrists who later founded the various schools of family therapy initially identified a cross-generational coalition between a parent and child to the deprecation of the other parent and which was observed occurring when their hospitalized, psychiatric-child patients were visiting with their families. One of these child psychiatrists was Murray Bowen, and he labeled this family dynamic as the “pathological triangle.” Indeed, Dr. Bowen was so convinced as to this family dynamic as being the cause of the child's symptoms, that when he hospitalized the child, he also hospitalized the entire nuclear family! Assessing for this family dynamic became the philosophical underpinnings for virtually all of the founders of the various schools of family therapy, including my mentor, Salvador Minuchin, the world-renowned, highly respected child psychiatrist.

What these child psychiatrists documented while observing their child patients on the psychiatric ward during visits with their families was the request by one of the parents for the child’s allegiance with him or her in that parent’s dispute with the other parent. This request created a double bind for the child because the child could not resolve to have both parents: either the child joined in the coalition with the co-opting parent to reject and deprecate the other parent or else the co-opting parent would reject the child for the child’s failure to join in the coalition. The reason this led to psychosis is because the child did not have any good options as the child could not have both parents; in essence, this is a crazy making situation.

The above-described family dynamic of the “pathological triangle” is the dynamic characteristic of parental alienation. I documented in my 2012 book devoted to this subject the cases of 51 children who experienced the detrimental consequences of alienation, including some cases of psychosis, which occurred because the alienation had progressed to the severe phase----meaning that the relationship with the alienated parent was severed. But even in the mild and moderate phases of alienation, the alienated child still suffers serious behavioral, emotional, and cognitive disabilities. I have experienced in my practice at least 150 additional children whom I did not write about in my book but who nonetheless exhibited the serious symptoms that result from having a relationship with a parent diminished or severed.

The recently published DSM 5 provides scientifically supported documentation recognizing the existence of this family dynamic----although it uses other descriptive terminology. It has, indeed, made several references to this dysfunctional family dynamic, which it labels, alternatively as “estrangement.” The thesaurus lists “estrangement” as a synonym for “alienation.” The following is the exact terminology in the DSM 5 for this family dynamic, which listed under the category of “Parent-Child Relational Problem” and has the diagnostic code of V.61.20. An example of this parent-child relational problem is discussed in the DSM 5 as follows:

“Cognitive problems may include negative attributions of the other's intentions, hostility toward or scapegoating of the other, and unwarranted feelings of estrangement. Affective problems may include feelings of sadness, apathy, or anger about the other individual in the relationship.” (P. 715.)

Also under the category of “ Parent-Child Relational Problem” is the diagnostic code, V61.29, “Child Affected by Parental Relationship Distress.” The DSM 5 discusses this family dynamic as follows:

“This category should be used when the focus of clinical attention is the negative effects of parental relationship discord (e. g. high levels of conflict, distress, or disparagement) on a child in the family, including effects on the child's mental or other medical disorders.” (P. 716.)

Also important to consider when assessing for the presence of alienation is a quote from psychologist and lawyer, Christopher Barden, Ph.D., a Harvard trained lawyer, who stated:

“There can be no credible controversy about the power of parents to influence children.” (P. 420.)

Barden further challenged the professionals who intervene in child custody to accept their “critical obligation to carefully review the influence of parents, therapists or other adults on the attitudes, beliefs and memories of children.” (P. 420.)

What Barden is punctuating here is that the alienated child’s ruminations and vicious, frivolous attacks upon the targeted/alienated parent cannot be given credibility as the child will simply reflect the brainwashing words of the alienating, ventriloquist parent.

The DSM 5 has further assessed the family dynamic of alienation (or my preference to label as “ pathological triangle”) to be a form of psychological child abuse. Let me again quote from this manual regarding the diagnostic code 995.51, “ Child Psychological Abuse:”

“Child psychological abuse is nonaccidental verbal or symbolic acts by a child's parent or caregiver that result, or have reasonable potential to result, in significant psychological harm to the child….Examples of psychological abuse of a child include berating, disparaging, or humiliating the child; threatening the child; harming/abandoning----or indicating that the alleged offender will harm/abandon-----people or things that the child cares about.” (P. 719.)

In my 2012 book, The Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Family Therapy and Collaborative Systems Approach to Amelioration, I devoted a chapter as to why alienating a child from a parent is emotional child abuse. In this book, I quoted many respected alienation-aware professionals as to why, in their professional opinion, engaging in the family dynamic of alienation is severe psychological child abuse.

