Protective Mothers' Alliance International

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Protective Mothers Are Heroes

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Missing boys reunite with heartbroken mother/ Nancy Grace

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The fugitive father of two missing New Jersey brothers has been located and apprehended
Missing since February 5, Parker and Jaxon Dohm were found safe at a motel in New Port Richey, Florida, with their father
At the time of his arrest, Kristopher Dohm was in the company of Edward William Tarras, who was on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s ‘Top Ten Most Wanted’ list
On Wednesday night, New Jersey father Kristopher Dohm, 36, was located and arrested at a motel in New Port Richey, Florida, on charges related to the alleged abduction of his two sons, Parker, 8, and Jaxon, 7, in February.

The last time Sandra Hughes Dohm spoke to her children was Thursday, February 6. She told HLN’s Nancy Grace, “My ex-husband Kristopher was taking them on a trip to Nevada to see their grandparents and he was supposed to fly back with them on Monday and he never showed up with them.” The Dohms had an amicable divorce in 2012 and have shared custody of Parker and Jaxon.

Sandra said, “I was very surprised, not expecting this from him at all. Apparently, my perception of our good relationship was different than his.” The heartbroken mother took to social media to plead for any help in finding her children and ex-husband, a plea which was finally answered.

Kristopher Dohm was arrested on March 18 for interference with custody and unlawful flight to avoid prosecution. The boys were held with child protection investigators until their mother arrived, according to the Sussex County, New Jersey, Prosecutor’s Office.

At the time of his arrest, Kristopher Dohm was in the company of Edward William Tarras, 39, a fugitive who had been on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s “Top Ten Most Wanted” list since last August; Tarras has been charged with multiple sex crimes in that state.

According to a press release from Sussex County Prosecutor Francis Koch, Tarras was charged by the Smyrna, Tennessee, Police Department with one count of rape, two counts of sexual battery, 19 counts of especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of sexual exploitation of a minor over 100 times. It is alleged that on August 15, 2014, Tarras cut off his tracking bracelet and fled Tennessee.

Both Dohm and Tarras are currently in custody at the Pasco County Jail; Parker and Jaxon were apparently unharmed and have been reunited with their mother. It is unclear whether Dohm or Tarras has obtained an attorney, and calls to the Pasco County Public Defender’s Office have not been returned.

The 40-day investigation ending with the safe return of Jaxon and Parker Dohm included the help of the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office, the Hopatcong Police Department, the New Jersey State Police Missing Persons Unit and Child Abduction Response Team, and several offices of the United States Marshals Service.

In the press release, Prosecutor Francis Koch said they were also assisted by the local, state and national media by assuring that information about Parker and Jaxon was disseminated to the public to assist in gaining tips and leads. Koch asked HLN to “please tell Ms. Grace thank you for taking on the cause and the importance of it, for staying on it and getting the word out. Thank you.”

Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

March 25, 2015 at 8:21 am

CHAMBER OF SECRETS/ A Pregnant Mother Goes Undercover To Keep Custody Of Her Children / 48 hours CBS

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This is an older story previously posted on our site. This amazing story was reported by 48 hours- CBS. We have decided to re- post because it is a powerful story of success for a Hero Protective Mom. Enjoy!

Frieda Hanimov’s American dream was once a big house in a swanky New York neighborhood. It’s a world away from the poverty where she grew up.

Her parents fled Russia, emigrated to Israel, and at the age of 18, this young nurse made her way to America. Just a few weeks later, she met the man she would marry, Yury Hanimov, whose business was diamonds. They would have three children, Yaniv, Sharon, and Natti.

Life was good. But after 13 years of marriage, Yuri announced to his wife that his business was failing. The dream house had to be sold, and they moved to a small apartment in Brooklyn.

Frieda says her husband told her they had to pretend to be divorced. She claims it was part of a scheme to hide their assets. “He gave me diamonds,” she says. “He told me that it’s worth over $6 million. He told me not to show it to anybody.”

