Should children have rights when parents and other family members fight?

The Right to be Heard

The right to be heard is a valuable right. What makes it valuable is both that there is a point to making one's views known and, further, that making one's views known makes a difference. It matters to me that I can speak out on political questions. It matters also, and probably more, if what I say leads to the changes I favour. Correlatively it is true both that I do not want to be silenced and that I do not want the statement of my views to be ineffectual. As a further general point it is clear that there will always be some issues on which it is more important that I be allowed to speak and that what I say about these issues carries weight in determining outcomes. Those are the issues that matter to me, and the more they matter the more important it is that I have the freedom to speak about them and be heard. On one account since children's views should not be ‘authoritative’, that is determinative of what is done, they have only a ‘consultative’ role (Brighouse 2003). They may influence an outcome by, most obviously, providing those who do make the decisions affecting a child's interests with a clearer picture of what in fact is in those interests. On another account encouraging and according a weight to the expression of children's views—even where this is unlikely to affect outcomes in line with the views' content—is valuable just because the child is capable of expressing a view and deserves to be listened to (Archard and Skivenes 2009).
How is it with the child's right to be heard? It will be important for the child to be listened to. But it is also important that the child is heard in the sense that her views are given due consideration and may influence what is done. Note that the child's right to be heard on matters affecting its own interests is a substitute for the liberty right to make one's own choices. The right to be heard is only a right to have the opportunity to influence the person who will otherwise choose for the child. The power to make those choices resides with the adult guardian or representative of the child. All the child retains is the right to try to motivate that adult to choose as the child herself would choose if she was allowed to.


Divorced parents can deprive their children of important childhood memories. Five suggestions to help your children through the devastating blow of divorce.

"A Parent-Partner Status for American Family Law"

Professor Merle H. Weiner (University of Oregon School of Law) has published A Parent-Partner Status for American Family Law (Cambridge University Press):

Despite the fact that becoming a parent is a pivotal event, the birth or adoption of a child has little significance for parents' legal relationship to each other. Instead, the law relies upon marriage, domestic partnerships, contracts, and some equitable remedies to set the parameters of the legal obligations between parents. With high rates of nonmarital childbirth and divorce, the current approach to regulating the legal relationship of parents is outdated. A new legal and social structure is needed to encourage parents to act as supportive partners and to deter uncommitted couples from having children. This book is the first of its kind to propose a new "parent-partner" status for American family law. Included are a detailed discussion of the benefits of the status as well as specific recommendations for legal obligations.


Systematic Brainwashing and Manipulation with Intent to Destroy

A Family's Heartbreak:A Parents Introduction to Parental AlienationWhat is Parental Alienation

The late author and child psychiatrist Richard A. Gardner coined the term Parental Alienation Syndrome more than 20 years ago to characterize the breakdown of previously normal, healthy parent-child relationships during divorce and child custody cases. The definition of parental alienation is heartbreakingly simple—one parent deliberately damages, and in some cases destroys, the previously healthy loving relationship between the child and the child’s other parent.

Many mental health professionals argue over whether the patterns of behaviors that make up parental alienation constitute a clinical “syndrome.” Parental Alienation Syndrome is not in the DSM, the psychology profession’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. The manual is the clinician’s guide to symptoms and syndromes and the definitive diagnosis on any legitimate mental health condition.

Whether or not mental health professionals ever classify parental alienation as a clinical “syndrome,” the patterns of behavior that make up this destructive family dynamic are often consistent within families where parental alienation exists.

Unresolved psychological and emotional issues are at the foundation of the alienating parent’s behavior. These issues may lie dormant for years, but when the divorce, the ultimate adult abandonment, becomes real, the alienating parent becomes symptomatic.

Many professionals identify three levels of parental alienation—low, moderate and severe—to describe increasingly more destructive parental alienation behavior. These “levels” are nothing more than identifying marks or labels along a continuum of behaviors. These marks make it easy for people to clarify and compare the behaviors. Both psychologists and lay people need labels to quickly and easily communicate complicated concepts.

Moms, Dads, Sons, Daughters — who reunites more?


"The Family" and Family Courts

Dr. Stephen Baskerville in Amsterdam at the 5th World Congress of Families

Dr. Baskerville presents a compelling argument for a paradigm shift globally to recognize the role of both fit parents in children's lives and a departure from the current trajectory toward the growing welfare state in western civilization.

 By now the Committee on the Rights of the Child (“Committee”), which is charged with overseeing the implementation of the United NationsConvention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), has made so many exaggerated claims of authority that they can’t even shock us anymore. Well, until they do.