Stanley Clawar, Ph.D., C.C.S. and Brynne Rivlin, M. S.S. in their 1991 book entitled, Children Held Hostage: Dealing with Programmed and Brainwashed Children, published by the American Bar Association, states the following:

“The effects of losing not only the intact family, but also a parent, hang heavily over children, touching them in ways that can wreak havoc in many realms of life both in the present and future. As adults, many victims of bitter custody battles who had been permanently removed from a targeted parent----still long to be united with the lost parent. The loss cannot be undone. Childhood cannot be recaptured. Gone forever is that sense of history, intimacy, lost input of values and morals, self-awareness, knowing one's beginnings, love, contact with extended family, and much more. Virtually no child processes the ability to protect him or herself against such an undignified and total loss.” (P. 105.)

Jayne Major, Ph.D. (2006), stated the following:

“Because PAS [alienation] is the most severe kind of abuse of a child's emotions, there will be scars and lost opportunities for normal development. The child is at risk of growing up and being an alienator also, because the alienating parent has been the primary role model. (P. 285.)

Glenn Cartwright, Ph.D., (2006), elaborated about this family dynamic as follows:

“The awful outcome of PAS [alienation] is the complete separation of the child or children from a parent. Even more dreadful is that it is deliberately caused, maliciously done, and entirely preventable. This terrible form of child abuse has long lasting effects for all concerned." (P. 286.)

Craig Elliott, Ph.D., (2006), elaborated on the family dynamic of alienation as follows when he described it as:

“A destructive family pathology because it attributes a quality of ‘evil,’ without cause or foundation and, to a parent who once nurtured and protected the same child that has now turned against him or her.” (P. 228.)

I would like also to quote four of my professional colleagues with whom I have personally collaborated on these type of cases and who have assessed the family dynamic of alienation to be a form of severe psychological child abuse.

Amy J. L. Baker holds a Ph.D. in developmental psychology with a specialization in early social and emotional development. She is the Director of Research at the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection at the New York Foundling. She has conducted one qualitative study on adults who experienced the PAS as children, at least two studies using standardized measures on adults who also had this experience, several studies on parents who had the experience of the other parent interfering with their relationship with their child, and one survey of custody evaluators. She is a widely recognized and highly respected as a forensic evaluator for determining the presence of the PAS. In her 2007 research study entitled, Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome, Dr. Baker summarized the research she did on adult child victims of alienation as follows:

65% of the study's participants were afflicted with low self-esteem; 70% suffered episodes of depression due to the belief of being unloved by the targeted parent and from extended separation from their parents; 35% engaged in substance abuse as a means to mask their feelings of pain and loss; 40% lacked trust in themselves as well as in meaningful relationships because the trust was broken with their parents; 50% suffered the heartbreaking repetition of the alienation by becoming alienated from their own children. (PP. 180–191.)

Raymond Havlicek, Ph.D., is a forensic and clinical psychologist who is a Diplomat of the American Board of Professional Psychology and a Fellow at the American Academy of Clinical Psychology. He is a founding member of the Parent Coordinator Association of New York. Dr. Havlicek has completed hundreds of child custody evaluations for Supreme and Family Courts throughout New York State. He has been consulted by CPS to do evaluations for that agency. He is currently developing an educational program for upstate New York judges concerning issues of child custody and parental alienation. He specializes in family reunification, domestic violence treatment, validation for sex abuse, and assessment and treatment of parental alienation.

Dr. Havlicek stated the following about the family dynamic of alienation for my book interview:

“There is no question that PAS [alienation] is a form of child abuse. It is a horror show. The damage to children is enormous. When a child loses a parent, they are killing off a part of themselves because there is an identity between the child and both parents. The result is that they become self-injurious. I see all the warning signs and all the flags of the self-hatred: nightmares, anxiety, oppositional behaviors in school, presence of gastrointestinal syndromes, failing school grades, more susceptibilty to peers with oppositional behaviors, juvenile delinquency, substance abuse, depression.” (P. 214.)