“They shine. They’re gorgeous,” adds Frieda, showing Correspondent Lesley Stahl the diamonds.

But one day, Yury didn’t come home. Frieda says he just disappeared with his clothes, and was unreachable by phone. And the diamonds? “Zircon,” says Frieda.

The diamonds were fake, but the separation papers Frieda signed were real. And she says she had unknowingly signed away her rights to any of her husband’s assets.

“This is a crime. What he did to me was a crime,” says Frieda, who hired a lawyer to try to stop the divorce.

She pinned her hopes on the wisdom of a New York State Supreme Court justice, Judge Gerald Garson. “He would see that this is a set-up,” she says. “And you know, a woman married to her husband, a mother of three, will get her rights.”

But when she walked into his court, her hopes were shattered. “The judge tells me that I better settle this case and I don’t have any chances,” says Frieda. “He told me if I’m not gonna settle, I’m gonna end up in jail.”

The judge chastised her for renting an apartment she co-owned with her husband, without his permission. Stunned by the judge’s behavior, Frieda says she saw no choice but to agree to the divorce.

“I said, ‘To hell with the money. I’m a nurse. I’ll make it. As long as I have my kids, I’ll just continue with my life. It’s not the end,'” says Frieda.

Two years later, Frieda fell in love, got married and became pregnant.

Frieda says her ex-husband got jealous, and began trying to convince the children they would have a better life with him. Her 13-year-old son, Yaniv, liked the idea.

One night, when Frieda came home from work, her ex-husband called the police on her. “[They said,] ‘Your son said that you hit him with a belt,'” recalls Frieda.

Yaniv was standing outside with his father, and told the police his mother had beaten him with a belt three days earlier. Frieda says her son had a fresh red mark on his face, one that looked like it was new: “My ex-husband pointed to my son and said, ‘You see? You see the red line? This is mommy hit him with a belt.'”

She says she has no idea how the red mark got on her son’s face: “I don’t know. Kids play basketball, they jump. I don’t know.”

“I never hit my kids. Never ever. I’m against it,” adds Frieda. “My kids are well dressed. Very clean. Honors in school. I’m proud to be their mother.”

Frieda was arrested, and at that point, she says her son protested. “He said, ‘No, no it was a misunderstanding.’ Then he went to my ex-husband and started hitting him and saying, ‘Daddy, you lied to me. You said they’re not going to hurt Mommy,'” recalls Frieda.

“They put me in a cell with I will say 30-50 people. All knocked out. Me shaking. Pregnant,” says Frieda. “Sitting and crying and I can’t believe my son did this to me. It’s for no reason. I never hit my son.”

Then the news got even worse for Frieda. Her ex-husband filed for custody; he wanted all the children. And the man deciding the fate of her family was Judge Garson.

“When Judge Garson called me into his chamber room, he asked me who I wanted to live with, my mother or my father. So I told him my mother,” says Sharon. “He told me that he’s an adult and he decides, whether I like it or not. So what’s the point of me talking to the judge if he didn’t even want to hear what I wanted to say?”

“I told him my mom,” says Natti. “And he said, ‘You never know what’s gonna happen. It’s up to me.'”

Frieda says she wasn’t going to sit and wait: “I’m not going to lose my kids.” She heard about a man, Nissim Elmann, who could help, a businessman who was boasting around town that he could influence the judge.

“I said, ‘Let me call him,'” says Frieda. “And he tells me that this judge is in his pocket.”

Frieda says Elmann told her he could prove it by dialing the judge himself. She listened in to the conversation, and says she heard a man say that she was going to lose her children in 30 days. She then hung up the phone, terrified.

Frieda began calling every law enforcement agency she could think of, including the FBI. “I was very hysterical,” she says.

She was directed to Bryan Wallace, Kings County assistant district attorney, who was the first investigator to take Frieda seriously. “There was a businessman named Nissim Elmann who claimed that he had influence in Judge Garson’s part,” says Wallace. “Of course, my antennas went up.”