Last month the Committee issued its review of CRC implementation by the Holy See, the political entity of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church. While the extreme leftist agend of the Committee has never been much of a secret, it is on display at its most egregious in this “Concluding Observations” report.

The key issues of “concern” for the Committee were as one might expect: abortion, teen sexuality, homosexuality (and homosexual marriage), corporal punishment (spanking), and parental rights. According to Catholic Church doctrine, abortion is the murder of an unborn child; sex is intended only within the confines of marriage; homosexual activity or lifestyle is a sin; a moderate spanking is – or can be - a part of godly discipline; and parents have the ultimate God-given responsibility for their children.

But the Committee disagrees on all points. What’s more, they communicated the expectation that the Catholic Church must change its stance on all of these topics to comply with the Convention. In so doing, the Committee placed its own opinion above the Scriptures, traditions, and religious convictions of the Catholic Church.


Woman Admits Lying About Domestic Violence To Jail Husband

Dr. Phil Show: Woman Reluctantly Admits Lying About Domestic Violence To Jail Husband For 10 Months

Dr. Phil gets this women to come clean and admit she lied about DV which led to her husband being throw in jail for 10mths over DV he never committed.
DVI- The Inside Story from Tom Lemons on Vimeo.
Finally I am releasing my documentary DVI The Inside Story for public viewing. I hope all of you enjoy the film. I will begin production of my next film (untitled) in September, which will contain shocking footage from inside a County Clerk's Office and Batterer's Intervention Programs. I'll keep you posted.

False Allegations Cost Man 20-years in Prison

Charles Ray Spencer, once a police officer in Vancouver, British Columbia, was incarcerated for 20-years after a conviction for molesting his two children.  Now, his son and daughter have announced that the molestation never happened and it was a product of police coercion and parental alienation on the part of their mother.
On July 10th, 2009, Matthew Spencer and Kathryn Tetz testified in Clark County Superior Court in an effort to clear their father’s name after all of these years.
It appears from their testimony that a combination police coercion, prosecutorial misconduct, and their mother’s parental alienation forced them to make these allegations when they were 9- and 6-years old, respectively.  They even recalled details such as the detective on the case, Sharon Krause plying them with ice cream and questioning them incessantly.  This prompted Matthew to make his allegation just to get her to stop.  Kathryn recalled the ice cream but not what she told the detective.
It took until 2004 for Spencer’s sentence to be commuted after problems come to light regarding the conviction, including prosecutors withholding medical exams that showed no evidence of any abuse whatsoever despite claims that the sexual abuse was violent and repeated.
Shockingly, Charles Ray Spencer still carries the horrendous label of “convicted sex offender”  and will retain the label unless his convictions are overturned.  Worse still, prosecutors are still saying that they don’t believe he was wrongfully convicted and, if the convictions are overturned, they will appeal to the Supreme Court.
Both children said that while growing up in California they were told by their mother, who divorced Spencer before he was charged, that they were blocking out the memory of the abuse.
Several things come to mind as I read this story.
  • The lengths that police, detectives, and prosecutors will go to secure a conviction are boundless.  Withholding evidence that would demonstrate that the accusations were baseless, aside from being criminal, supports what many already believe – a conviction has now become more important than the truth.
  • That despite all you read that challenges the contention that parental alienation doesn’t exist, anyone with a reasonable level of intelligence must know that people can be trained to do just about anything.  Children are especially vulnerable.  Anyone who would contend that parental alienation doesn’t exist would do well to read this story and explain why they don’t believe that a malicious parent is incapable of teaching children to hate.
  • Finally, given what has been revealed in this story as it exists so far, any official who would dare challenge the overturning of Charles Ray Spencer’s convictions should be fired, criminally charged, and given a sentence of 20-years (minimum).  Those who were responsible for the wrongs committed against this man should immediately be arrested, convicted, and given the same sentence.  So should the mother.


How to Sue a Family Court Judge

ABA Section of Litigation: Children’s Rights Litigation

Children are the innocent victims of such litigation and the grief that it inflicts. They should not be awarded to the "winner" as if they were a prize, whether that winner is an adoptive parent or a biological parent. Children are blameless. 

Depriving a child of his/her established, psychological family ties without consideration of the harm he/she will suffer infringes upon his/her procedural due process rights. 

Children's Rights are constitutionally founded and are at the core of all liberties, for if children cannot count on the inalienable right to life and liberty in the family context, then what does our society offer them? 