Barbara Burkhard, Ph.D., co-founded Child and Family Psychological Services, P. C., Smithtown, New York in 1999 with Jayne Albertson-Kelly, Ph.D. The agency provides research-informed therapy for children and families. It has a contract with Suffolk County Department of Social Services (DSS) to provide therapeutic child/parent visits and evaluations of parents who have been accused of abuse and neglect. They also receive referrals from Suffolk County Supreme and Family Courts for custody evaluations, therapeutic visitation, reunification therapy, and forensic mental health evaluations and risk assessments. These may include problems related to high conflict divorce such as parental alienation. They further receive referrals for sex abuse validations as well as referrals to provide therapy for children who are victims of crime. Prior to co-founding this agency, both Dr. Burkhard and Dr. Kelly worked for a community agency that treated abused and neglected children.

In her interview with me for my book, I asked Dr. Burkhard how she would assess the effect of alienation on children, and she replied the following:

“This is maltreatment of children in the most profound way." (P. 211.)

She continued to explain that they are seeing children years subsequent to their initial evaluation so that her agency is in a position to observe the outcomes. She is concerned that alienated children are empowered when asked to join with the alienating parent as an ally. She continued:

“These children do not follow rules; they are out of control; they are basically naughty and lack limits. These children behave as if they have license to do whatever they want. It may have begun as a breakdown in not having to respond the authority of and respect for the other parent. In the cases of treatment or court failure to reunite, we have seen the lack of respect for authority figures including the favored parent, school, and the law. Among the cases where reunification efforts have failed are children who have dropped out of school, become addicted to drugs, born children out of wedlock addicted to drugs, and engaged in other antisocial behaviors. This is not a good outcome.” (P. 212.)

To provide a clearer picture for the reader about how disturbed these children become, Dr. Burkhard compared them to another group of kids whom she treats on a regular basis:

“This other group of children have been raped, burned, beaten, sexually abused, and victims of crime. If they are in the newspapers, the children are likely to wind up in this office because we specialize in traumatized children. And yet, they don't hold a candle in terms of symptoms and prognosis to the PAS children. PAS kids are a mess." (P. 212.)

Dr. Burkhard continued to express how PAS children suffer emotional abuse:

“Childhood is a time to develop a sense of responsibility. It is a time to develop a conscience. Children who become alienated have this fundamental aspect of their development derailed. They are not only not held accountable for their mistakes and misdeeds, they may be encouraged to tell lies or exaggerate the truth, and otherwise act in ways that are disrespectful of others. That these behaviors are reinforced by a trusted parent further undermines normal moral development as well as the development of their ability to develop normal relationships.” (P. 212.)

Dr. Kelly asserted during her interview for my book that children who become victims of alienation suffer lifetime damage. She expressed it as follows:

"They do not learn interpersonal problem solving because they are often prevented from working out realistic everyday conflicts with a parent. This is simply not healthy in the long run. This affects them in a very negative way." (P. 212.)

In addressing the damage of alienation on adolescents, who are generally not receptive to confrontation, Dr. Kelly stated the following:

"Adolescents are very difficult to disabuse of the PAS. Having permission or a sanction from a parent to treat the other parent so badly is going to, at some point, have a very deleterious effect on their ability to interact with others.” (P. 212.)

I have written several articles about, testified multiple times as an expert witness about, wrote a chapter in my book about, was numerous times interviewed on radio and TV shows about how the family dynamic of parental alienation----or “the pathological triangle”---- is a severe form of psychological child abuse.

Linda Gottlieb Licensed Therapist with over forty years in practice , Speaker and Author , gives host Kevin Avard a basic understanding of (PAS) Parental Ali...

The following is a brief summary as to why I have adopted this professional opinion:

A child cannot feel loveable if a parent is perceived to have abandoned her/him and/or does not love her/him. The inevitable result is that the child “will seek love in all the wrong places.”

A child’s self-concept is that she/he is constituted of ½ mother and ½ father. If a child hates a parent or thinks ill of a parent, then the child will have self-hatred and poor self-esteem; this inevitably induces bad behavior.

Because lying, deceit, disrespect, and aggression have been normalized for the child, alienated children frequently fail to conform to the norms and values of their cultural environment.

Because the child’s judgment, perception, reality testing, and superego (the conscience) have been compromised, psychosis can be a result.

The double-bind situation of being unable to have, love, and to be loved by both parents can lead to psychosis.Remaining with hatred and anger is not healthy under any circumstances, let alone for a parent.

The process of using a child to serve the emotional needs of the alienating parent and doing that parent’s appalling bidding is abuse in itself. It is a reversal of a healthy family hierarchy.

