Family Court ~ A Bizarre System Encourages Parents To Use Disturbing Tactics

With Steven Sumner Discussing

Bullied to Death:

Chris Mackney's Kafkaesque Divorce

Conservatives aren't just fighting same-sex marriage; They’re also trying to stop divorce?!

For years, social conservatives have been fighting to prevent certain people from getting married. But they’re waging a parallel battle, too: Trying to keep married couples together.

In cooperation with the Family Research Council and the National Organization for Marriage, socially conservative politicians have been quietly trying to make it harder for couples to get divorced. In recent years, lawmakers in more than a dozen states have introduced bills imposing longer waiting periods before a divorce is granted, mandating counseling courses or limiting the reasons a couple can formally split. 

States such as Arizona, Louisiana and Utah have already passed such laws, while others such as Oklahoma and Alabama are moving to do so.

If divorces are tougher to obtain, social conservatives argue, fewer marriages will end. And having more married couples is not just desirable in its own right but is a social good, they say. During his presidential campaign, former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) emphasized finishing high school and getting married as cures for poverty. “If you do those two things, you will be successful economically,” he declared at a 2011 event in Iowa.

A legislative movement against divorce may seem like a non-starter in a country where half of married couples avail themselves of this right, but as with legal challenges to Obamacare and the rise of the tea party movement, today’s fringe idea can quickly become tomorrow’s mainstream conservatism.

Divorce has long been a cultural touchstone in America. Social conservatives regularly advocate a return to a more traditional system of divorce — namely that it be extraordinarily difficult to get. For example, the only way an Alabamian could get a divorce under the state’s original 1819 constitution: “No decree for such divorce shall have effect until the same shall be sanctioned by two thirds of both Houses of the General Assembly.” Even a battered wife — who, of course, couldn’t vote — would have to petition her all-male state legislature and get supermajority approval before being freed from matrimony.

For most of American history, to obtain a divorce, one party had to prove to a judge that the other party was at fault, meaning he or she had committed certain grievous acts that irreparably harmed the marriage, such as adultery or being convicted of a felony. Emotional or physical abuse wasn’t always enough; even adultery or abandonment could be insufficient if a spouse reluctant to get divorced convinced a judge that his or her partner was similarly culpable. And as historian Glenda Riley showed in her 1991 book “Divorce: An American Tradition,” loveless couples often found creative ways to persuade judges to end their marriages: As recently as the 1950s, some couples would stage a bust, complete with hotel room, “mistress,” photographer and private detective who would testify in court about the husband’s (or wife’s) supposed illicit deeds.

This system began to crumble during the 1960s. In 1969, California became the first state to legalize no-fault divorces — permitting divorce without requiring proof of wrongdoing such as adultery — in the Family Law Act, signed by Gov. Ronald Reagan. Within a decade, 45 other states had joined California. By 1985, 49 states had legalized no-fault divorce; New York did just four years ago.

No-fault divorce has been a success. A 2003 Stanford University study detailed the benefits in states that had legalized such divorces: Domestic violence dropped by a third in just 10 years, the number of husbands convicted of murdering their wives fell by 10 percent, and the number of women committing suicide declined between 11 and 19 percent. A recent report from Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress found that only 28 percent of divorced women said they wished they’d stayed married.


167 Red Flags of Parental Alienation

Miami-Dade County Support Group Meeting for Victims of the Family Court System


If the child can withstand the alienating parent’s lies and manipulations, then bad parenting is certainly taking place, but Parental Alienation Syndrome is not. It becomes Parental Alienation Syndrome when the child capitulates and begins to participate in the campaign against the targeted parent. This is where the real damage occurs to a child’s developing personality and young mind and heart.

Dr. Richard A. Gardner did pioneering work identifying Parental Alienation Syndrome in the mid-eighties. He characterized the disorder as a cluster of symptoms:

  • A campaign of denigration waged against the target parent.
  • Weak, absurd or frivolous rationalizations given for the deprecation.
  • The child’s lack of natural ambivalence for both parents.
  • The child displays “independent thinker” phenomenon.
  • The child reflexively supports the alienating parent throughout the parental conflict.
  • The child displays no guilt about cruelty to and exploitation of the target parent.
  • The child employs scenarios borrowed from the alienating parent.
  • The animosity includes the friends and family of the target parent.