“We’re not talking about a traffic ticket here or someone jumping a turnstile. We’re talking about corruption in the court system. And the pawns that are being played with here are children,” says prosecutor Noel Downey, who works with Wallace in the Rackets division.

“We explained to her that we needed to, in essence test her, to see if what she was telling us was the truth,” says Michael Vecchione, Downey and Wallace’s boss, who knew that proving corruption in the courts would be difficult.

“I told them, ‘Put wires on me,'” says Frieda. “I’ll prove you this judge is corrupted.”

“We couldn’t cover her inside the warehouse. It’s a rather stark and daunting place. It’s kind of brick and closed up and so once Frieda went in that location [she was on her own],” says Vecchione. “Her allegations were that a Supreme Court Judge had been bribed. She was about to lose children.”

Frieda, three months pregnant, was on an undercover mission to expose corruption. She headed to a warehouse in downtown Brooklyn to meet with Elmann.

“We didn’t really know what Nissim Elmann was about. We didn’t know what he was capable of,” says Vecchione, who assigned detectives Jeanette Spordone and George Terra to Frieda.

The detectives wired up Frieda. “She was a tiger. She was protecting her cubs,” says Spordone. “It was ballsy of her to go in there. We pulled up and watched her go in. We really didn’t know what was going on inside that warehouse.”

Frieda found Elmann right in his office. Their conversation was mostly in Hebrew. Elmann tells Frieda that the judge is looking at papers submitted by her ex-husband. Frieda then pleads with Elmann, who shows her his cell phone, with Judge Garson’s phone number on the screen.

Elmann, an electronics salesman, guarantees she’ll win custody of her two younger children, but it will cost her.

Two weeks later, Frieda, wearing a wire again, visits Elmann to negotiate a price for her children. The price to keep custody of Sharon and Notti was $9,000.

Frieda says it worked. She says Judge Garson and Paul Siminovsky, a lawyer assigned by Garson to represent her children, soon began treating her differently. “I was seeing results,” says Frieda. “In the beginning, I was so dangerous. Now, I’m a very good mother.”

“She saw such a difference, how people treated her from top down,” says Downey. “We noticed it as well.”

Now, it was up to the district attorney to figure out how an electronics salesman from Brooklyn could possibly be influencing custody decisions. They put a tap on Elmann’s phone.

On tape, Elmann assures Siminovsky that he’s working to get him money from various divorce litigants. Simonovsky also brags about boozing it up with Judge Garson.

Detectives begin tailing Siminovsky, who is seen in a surveillance tape hugging Elmann. “Siminovsky and Elmann have a very tight relationship,” says Downey. “Siminovsky has a very tight relationship with the judge.”

Investigators believed they had figured out the food chain, literally. Vecchione showed 48 Hours the bar where “Siminovsky and the judge would meet for lunch, drinks and dinners.”

“They were very well known at the Archives because they were there every afternoon,” adds Spordone. “Very friendly. They were buddies.”

“I’m talking about an attorney who would bring the judge out to lunch, to drinks, to dinners,” says Downey. “Not once, but we’re talking several hundred times. Every time, Siminovsky paid.”

“Paul Siminovsky would pick up the tab. It was a given,” says Terra. “People know that this lawyer is before this judge on a case. It’s wrong. It’s inappropriate. It’s unethical.”

If this was what going on in public, authorities wanted to know what was happening behind closed doors. Were judicial decisions being bought?

On a cold December night, detectives from the district attorney’s office made their way into Judge Garson’s chambers. They placed a tiny camera in his ceiling.

“We had a microwave dish that would read signals going back to our office,” says Vecchione. “We had people who were monitoring it, all day long and into the evening.”

Just weeks after Frieda, terrified she was going to lose her children, started working undercover to try to prove whether Judge Garson was taking payoffs, the district attorney began surveillance of the judge and his meetings with Siminovsky.