The child is continually operating under a cloud of anxiety because the fear of a slip of the tongue and/or behavior will reveal the child's true loving feelings for and longing for the alienated parent. This will inevitably lead to horrific consequences from the alienating parent.

The child suffers from depression because having a parent severed from her/his life is a loss----a loss of the most severe kind.

These children often suffers from guilt because, on some level they recognize that they have maltreated a parent. And if that parent is no longer available for an apology when the child is in a position to provide it, the guilt will last a lifetime.

The emotional hole left in the child from the loss of a parent is generally filled with a great deal of negativity including, but not limited to: eating disorders, cutting, criminal activities, antisocial and acting out behaviors, defiance, disrespect for all authority, cognitive distortion, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, poor peer relationships, educational issues, drug abuse, and a general malaise about one's life.

The child’s individuality is compromised because the alienating parent fails to recognize the child as a separate person from her/him with different needs, feelings, and opinions----particularly for the other parent.

In sum, a child cannot be whole if a parent is driven from her/his life!

It is in the child's best interests that contact and…

WLYB….NOW’s Opposition to PAS Inclusion in DSM-V Anti-Science, Anti-Dad, Anti-Mom, Anti-Child
July 2nd, 2012 by Robert Franklin, Esq. 
The National Organization for Women’s reputation for honesty and integrity hit an all-time low with the NOW Foundation’s publication of this screed against recognition of Parental Alienation Syndrome. The piece recycles most of the long-discredited notions about PAS we see so often and it does so for the purpose of opposing fathers’ rights to...
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Fathers-4-Justice USA
Visitation is for criminals.
WLYB…..Most “experts” wouldn’t make it ½ thru these questions THANK YOU LINDA
Glen Gibellina
WLYB…..Most “experts” wouldn’t make it ½ thru these questions THANK YOU LINDA

Questions for the alienator’s “expert” witness and/or the child’s individual t...
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Tennessee Father Accused of Abuse Wins Privacy of Psychologist Records

Memphis family lawyers, Miles Mason Family Law Group, PLC is located in Memphis, Tennessee serving clients in Germantown, Collierville, Bartlett and the West Tennessee area.

The mission of the Memphis divorce attorney team at Miles Mason Family Law Group, PLC is to take clients safely through the challenges of divorce, with a support group of passionate, understanding Tennessee divorce law professionals - people who appreciate the magnitude of divorce troubles and to create a safe haven while clients take the necessary steps to improve their life.

Mental illness diagnosis alone does not constitute neglect court says...

In a ruling affirming a decision by Kings County Family Court Judge, Susan S. Danoff, and denying an appeal by New York City's Administration for Children's Services, the Second Judicial Department of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York said in essence that a mental illness diagnosis does not by itself constitute neglect on the part of a parent.

In this case, the mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder before the births of two children. ACS brought a petition of neglect against her based on that diagnosis. Judge Danoff denied the petition, ACS appealed.

Quoting form case law, the appellate court said in its decision released yesterday, "A finding of neglect may be predicated upon proof that a child's physical, mental, or emotional condition is in imminent danger of becoming impaired as a result of a parent's mental illness." ACS, said the court failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence "the existence of a causal connection between the mother's bipolar disorder and actual or potential harm" to her children. The entire decision can be read here.

A scathing expose of the fraud inherent in the use of "expert" psychological testimony in the courtroom.

From the high-profile murder trials of the Menendez brothers and Jeffrey Dahmer to personal injury, product liability and child custody cases, lawyers across the country have increasingly turned to "expert" testimony from psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers to influence the decisions of judges and juries.

Psychologist Margaret Hagen, a professor and medical industry insider, details the very real danger of this booming business. In every state, a child can be taken away from a parent on the strength of five minutes of "neutral" testimony from a social worker. A criminal suspect's freedom or incarceration can depend on a superficial psychological examination performed by an incompetent, overworked, or, at worst, paid-off psychologist. Parole hearings hinge on the testimony of similarly incomplete or fraudulent evaluations, allowing "rehabilitated" violent criminals back onto the street to commit more heinous crimes, with no accountability for the reviewing "expert." Unmasking some legal psycho-expertise as a total fraud, Dr. Hagen instructs readers to protect themselves and their families from being victimized by psychological testimony in the courtroom. In today's frenzied legal climate, her insight and wisdom make for provocative, compelling and invaluable reading

We only support organizations who show an understanding that children need both parents, and that either parent is equally capable of the choice to perpetrate hate or declare peace.