Re-blogged from: logo

by Vincent Schiele to my children & To those that may be concerned

Read more here:

167 Red Flags or Examples of Parental Alienation

The Alienating parent will exhibit specific behaviors, signs and symptoms than those of the children and the target parent.  The following examples of Alienators behavior are called Red Flags.  The more of these a parent exhibits or enacts, the higher the probability of PAS occurring.  Below is a list of over 150 most often used tactics to alienate children from a parent.  A score of 10 or more is an indicator of PAS

  1. Impeding with visitation, despite orders
  2. Denigrating the other parent in front of anyone who will listen, including the children, as well as calling the TP or step-parent derogatory names in front of the child.
  3. Filing allegations of abuse while constantly dragging the ex into court for child support or alimony.  (Note: A truly abused individual wants to have nothing to do with the abuser, making face-to-face confrontation out of the question.)
  4. Stopping any contact with the children and the ex’s extended family or friends who disagree with them
  5. Believing that they are above the law, and that all orders/laws were made for everyone else but them.
  6. Impeding Communication with the children, including blocking access to school records and meetings and events.
  7. Grilling the children about their visit, asking the children to spy or collect evidence.
  8. Refusing visitation because the ex spouse has been unable to afford the child support or not made a payment.
  9. Statements of constant hatred and vengeance about the ex-spouse
  10. Refusal to disclose their home address


And, with 40% of working women out-earning their husbands, women are more and more becoming alimony PAYORS.


As a non-profit organization, Florida Alimony Reform’s lifeboat pulls alimony PAYORS out of treacherous waters by providing education, support and the political platform to stimulate legislative change.
Their mission is to improve Florida’s alimony law memorialized in the 1860’s and slightly tweaked in 2012 – so that both party’s – the potential PAYOR and RECIPIENT of alimony – are equally considered before alimony is awarded and during their lifetime for changes in circumstances.
With a new alimony bill submitted for review to the Florida legislative in September 2015, opposition continually makes alimony a feminist issue – but it seems to be more about who has the most money.
And, with 40% of working women out-earning their husbands, women are more and more becoming alimony PAYORS.
During a recent committee meeting, women testified tearfully about hardships for their children – and while family matters tend to be emotional for men and women, it is important to note that Florida’s Alimony Law has nothing to do with Florida’s Child Support Law.
State seal of FloridaIn addition to increasing the fairness and reducing costs for divorce and alimony proceedings, if passed, the new alimony bill would not be retroactive, and will not result in termination of alimony for senior women, who represent less than 1% of alimony recipients.
The new alimony bill has a lot of support behind it, as Florida’s citizens are PAYORS that must live with the uncertainty of how they can pay – once they no longer can work.
In other words, how the State of Florida should consider changes in their circumstances – for example, when PAYORS are burdened with dramatic drops or complete stops in income, at retirement when social security starts, and when permanent or temporary medical and handicapped conditions arise.
Worse, rarely do the RECIPIENTS changes in circumstances come into play – such as when a RECIPIENT is fully supported by a live-in partner and no longer needs alimony to survive – or when a RECIPIENT is qualified to work but holds off looking for a job because they would lose alimony.
Current law does not afford the PAYOR nor RECIPIENT to plan for the future. If elected officials do not bring some measure of predictability and fairness to the equation, both sides can end up bankrupt when the PAYOR’s income stream ends.
Support Florida Alimony Reform at, or call 800-239-0867.

First Husbands Advocacy Group - Florida Alimony and Custody Laws Reform We LOVE and THANK Representative Ritch Workman for all his hard work, determination, and passionate support for Alimony Reform.

This is his speech from the 2015 Legislative Session.

It is powerful, heartfelt, and inspiring. The legislators and the Florida Bar Family Law Section are in agreement about the need for alimony reform. It is long overdue.

On January 12, 2016 the Florida Legislature session begins and we are confident Alimony Reform will finally be a reality. 
There is overwhelming support for Representative Burton's HB 455 and Senator Kelli Stargel's companion SB 668. 


A Florida Judge's Horrible Idea on Family Law Reform.