“You have this attorney Siminovsky getting inappropriately cozy with a judge who’s appearing before, that he has cases with,” says Downey.

One of Siminovsky’s clients was Sigal Levi’s estranged husband, Avraham Levi. Detectives secretly listened in as Judge Garson told Siminovsky that his client would win the family home – and that Levi would “walk away with nothing.” At a later date, Garson instructs Siminovsky how to write a memo on the issue.

According to investigators, the judge and the lawyer said things about other women, too. “The way he spoke about women was really just beyond sexist,” says Downey. “I think it borders on disturbing.”

Investigators say they heard Siminovsky tell Elmann what Garson said about Frieda. “The judge was admiring her lips,” says Vecchione.

But the worst thing that was going on in Garson’s chambers, according to investigators, were the kickbacks – in the form of lucrative work. “You see Siminovsky’s assignment numbers almost triple,” says Vecchione.

Investigators say all the wining and dining of the judge paid off for Siminovsky in a big way. If a child needed representation in a custody case, Garson would assign Siminovsky as the law guardian – and the divorcing parents or the taxpayers would foot the bill, often tens of thousands of dollars.

Garson’s behavior was especially appalling for Joe Hynes, the district attorney in charge. For him, the investigation was personal.

“I saw the way the courts treated my mother when she was being beaten up by my father. I have a very special interest in making damn sure that kinda stuff doesn’t continue,” says Hynes. “Frankly, I was shocked that it was going on at all. I thought that there had been significant changes in the way the courts acted towards women litigants and their kids.”

The district attorney thought he had the goods on Siminovsky, but he wanted Judge Garson. He told his staff to offer Siminovsky a deal and get him to flip. They would recommend that Siminovsky serve no prison time.

It was an offer he couldn’t refuse. Simonovsky took the deal; he would wear a wire and go see the judge.

The district attorney bought a $275 dollar box of cigars. “And one afternoon, after Siminovsky went to lunch with the judge, and after he paid for the lunch again, came back to the robbing room, gave him the box of cigars,” says Vecchione. “And said, ‘This is thanks for your help in the Levy case.'”

Next, Siminovsky brought $1,000 in cash as a thank you to Garson for referring a case to him in another court.

“You see him reach into his pocket and he takes out a thousand dollars, and he hands it over to the judge and the judge takes it and put it into his pants pocket,” says Vecchione, describing what is happening on the tape. “Siminovsky leaves, and the judge takes it out of his pocket. Takes a couple of bills and puts it into another pocket and puts some in an envelope.”

Judge Garson then calls Siminovsky back to his office. He tells Simonovsky that it’s too much money and tries to give it back. But Siminovsky insists, and in the end, Garson keeps the money. “What we had all suspected he would do, he actually did,” says Vecchione.

“Joe Hynes, the district attorney in this case, would like nothing better than to tag Jerry Garson with the fact that he accepted a bribe,” says attorney Ronald Fischetti, who represents Judge Garson, and says the judge’s behavior may look bad, but there’s nothing illegal about any of it.

“He never fixed a case. He never accepted any money on any cases whatsoever. The $1,000 was a referral fee that Paul Siminovsky said, ‘You referred me a case. I received a fee. And here’s the $1,000 dollars.'”

Are judges supposed to take referral fees? “Absolutely not. And he tried to give it back three times,” says Fishetti.

“But he didn’t try to give it all back,” says Stahl.

“He did. The whole $1000,” says Fischetti. “You see him counting it out. Put it in an envelope, opened a drawer, gave it back to him. That’s our position.”

But Garson ended up taking it. “You’ve heard of the law of entrapment, I’m sure,” says Fischetti, who adds that Garson showed Siminovsky no special treatment in exchange for all those meals.

“The only bribe he’s accused of taking is lunch and dinner with Paul Siminovsky in order to have favorable treatment for Paul Siminovsky and give him law guardianships. Now I tell you, I mean, that it is so ridiculous on its face. A person like Jerry Garson, who’s a Supreme Court judge, is not going to throw on his robes for a hamburger.”