  1. Children's Bill of Rights


    Every kid has rights, particularly when mom and dad are splitting up. Below are some things parents shouldn't forget -- and kids shouldn't let them -- when the family is in the midst of a break-up.

    You have the right to love both your parents. You also have the right to be loved by both of them. That means you shouldn't feel guilty about wanting to see your dad or your mom at any time. It's important for you to have both parents in your life, particularly during difficult times such as a break-up of your parents.

    You do not have to choose one parent over the other. If you have an opinion about which parent you want to live with, let it be known. But nobody can force you to make that choice. If your parents can't work it out, a judge may make the decision for them.

    You're entitled to all the feelings you're having. Don't be embarrassed by what you're feeling. It is scary when your parents break up, and you're allowed to be scared. Or angry. Or sad. Or whatever.

    You have the right to be in a safe environment. This means that nobody is allowed to put you in danger, either physically or emotionally. If one of your parents is hurting you, tell someone -- either your other parent or a trusted adult like a teacher.

    You don't belong in the middle of your parents' break-up. Sometimes your parents may get so caught up in their own problems that they forget that you're just a kid, and that you can't handle their adult worries. If they start putting you in the middle of their dispute, remind them that it's their fight, not yours.

    Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins are still part of your life. Even if you're living with one parent, you can still see relatives on your other parent's side. You'll always be a part of their lives, even if your parents aren't together anymore.

    You have the right to be a child. Kids shouldn't worry about adult problems. Concentrate on your school work, your friends, activities, etc. Your mom and dad just need your love. They can handle the rest.


    ----Special Concerns of Children Committee, March, 1998

    "Children's Bill of Rights" is a publication of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. © 1997 - 2001. All rights reserved. "Children's Bill of Rights" may be reproduced under the following conditions:

    It must be reproduced in its entirety with no additions or deletions, including the AAML copyright notice. It must be distributed free of charge. The AAML reserves the right to limit or deny the right of reproduction in its sole discretion.

    © 2013 AAML Florida. 3046 Hawks Glen Tallahassee, FL 32312 | 850-668-0614

    The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. Before you decide, ask the attorney to send you free written information about their qualifications and experience. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

      Brotherhood of Trainmen v. Virginia ex rel. Virginia State Bar, 377 U.S. 1; v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335; Argersinger v. Hamlin, Sheriff 407 U.S. 425 ~ Litigants can be assisted by unlicensed laymen during judicial proceedings.

      Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41 at 48 (1957) ~ "Following the simple guide of rule 8(f) that all pleadings shall be so construed as to do substantial justice"... "The federal rules reject the approach that pleading is a game of skill in which one misstep by counsel may be decisive to the outcome and accept the principle that the purpose of pleading is to facilitate a proper decision on the merits." The court also cited Rule 8(f) FRCP, which holds that all pleadings shall be construed to do substantial justice.

      Davis v. Wechler, 263 U.S. 22, 24; Stromberb v. California, 283 U.S. 359; NAACP v. Alabama, 375 U.S. 449 ~ "The assertion of federal rights, when plainly and reasonably made, are not to be defeated under the name of local practice."

      Elmore v. McCammon (1986) 640 F. Supp. 905 ~ "... the right to file a lawsuit pro se is one of the most important rights under the constitution and laws."

      Federal Rules of Civil Procedures, Rule 17, 28 USCA "Next Friend" ~ A next friend is a person who represents someone who is unable to tend to his or her own interest.

      Haines v. Kerner, 404 U.S. 519 (1972) ~ "Allegations such as those asserted by petitioner, however inartfully pleaded, are sufficient"... "which we hold to less stringent standards than formal pleadings drafted by lawyers."

      Jenkins v. McKeithen, 395 U.S. 411, 421 (1959); Picking v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 151 Fed 2nd 240; Pucket v. Cox, 456 2nd 233 ~ Pro se pleadings are to be considered without regard to technicality; pro se litigants' pleadings are not to be held to the same high standards of perfection as lawyers.

      Maty v. Grasselli Chemical Co., 303 U.S. 197 (1938) ~ "Pleadings are intended to serve as a means of arriving at fair and just settlements of controversies between litigants. They should not raise barriers which prevent the achievement of that end. Proper pleading is important, but its importance consists in its effectiveness as a means to accomplish the end of a just judgment."