What does alimony have to do with “The Baby Mama Syndrome”? Next to nothing. Only married people getting a divorce can get alimony. On the other hand, Florida legislators keep trying to pass alimony “reform,” a code word for changing the law to the disadvantage of people who need protection or help.

The proponents of “alimony reform” combine it with a provision that would require a judge to “presume” that parents, whether they’re married to each other or not, are entitled to 50-50 time-sharing of their children. In other words, the judge would be told by the law to assume that each parent is entitled to have the child half the time.
That’s a horrible idea.


Alienating Children From "FIT" and "WILLING" Parents Is A Form Of Child Abuse...isn't it?

Children and parents who have undergone forced separation from each other in the absence of abuse, including cases of parental alienation, are highly subject to post-traumatic stress, and reunification efforts in these cases should proceed carefully and with sensitivity. Alienated children seem to have a secret wish for someone to call their bluff, compelling them to reconnect with the parent they claim to hate; despite strongly held positions of alignment, alienated children want nothing more than to be given the permission and freedom to loveand be loved by both parents (Baker, 2010). Yet the influence of the alienating parent is too strong to withstand, and children’s fear that the alienating parent may fall apart or withdraw his or her love holds them back. Research has shown that many alienated children can transform quickly from refusing or staunchly resisting the rejected parent to being able to show and receive love from that parent, followed by an equally swift shift back to the alienated position when back in the orbit of the alienating parent (Fidler and Bala, 2010). Thus while children’s stated wishes regarding parental residence and contact in contested custody afterdivorce should be considered, they should not be determinative in cases of parental alienation.
Reunification efforts subsequent to prolonged absence should be undertaken with service providers with specialized expertise in parental alienation reunification. A number of models of intervention have been developed, the best-known being Warshak’s (2010) Family Bridges Program, an educative and experiential program focused on multiple goals: allowing the child to have a healthy relationship with both parents, removing the child from the parental conflict, and encouraging child autonomy, multiple perspective-taking, and critical thinking. Sullivan’s Overcoming Barriers Family Camp (Sullivan et al, 2010), which combines psycho-educational and clinical intervention within an environment of milieu therapy, is aimed toward the development of an agreement regarding the sharing of parenting time, and a written aftercare plan. Friedlander and Walters’ (2010) Multimodal Family Intervention provides differential interventions for situations of parental alignment, alienation, enmeshment and estrangement. All of these programs emphasize the clinical significance of children coming to regard their parents as equally valued and important in their lives, while at the same time helping enmeshed children relinquish their protective role toward their alienating parents.
In reunification programs, alienated parents will benefit from guidelines with respect to their efforts to provide a safe, comfortable, open and inviting atmosphere for their children. Ellis (2005) outlines five strategies for alienated parents: (1) erode children’s negative image by providing incongruent information; (2) refrain from actions that put the child in the middle of conflict; (3) consider ways to mollify the anger and hurt of the alienating parent; (4) look for ways to dismantle the coalition between the child and alienating parent and convert enemies to allies; and (5) never give up on reunification efforts. As much as possible, Warshak (2010) recommends, alienated parents should try to expose their children to people who regard them, as parents, with honor and respect, to let children see that their negative opinion, and the opinion of the alienating parent, is not shared by the rest of the world. This type of experience will leave a stronger impression than anything the alienated parent can say on his or her own behalf, according to Warshak.
As Baker (2010) writes, alienated parents acutely feel the hostility and rejection of their children. These children seem cruel, heartless, and devaluing of their parents. Yet it is important to realize that from the child’s perspective, it is the targeted parent who has rejected them; they have been led to believe that the parent whom they are rejecting does not love them, is unsafe, and has abandoned them. Thus, the primary response of the alienated parent must always be one of loving compassion, emotional availability, and absolute safety. Patience and hope, unconditional love, being there for the child, is the best response that alienated parents can provide their children, even in the face of the sad truth that this may not be enough to bring back the child.
With alienating parents, it is important to emphasize that as responsible parenting involves respecting the other parent’s role in the child’s life, any form of denigration of a former partner and co-parent is harmful to children. Children’s connections to each parent must be fully respected, to ensure their well being, as children instinctively know, at the core of their being, that they are half their mother and half their father. This is easier said than done, as alienating parents are themselves emotionally fragile, with a prodigious sense of entitlement and need to control (Richardson, 2006), and thus pose significant clinical challenges. Yet poisoned minds and instilled hatred toward a parent is a very serious form of abuse of children. When children grow up in an atmosphere of parental alienation, their primary role model is a maladaptive, dysfunctional parent. It is for this reason that many divorce specialists (e.g., Fidler and Bala, 2010) recommend custody reversal in such cases, or at least a period of separation between a child and an alienating parent during the reunification process with an alienated parent. I have come to believe, however, that the means of combating alienation should not themselves be alienating, and that a non-punitive approach is most effective, with co-parenting being the primary goal. Thus engaging and involving the alienating parent in reunification programs, whenever possible, is critical (Sullivan et al, 2010).