“But the judge is on tape telling and coaching Siminovsky on how to win the case in front of him,” says Stahl. “He’s giving him lessons. He’s telling him how to write memos. That’s on tape.”

“I understand that. He had made a decision regarding the property in that case, and what he was doing is telling Paul Siminovsky, in his own words, that he had ruled his favor, and you’re gonna win. And that’s wrong,” says Fischetti.

“He says, ‘Your client’s gonna win. But he doesn’t deserve it,'” says Stahl. “It sounds as though he’s saying, ‘I shouldn’t be doing this. But because of our relationship, I’m going to.”

“That’s not correct,” says Fischetti.

But 48 hours after Judge Garson took that money, detectives picked him up and brought him to a place they call “the Gulag.” The $1,000 was still in his pocket.

When Judge Garson saw what investigators had on tape, they say he offered to cut a deal. But in the end, it fell apart.

Nine months after Frieda went undercover, the authorities arrested Garson and charged him with receiving a bribe. Accepting all those free lunches could put the judge behind bars for up to seven years.

When investigators raided Elmann’s warehouse, they found a treasure trove of documents. “When these drawers are opened, you feel like you’re in a satellite file room for the matrimonial court,” says Downey.

Investigators arrested Elmann, retired court clerk Paul Sarnell, and Judge Garson’s court officer Louis Salerno. They were accused of taking bribes to steer cases to Garson’s court.

A surveillance tape shows Salerno accepting a bribe, a bag full of electronics, right on the courthouse steps.

“It’s a conspiracy, first and foremost,” says Downey, who adds that the unraveling of it all started with Frieda.

But there were dozens of women who say that because of Judge Garson, they lost custody of their children.

Sigal Levi, the woman whose divorce Garson was discussing in the undercover tape, had always suspected corruption. In fact, she’s the one whose tip to Frieda about Elmann started Frieda on her crusade.

Garson was arrested before he ruled on Levi’s case, but her estranged husband pleaded guilty to conspiring to bribe the judge. “He told me he went to the right people to take care of me,” says Sigal Levi.

Her husband paid Elmann $10,000. Ironically, he says he’s the victim, and that he only did it because Elmann threatened him and said he’d lose everything if he didn’t pay up.

“I knew about Sigal’s divorce probably before she did. I knew her name, what was going on,” says Lisa Cohen, who knew because she and her husband were friendly with Elmann.

“I knew that he had the judge in his pocket. I knew that he was very friendly with the judge as well as he had a very intimate rapport with Paul Siminovsky. … From the horse’s mouth, he told me, ‘Any favor you need, the judge is in my pocket.'”

So when Cohen and her husband went through their own divorce later that year, she says she was terrified: “I received the notice in the mail to appear in Supreme Court. And sure enough, Judge Garson’s name was right there. Said that’s it. I’m doomed. I’m fixed. And it’s all over.”

The district attorney has not charged Cohen’s ex-husband with any wrongdoing, but she still believes her husband’s friendship with Elmann hurt her. She feels Judge Garson shorted her on child support.

Garson has not been charged with fixing any decisions, but an administrative judge has been appointed to review his divorce and custody rulings.

Elmann, the man alleged to be the gatekeeper of Garson’s corrupt court, sat down with 48 Hours for his first interview. He had his lawyer, Gerald McMann, by his side.

Did he ever bribe Judge Garson? “Absolutely not,” says Elmann.

And Siminovsky? “I was not under the impression that I was bribing him,” says Elmann.

In fact, Elmann has been charged with conspiracy to bribe practically everyone in Judge Garson’s court, from employees Salerno and Sarnell, to Siminovsky, to Judge Garson himself.

But Elmann says he never really knew the judge, and that he was just trying to hook people up with a lawyer the judge seemed to favor: “I was really showing off that I’m a big shot, and that was my biggest mistake that I live was showing off.”