      NAACP v. Button, 371 U.S. 415); United Mineworkers of America v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715; and Johnson v. Avery, 89 S. Ct. 747 (1969) ~ Members of groups who are competent nonlawyers can assist other members of the group achieve the goals of the group in court without being charged with "unauthorized practice of law."

      Picking v. Pennsylvania Railway, 151 F.2d. 240, Third Circuit Court of Appeals ~ The plaintiff's civil rights pleading was 150 pages and described by a federal judge as "inept". Nevertheless, it was held "Where a plaintiff pleads pro se in a suit for protection of civil rights, the Court should endeavor to construe Plaintiff's Pleadings without regard to technicalities."

      Puckett v. Cox, 456 F. 2d 233 (1972) (6th Cir. USCA) ~ It was held that a pro se complaint requires a less stringent reading than one drafted by a lawyer per Justice Black in Conley v. Gibson (see case listed above, Pro Se Rights Section).

      Roadway Express v. Pipe, 447 U.S. 752 at 757 (1982) ~ "Due to sloth, inattention or desire to seize tactical advantage, lawyers have long engaged in dilatory practices... the glacial pace of much litigation breeds frustration with the Federal Courts and ultimately, disrespect for the law."

      Sherar v. Cullen, 481 F. 2d 946 (1973) ~ "There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of his exercise of Constitutional Rights."

      Schware v. Board of Examiners, United State Reports 353 U.S. pages 238, 239. ~ "The practice of law cannot be licensed by any state/State."

      Sims v. Aherns, 271 SW 720 (1925) ~ "The practice of law is an occupation of common right."

  2. The Father-Daughter Institute ~
    A father who leaves or is taken away from his daughter suddenly, and never again lives in the home with her again, can leave a daughter forever afraid to allow herself to be vulnerable to a man as an adult woman, for fear he to will surely leave her.
    Mrs. Johnson is a Psychotherapist, Researcher and Father-Daughter Communications Coach.
    The Father-Daughter Institute -

    Personally, I can’t find anyone willing to reject that statement publicly. It’s a fundamental truth. We now have a wealth of evidence demonstrating children are better off, in most situations, when they have something near equal time with each parent. So why are shared-parenting bills are being rejected throughout the country?

    Do legislators believe mothers are more important to children than fathers? For the most part, I don’t think so. Politicians are, however, under quite a bit of pressure from some very powerful anti-shared parenting special interests. Recently, we’ve seen these opponents contribute to shared-parenting bills failing to pass in South Dakota and Minnesota.

    Some would argue disappointments like those are clear signs that shared parenting legislation will not happen anytime soon. The opposite is true. The near victories in these states and others is an enormous indication politicians are beginning to understand the vast majority of American citizens believe children of divorce deserve equal access to both parents, whenever possible.

    In fact, South Dakota’s bill lost in a 21-13 Senate vote. That’s a swing of 5 senators. If merely 5 senators felt more pressure from South Dakotans than they did from special interests, South Dakota would have a shared parenting statute. We should commend the remaining politicians in South Dakota’s Senate for doing the right thing.

    In Minnesota … well, Minnesota is a travesty. That bill passed, and on May 24, 2012 Governor Mark Dayton vetoed it. Governor Dayton claimed that both sides made “compelling arguments,” but because the “ramifications” of the legislation were “uncertain,” he decided to single-handedly overrule the will of his constituents and their representatives. Mr. Governor, unless you are ending slavery or beginning women’s suffrage, you will likely never have the benefit of “certainty” in your political career. Again, we should praise the Minnesotan politicians who voted for the bill.

    Six people. Six people stopped two states from enacting shared parenting. Six people do not indicate shared parenting is a distant hope – they indicate profoundly that it is an imminent inevitability.

    Mike Haskell is a divorced dad, shared parenting supporter and practicing family law attorney in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

    ACFC is America's Shared Parenting Organization


    The members of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children dedicate ourselves to the creation of a family law system and public awareness which promotes equal rights for ALL parties affected by issues of the modern family.

    ACFC is challenging the current system of American family law and policy. Through a national system of local affiliates and in alliance with other pro-family and civil liberties groups, ACFC is shifting the public debate to the real causes of family dissolution.

    Written by Gordon E. Finley, Ph.D., Miami

    While I applaud columnist Paul Flemming for a sound review of the issues in Saturday’s “Alimony bill will be great — for lawyers,” his bottom-line conclusion is dead wrong.