Parent-Child Reunification After Alienation

Thank you to the members and supporters of Parental Alienation Awareness Organization USA North Texas Chapter who made valuable contributions to the article, both with personal stories and expert advice.

PAAO ~ "Parental Alienation is either a form of Domestic Violence or on the continuum of Domestic Violence behaviors."


Any parent who is deprived of his or her child, even though temporarily, suffers grievous loss.

Such loss deserves extensive due process protection.

According to attorney Rachelle E. Hill, of Bean, Kinney and Korman, and a judge, that is precisely the claim. Their lawyer has written the offices of A Voice for Men to demand that we remove a post from the forums containing the note.
It is not going to happen.
The text of the note was posted to our forums months ago. We considered doing a feature story on it at the time, but opted not to because we had no credible corroboration that the story was factual.
Attorney Hill, her law firm, and the suicide victim’s former wife have now resolved that matter to our satisfaction. The demand letter itself is sufficient for us to believe that the following note is genuine.*


Don't you lose hope, your daddy is here!

The poem below was sent by ACFC member and supporter Mike H. In it he captures the essence of lost Christmas' many men experience but ends in a way that exudes the attitude of a father determined to overcome the challenge of being separated from his children. Together, with the same attitude we will overcome this system that pits family member against family member.

Three Dark Christmases

The first and the darkest painful Yule Tide
Came after a year of chasing my bride

Her anger as cold as the winter snow
Was buried so deep, how could a man know?

With hope I had ventured across the land
Hoping in Heaven to still hold her hand
I was ignorant of her hateful plan

To steal from me children, loves of my life
Who would suspect that from his lovely wife?

We were celebrating Christmas that day
And because I was no longer away

My goal to make that Christmas so lovely
But that painful day I would have spared you

The pain you would feel when mommy would say... I hate you! Get out! While nearby you played

How shocking it was on that hateful morn
To learn that mommy viewed daddy with scorn

Stunned I was also, my child and my joy
To hear words of hate come out of your mom

Your mother, my lover, my friend and wife
Gave me no warning of this change in life

"Get out" I did, twas the last time I saw
You, or spoke to you for many weeks more

We met the next week on a frigid night
I can recall the thought, can I save this?

Perhaps I might remind her of fam-ly
Of children and of happier times when

Our love was stronger. I thought I'd prevail
I'm sorry my child, my love, but I failed

I asked her for reasons that fateful night
The answer she gave me was quite a slight

"You're not good enough for me" said my wife
The worst seven words I’ve heard in my life

Shocked, I went through the daily motions of
Routine, hoping I'd wake from this bad dream

Thinking the worst part was over for me
Soon did I learn that I was not quite right

When six weeks had passed since that Christmas night
Being apart from the loves of my life