“When you told Frieda that if she didn’t pay, she was going to lose her kids in 30 days, what did you mean,” asks Stahl.

“There’s no question that his responses to her on many occasions, if they were true, would be criminal. But they weren’t true,” says McMann. “He was telling these people that ‘I have the judge in my pocket. Oh, I just got off the telephone with Judge Garson. I just did this.’ None of these things were true, not a single one.”

Did Elmann mislead Frieda? “I might have done that,” he says. “Just to calm her down.”

Elmann now says he lied to Frieda when he told her that her ex-husband had already bribed the judge. And in fact, there is no evidence that her ex slipped anyone any money, and he has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

Still, Elmann convinced Frieda that her ex was up to no good, and took $9,000 from her. He says he gave it all to Siminovsky.

“Not even one cent [did I keep],” says Elmann. “Everything, I give it to, not even one cent.”

“What did he do for anybody except his pocket. That’s it. What did he do? He destroyed children’s lives, and I don’t have answers for my children. I just don’t,” says Cohen.

But Elmann and his attorney believe that if anyone’s motives should be in question, it should be Frieda’s.

“Frieda Hanimov is not a crusader, trying to clean up corruption in Brooklyn. Nor is Joe Hynes,” says McMann. “Frieda is a useful tool so that Joe Hynes can get publicity for his case.”

Is McMann suggesting that Frieda is not a very truthful person? “I’m not suggesting it,” says McMann. “I’m stating it categorically. She’s a liar.”

McMann calls Frieda a child abuser who found a way to get the charges dropped. Did she hit her child? Vecchione says, “None of us believe she did. She felt that the husband had been manipulating her child, which is what happened.”

But Frieda still has to convince the court that she’s the better parent to raise her oldest son. And for two years after Judge Garson’s arrest, she’s still fighting for custody.

Finally, Yaniv, who still says his mother hit him, agrees to live with her because he wants to be near his school.

“I got my son back. It’s like my heart is like jumping up and down. This is every mother’s dream,” says Frieda. “You know, to have kids back. I can’t express that. This is a big win for me. A big win. I’m so glad. We got it.”

It seems that women all over the country have heard about what she’s done.

“I’m just a mother, who fight the system and won,” says Frieda, who’s being compared to Erin Brockovich.

Every month, women gather at Frieda’s house. And if Frieda hears what she thinks is evidence of corruption, she calls her new friends in law enforcement.

“If I can help those people,” she says. “I was there once. If I can help those women, why not?”

In the wake of Judge Garson’s arrest, court administrators have formed a new commission to reform New York’s divorce court. On this day, Judith Sheindlein is speaking. Before she was TV’s Judge Judy, she was a family court judge in New York for 25 years.

She says Judge Garson’s case is a wakeup call for New York and the rest of the country. “I don’t know all the facts. I only know what I read in the paper,” says Sheindlein. “But certainly, here is a man who has brought the judiciary into disrepute because of at least his stupidity. At least his stupidity.”

And she says she’s met plenty of judges with bad judgment. “There’s no question in my mind that decisions are made every day in cases, made because of cronyism,” says Sheinlein.

Whether or not Judge Garson is found guilty, the district attorney credits Frieda with forcing the leadership of the court to re-examine how they pick judges, handle custody cases, and train law guardians.

“Has Frieda done that? You bet she did,” says Hynes. “Were it not for Frieda, I doubt very much if anyone would have known about it.”

Now, Hollywood has come calling. A screenwriter is following Frieda around.

The script line is simple: A Russian immigrant, for whom English is a third language, exposed a potential sewer of corruption in an American court.

Electronics salesman Nissim Elmann has pleaded not guilty and goes on trial next week.

Retired court clerk Paul Sarnell was found not guilty of all charges. Court officer Louis Salerno was convicted of receiving a bribe and is awaiting sentencing.

Judge Gerald Garson has pleaded not guilty and will be tried this fall.

Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

February 19, 2015 at 7:12 am

Divorce- Expressed Through The Eyes Of The Children

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Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

January 7, 2015 at 3:30 am

Posted in divorce, DV by Proxy

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Originally posted on Karen Woodall

As PMA International has posted before, we prefer the term DV by Proxy to explain the manipulations an abuser parent uses to teach the child to reject the protective parent. We prefer this term because;

1. It more accurately depicts the actions taken by the abuser parent towards the child
2. There has been a lot of misinformation about parental alienation circulating the internet and beyond.
3. The term parental alienation and /or parental alienation syndrome has been use as a legal defense for abusive dads in family court. Most often this term has been used by the attorneys of dads who sexual abuse their children. This defense is used – most often- by attorneys in family court for the purpose of deflecting blame from the criminal actions of their client onto the protective mother.
4 The result of the above has frequently been, abusers winning custody due to this misuse of the term.
Because the term is so emotionally charge for protective mothers, and for all the reasons above, we feel DV by Proxy is a better choice. Please keep in mind others still use the term Parental Alienation. Since PMA International did not author this piece, the term parental alienation or alienation may be used.

The truth is that much of the alienated mother shaming that I see happening is perpetuated by those feminist trained professionals who profess to care so much for women. Which is another reason why this group of alienated parents is invisible and unable to share their experience widely. Karen Woodall

It is often said that parental alienation is not a gender issue, by this people mean that the issue can affect either mothers or fathers. At first glance however, it would appear that alienated mothers are in the minority, but in reality they are not so small a group. What faces alienated mothers however is something so deeply unpleasant and so deeply shaming, that it is small wonder that so many women in these circumstances do not reveal to the outside world what has happened to them. Not only do alienated mothers face the loss of their children and all of the grief and suffering that goes with that, they face the hostile and deeply suspicious attitudes of society at large, where the belief that if a mother has lost her children, she must have done something dreadful to deserve it, is an obstinate and poisonous mindset.

This mindset is one that the alienating father is often quick to feed by exploiting the assumptions that other people make about mothers who are not the main carers of their children. Manuvering a child into a position where he is expressing fear of his mother and making allegations about her behaviour towards him, is a key component of the strategy used by alienating fathers. Whilst in this respect it is similar to those which are used by alienating mothers, the alienating father will seek to ensure that the belief structures held by many professionals, about the importance of mothering and its primary function in a child’s life are utilised to the full in the process of convincing the outside world that this mother is not fit to be a mother and this mother has caused her own child to reject her.

On another blog this week I read a comment in which it was asserted that non resident mothers are either drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes or dead. I kid you not. In taking this person to task on the matter it became clear that this belief system runs rife even through the mind sets of those who want a more egalitarian way of parenting after separation. When men who seek shared care, loftily and without even blinking, proclaim that non resident mothers are to be thus described, is it any wonder that so many women fight to maintain the role of primary carer after separation and would not choose to share care even if they wanted to? For alienated mothers, exploited, shamed and shoved to the outer margins of our society (as well as their own children’s lives) what hope is there when such horrible attitudes exist?

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Alienated mothers are a group of people for whom there is very little support and very little written which is dedicated to them. In the UK there is one support group called MATCH which is lifeline for women in this situation and whilst Families needs Fathers welcomes mothers as well as fathers this may not be readily apparent to mothers in this situation, (leading me to believe that they really should get their act together and call themselves Families need Mothers AND Fathers).

The truth of the matter is that parental alienation IS a gender issue. It is a gender issue because the experience of being an alienated mother or an alienated father, whilst having much in common internally, in the endless loss and lack of completion of the process of grieving and the sense of helplessness and hopelessness that this brings, is a DIFFERENT experience externally. This difference is caused by the gendered attitudes of the people around us, by the professionals who attempt to assist parents and by the internalised gendered expectations of the parents AND their children. A good mother is ‘supposed’ to be a mother who is eternal and ever present. A good mother is the parent who cares. A good mother is there when her children get home. A mother who is alienated and whose children are making allegations about her being not good, is a mother who faces first the horror of her own alienation and then the horror of other people’s suspicions about why her children have rejected her. The final nail in the coffin of her self confidence and belief is then the disbelief of the professionals around her who, having fallen foul of their own assumptions about good mothers, walk blindly into the trap set by the alienating father in swallowing whole the projection of the mother as the cruel/evil/hopeless/ wrong doer.