    The proposed state alimony reform bill will reduce litigation, not increase litigation. A bit of history: For years, the divorce vultures (a.k.a., the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar) have conned the Florida Legislature into writing divorce legislation that maximizes litigation and thus maximizes their income. In part, they have accomplished this by maximizing judicial discretion, which in practice means endless conflict and, of course, endless paid litigation.

    No matter what they may say, the divorce vultures are interested only in one thing — maximizing their income.

    I can irrefutably demonstrate this point with Flemming’s own words: “Thomas Duggar, an attorney in Tallahassee and a member of the Florida Bar’s Family Law Section, said last week at a Tallahassee Bar Association meeting that the section has a $100,000 war chest to sway public opinion against the legislation.”

    Do your readers honestly believe they are spending all this money so they will lose income? The divorce vultures get the message in terms of what alimony reform will cost them — and save the children, fathers and mothers of divorce. I regret Mr. Flemming did not do the same.

    Full Disclosure: I am an alimony-paying divorced father of two young adult daughters and retired university divorce researcher with multiple research and scholarly publications on this topic.

  5. Dear Friends,

    One in six Americans know someone who has been falsely accused of domestic violence. The silver bullets in divorce, false allegations are sometimes used to obtain child custody. This despicable act removes fit and loving parents from the lives of their children.

    Please take a moment, as soon as possible, and speak out for the millions of children who are missing a falsely accused parent. And do it for the parents who are grieving for their children, stolen with a lie.

    Find your senators here:

    Take note of their party affiliation and phone number.

    If your senator is a Republican, call, and ask them to support Sen. Grassley's Substitute Amendment to VAWA.

    If your senator is a Democrat, call, and ask them to demand changes to Sen. Leahy's VAWA (S. 1925), to curb false allegations of domestic violence.

    Do it For the Children, Stolen with a Lie

    Thank you for taking a stand for affected families everywhere.

  6. “Justice is a part of the human makeup. And if you deprive a person of Justice on a continuous basis, it’s really an attack (and not to get religious or anything) but it’s an attack on the human soul. We have, as societies, evolved ideas of Justice and we have done that because human nature needs Justice and it needs resolution. And if you deprive somebody of that long enough they’re going to have reactions…” ~ Juli T. Star-Alexander – Executive Director, Redress, Inc.

    Redress, Inc. 501c3 nonprofit corporation, created to combat corruption. Our purpose is to provide real assistance and solutions for citizens suffering from injustices. We operate as a formal business, with a Board of Directors guiding us. We take the following actions to seek redress: Competently organize as citizens working for the enforcement of our legal rights. Form a coalition so large and so effective that the authorities can no longer ignore us. We support and align with other civil rights groups and get our collective voices heard. Work to pass laws that benefit us and give us the means to fight against corruption, as is our legal right, and we work to repeal laws that are in violation of our legal rights. Become proactive in the election process, by screening of political candidates. As individuals, we support those who are striving to achieve excellence, and show how to remove from office those who have failed to get the job done. Make our presence known through every legal means. We monitor our courts and judges. We petition our government representatives for the assistance they are bound to provide us. We publicize our cases and demand redress. Create a flow of income that enables us to fight back in court, and to assist our members impoverished by the abuses inflicted on us. Create the means to relieve the stresses on us, as we share information and support each other. We become legal advocates for each other; we become an emotional support network for each other; we problem solve for individuals on a group basis! Educate our judges, lawyers, court personnel, law enforcement personnel and elected leaders about our rights as citizens! Actively work to eliminate incompetence, bias/prejudice, special relationships and corruption at all levels of government! Work actively with all media sources, to shed light on our efforts. It is reasonable to expect that if the authorities know we are watching and documenting, that their behaviors will improve. IT'S A HUGE TASK! Accountability will not happen overnight. But we believe that through supporting each other, we support ourselves. This results in a voice for justice and redress that cannot be ignored. Please become familiar with our web site, and feel free to call. We need each other - help us to help you! Although we are beginning operations in Nevada, we intend to extend into each state in a competent fashion. We are NOT attorneys, unless individual attorneys join us as members. We are simply people helping people. For those interested, we do not engage in the practice of law. You might be interested in this article Unauthorized Practice of Law on the Net. Call Redress, Inc. at 702.597.2982 or e-mail us at WORKING TOGETHER TO ATTAIN FAIRNESS


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