The weeks turned to months that we were apart
And I almost did succumb to my heart
Until one day I finally “got it.”
I am a father, and fathers don't quit.
Back home to my fam-ly is where I went
Feeling a failure to my Heaven-sent
I went back to regroup, and back to heal
I went back to learn of strength unrevealed
Strength that was born of a weakness profound
Broken and humbled, 'twas self love I found
To learn that to love you, I first must love Me.
Because a daddy who hates himself
Cannot a good daddy be
I attacked with a passion flaws I had
Because nothing is better than being "Dad"
During these dark months, often I would say:
“Know I will always love you and be near
I will never give up, my child, don't fear”
Well, another dark Christmas came last year
I spent all I had to bring Yuletide Cheer
No way! Not a chance! Is what she did say
These children are mine! You just go away!
Just a short visit, I begged and I pled.
But she slammed the door and wished I were dead
I learned that tears can freeze, that Christmas day
A message from God to strengthen my heart
For His children need a daddy who's smart
Into the snow I went pondering this
Onto the motel I brought all your gifts
Thinking of ways for your spirits to lift
A visit we had, and love we did share
It wasn't on Christmas, and though not fair
Was happy to see you. I didn't care
How much you had grown! Your feet and your hair!
Telling you Daddy would always be there
And noticing that now you might not care
Stuffing this fear because I know what's right
A child needs a daddy on Christmas night
Well, Daddy is here, loves; this is not right
I gave you my love, hon, in that short time
That time they allowed, so short twas a crime
There's never been danger from me, my love
Never did I harm my purpose for life
No, we're both victims of a bitter wife
Sure, mistakes I have made during my life
But nothing that merits this bitter strife
Frozen tears I pondered on my way home
And the lessons you'll miss before you're grown
If this dad gave up on this fight of fights
I will not. I cannot. This just ain't right
So a team I did hire to help me win
This unfortunate battle that's a sin
And money they did charge, hand over fist
It was payment toward our big Christmas list
But when Christmas season was 'round the bend
I realized no money I had to spend
To pay for more promises unfulfilled
And support the local lawyers guild
So I parted ways with my lawyers then
And approached the third Christmas, now darkened
But have heart in this story my children
This is where good things will really begin
Know that your daddy has a plan for you
Because frankly, there's nothing I won't do
As I write this on Christmas the third so far
Please know my darlings that daddy's going to war
No more tears will I shed for the time that we've lost
No more lamenting the exorbitant cost
Of fighting to see you so little it hurts
No more will I let lawyers make things worse
No, they've woken a tiger whose efforts won't wain
They've taunted a father whose children are in pain
It's time that this daddy dealt some of the same
So don't you despair this Christmas my loves
Send those scary thoughts to God up above
He loves you like me, and knows what you need
Ask him to bless Daddy with strength and speed
Your heavenly father will never fail
I know cuz he's carried me through this tale
See he's my Father, too, and he loves me
A perfect example of fathering
He has a big plan, and it involves us
Being together for our next Christmas
Having this knowledge, this passion, this love
Has caused your daddy to take off the gloves
Within legal bounds I will focus my strikes
Just anger will focus my thoughts at night
Bad things come in threes, they always do say
So we're about due for a lovely day
So don't you lose hope, your daddy is here
There's no reason for sadness, or of fear
Your father, he loves you. He'll make this right
Let's see if these bastards know how to fight

Take Action Now!

Children's Rights Florida

Florida Family Law Reform

Family Law Community

Search This Blog

American Coalition for Fathers and Children

Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek.