These constitutional interests are both procedural and substantive. Therefore they should not be disturbed absent a compelling, established competing interest which is entitled to constitutional protection. Even then, if the constitutionally protected interests are in conflict and evenly balanced, the conflict should be resolved in favor of the child.

A Century of Legal Ethics: Trial Lawyers and the ABA Canons of Professional Ethics

The ABA Canons of Ethics was adopted in 1908 and created ethical standards for lawyers.

Children's Rights Litigation

How to Sue a JudgeBy David C. Grossack
onstitutional Attorney Common Law 


Examining Judicial Accountability and Immunity in the Family Courts ~~ Florida"s 11th Judicial Circuit

Exposing Family Court Judges' Unaccountability and Consequent Riskless Wrongdoing

The first case to recognize a non-custodial parent’s cause of action based on the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress was Sheltra V. Smith, 392 A. 2d 431 (Vt. 1978). In this case, the non-custodial parent brought suit for damages alleging that:

“defendant willfully, maliciously, intentionally, and outrageously inflicted extreme mental suffering and acute mental distress on the plaintiff, by willfully, maliciously, and outrageously rendering it impossible for any personal contact or other communication to take place between the (plaintiff and child).”  ~Id. at 433.

The Superior Court, Caledonia County, dismissed the complaint for failure to state of cause of action on which relief could be granted. The Supreme Court of Vermont, however, found that the plaintiff stated a prima facie case for outrageous conduct causing severe...


Florida legislators have been asked to look into reforms to help husbands who claim they have been victims of false domestic violence injunctions.

By Phil Attinger

BARTOW — Florida legislators have been asked to look into reforms to help husbands who claim they have been victims of false domestic violence injunctions.

In what one citizen referred to as a pendulum shift in the justice system, men who claim to have had their lives destroyed by false accusations of domestic violence or child abuse are hoping locally-elected legislators can help solve the problem.

On Thursday, locally-elected Florida state representatives and senators who represent all or part of Polk County got to hear about the problem.

William Dunn of Lakeland, part of the Florida chapter of Fathers Supporting Fathers, said he ran into a problem in 2006: The Department of Children and Families believed accusations that he had abused his daughter and took her away from him for 11 months.

In June 2007, DCF held a hearing to revoke Dunn’s parental rights, but the girl changed her story on the first day on the hearing, saying she hadn’t been abused.

She was returned to Dunn, but since then, he said his life has been a shambles and both he and his daughter have suffered medically from the stress.

He said DCF has not wanted to help him clear his name despite now knowing that the accusations were false.

Although legislators did not want to debate what should be done to solve the problem, they heard quite a bit from other petitioners.

James Petruska of Hernando Country said he lost his daughter, his $300,000 home, and his $150,000 business as a result of a false domestic violation injunction made by his ex-wife. Although it has since been found to be false, he said he has been unable to regain what he lost, especially his daughter.

He has approached Senator Ronda Storms (R-Valrico) with the issue. Her district — District 10 — covers Hernando County and part of Polk County.

Erik Romerhaus, with the SAVE (Stop Abuse of Violent Environments) Coalition in Washington, D.C., told the delegation that when the Violence Against Women Act passed in 1994, it was to protect women and men who were victims of domestic violence. Each state interprets it differently.

“Now the pendulum has swung a bit too far,” he said.

Tom Lemons of Spring Hill, who runs, said 80 percent of those injunctions are thrown out and used as a tactic in child custody cases.

He also alleged that the attorneys are the ones pushing the tactic, because it gives such a strong advantage.

If a woman makes a false claim of domestic violence, it can speed up the divorce process, Romerhaus said, so there is incentive to use it as a legal tactic, but it can drive the children out of the target parent’s life permanently.

In many cases, Romerhaus said, there is no due process for that accusation. Even if someone is innocent of the accusation, “you can kiss your kids goodbye.”

“I don’t blame the local judges as much as the federal law,” Clemons said. “Prosecutors are not filing cases on clear false allegations.”

When asked if she would be in favor of refining the statutes to provide some relief, Storms, a member of the Florida Bar, said that if someone is innocent, he deserves to have his name cleared and be with his children.

She would also like Romerhaus and others to work with domestic violence victims’ advocates to find out where they can agree on legal language that would help move the process forward.

Senator JD Alexander (R-Lake Wales) expressed empathy for the men who spoke, and encouraged them to continue to seek a solution within the legal system.


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