Abuse (7) Abuse of power (1) Abuse of process (5) Admission to practice law (3) Adversarial system (83) Advocacy group (3) African American (1) Alienator (1) Alimony (7) All Pro Dad (1) All rights reserved (1) Allegation (2) Alliance for Justice (2) American Civil Liberties Union (3) American Psychological Association (1) Americans (2) Anecdotal evidence (2) Anti-discrimination law (1) Arrest (1) Bar association (1) Best interests (42) Bill (law) (1) British Psychological Society (1) Broward County (1) Broward County Public Schools (2) Brown University (1) Catholic Church (1) Center for Public Integrity (2) Chief judge (26) Child Abuse (48) Child custody (78) Child development (6) Child neglect (2) Child protection (15) Child Protective Services (19) Child Support (64) Children (3) Children's Rights (83) Christine Lagarde (1) Christmas (3) Circuit court (3) Civil and political rights (14) Civil law (common law) (1) Civil liberties (9) Civil Rights (145) Civil rights movement (1) Class action (1) Communist Party of Cuba (1) Confidentiality (1) Constitutional law (1) Constitutional right (5) Contact (law) (11) Contempt of court (4) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (1) Coparenting (28) Copyright (1) Copyright infringement (1) Corruption (1) Court Enabled PAS (92) Court order (2) Cuba (1) Cuban Missile Crisis (1) Cuban Revolution (1) Custodial Parent (1) Declaratory judgment (3) Denial of Reasonable Parent-Child Contact (110) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (2) Divorce (124) Divorce Corp (6) Divorce Court (1) Documentary (25) Domestic Violence (51) Dr. Stephen Baskerville (5) Dred Scott v. Sandford (1) DSM-5 (1) DSM-IV Codes (1) Due Process (45) Due Process Clause (1) Dwyane Wade (1) Easter (1) Equal-time rule (2) Ethics (1) Events (10) Exposé (group) (1) Facebook (19) Fair use (1) False accusation (4) False Accusations (57) Family (1) Family (biology) (2) Family Court (198) Family Law (113) Family Law Reform (119) Family Rights (87) Family therapy (10) Father (12) Father figure (2) Father's Day (1) Father's Rights (12) Fatherhood (106) Fatherlessness Epidemic (4) Fathers 4 Justice (3) Fathers' rights movement (46) Fidel Castro (1) Florida (214) Florida Attorney General (7) Florida Circuit Courts (19) florida lawyers (30) Florida Legislature (6) Florida Senate (11) Foster care (1) Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution (1) Fraud (1) Free Speech (1) Freedom of speech (1) Frivolous litigation (1) Fundamental rights (12) Gainesville (1) Gender equality (1) Government Accountability Project (2) Government interest (2) Grandparent (3) Havana (1) Healthy Children (14) Human Rights (119) Human rights commission (1) I Love My Daughter (56) I Love My Son (8) Injunction (1) Innocence Project (1) Investigative journalism (1) Jason Patric (2) JavaScript (1) Joint custody (8) Joint custody (United States) (16) Judge (5) Judge Judy (7) Judge Manno-Schurr (55) Judicial Accountability (103) Judicial Immunity (7) Judicial misconduct (8) Judicial Reform (3) Judicial Watch (2) Judiciary (3) Jury trial (1) Kids for cash scandal (1) Law (2) Lawsuit (9) Lawyer (8) Legal Abuse (150) Liar Joel Greenberg (16) Linda Gottlieb (1) Litigant in person (1) Little Havana (1) Marriage (6) Matt O'Connor (1) Men's rights movement (1) Mental disorder (1) Mental health (2) Meyer v. Nebraska (1) Miami (44) Miami-Dade County (8) Miami-Dade County Public Schools (1) Miscarriage of justice (42) Mother (4) Motion of no confidence (1) Movie (4) Music (8) Nancy Schaefer (1) National Fatherhood Initiative (1) Natural and legal rights (1) News (89) Nixa Maria Rose (16) Non-governmental organization (1) Noncustodial parent (4) Organizations (60) Palm Beach County (1) Parent (35) Parental Alienation (116) Parental alienation syndrome (15) Parental Rights (36) Parenting (12) Parenting plan (6) Parenting time (7) Parents' rights movement (38) Paternity (law) (1) Personal Story (22) Pierce v. Society of Sisters (1) Pope (1) Posttraumatic stress disorder (27) President of Cuba (1) Pro Se (30) Pro se legal representation in the United States (3) Prosecutor (1) Protest (1) Psychological manipulation (1) Psychologist (1) Public accommodations (1) Public Awareness (108) Raúl Castro (1) Re-Post/Re-Blog (12) Research (1) Restraining order (4) Rick Scott (12) Second-class citizen (1) Self Representation-Pro Se (31) Sexism (1) Sexual abuse (2) Sexual assault (1) Shared Parenting (92) Single parent (6) Skinner v. Oklahoma (1) Social Issues (59) Social Media (1) Spanish (8) Stand Up For Zoraya (47) State school (1) Student (1) Supreme Court of Florida (8) Supreme Court of the United States (5) Tampa (1) Testimony (23) Thanksgiving (2) The Florida Bar (10) The Good Men Project (1) Trauma (4) Troxel v. Granville (2) True Story (21) Turner v. Rogers (1) United States (26) United States Congress (1) United States Constitution (1) United States Department of Justice (4) Videos (51) Violence Against Women Act (1) Whistle-blower (3)