This theme is very common in situations where children become alienated from their mothers and whilst many commentators will say that it is also true where children are alienated from their fathers, different attitudes about mothering and fathering, in the professionals around the family, act to create distinctly different outcomes.

For some professionals for example, the thought of a child being alienated from a mother by a father raises the question of whether this is a domestic violence situation in which the father is using the child as a weapon against the mother. In others, the assumption that the child’s rejection is because of something the mother has done, is easier to go with, especially if the father does not readily present as the stereotype of the violent and aggressive man that they expect to see. When a child is alienated against a father by a mother, it is often more readily accepted as being simply the collatoral damage of the separation itself, the assumption being that so long as the child is loved by the mother then that is all that is necessary. In others a child alienated against a father has to have been abused by that man in order for the rejection to have occurred. Some Judges may feel comfortable with the idea of removal of a child from a father, but removal of a child from a mother may be an anethema. Similarly, the alienated mother who faces allegations from her child, may be more suspicious to professionals because her role is to be good and there in her child’s life and if she is not then she cannot deserve the intervention that will change the dynamic. So much depends upon the outside world and the beliefs held about mothers and fathers that the alienating father, alive to the assumptions that other people make, will set up the child to confirm the worst of the negative stereotypes about the not good enough mother.

In many respects this is an issue which should be of deep concern to feminists given their focus on the rights of women and the ways in which they are exploited by men but it isn’t. Alienated mothers seem to face the same kind of dismissal of their reality by feminists as they do by the population at large. In a recent case I was astounded at how social workers who we consider to be working in a feminist industry, swallowed the whole of the tale of a mother who had caused her children to reject her by taking them on holiday to Cornwall instead of the Caribbean. This ‘abusive’ act had even been cited as one of the reasons why the mother was not able to put her children’s needs before her own. The lack of understanding and the complete lack of analysis of why children would use such frivolous reasons for rejecting wholesale a relationship with a mother they had been close to up until only 18 months previously, astonished me. When I questioned them about their understanding of the Duleth Model approach to domestic violence and whether this might just be a case that fitted into this post separation as it likely had prior to it, it was their turn to be astonished. Feminist approaches to post separation support appear to me to rely upon the presence of the stereotyped mother as carer and father as either hopeless and refusing payer of child maintenance or demanding and controlling absent parent. Reverse that dynamic and it is as if the ability to analyse the reality disappears out of the window. The truth is that much of the alienated mother shaming that I see happening is perpetuated by those feminist trained professionals who profess to care so much for women. Which is another reason why this group of alienated parents is invisible and unable to share their experience widely.

Mothers AND fathers are alienated from their children and both suffer immensely. For mothers the loss of the role of carer as well as the loss of the relationship with their children is a burden made heavier by the attitudes of people around them. That is not to say that alienated fathers do not suffer equally, they do and their burdens are made heavier by the attitudes of those around them too, only those attitudes are often different, more dismissive and less caring whilst those facing women are more inquisitive, judgemental and damning.

All of course made so much worse by the very attitudes that poison the world that post separation parenting takes place in. The notion that the only good non resident mother is a dead one, featured strongly this week. It is the other side of the belief that the only good resident father is a widowed one, which is also strong across our society. It speaks of our deeply held societal beliefs about men and women and what they should be doing in the world. It is outdated, it is shaming and it needs to stop. When the only good separated mothers and fathers are those who willingly and co-operatively work together after separation, then we will live in a modern society in which alienation as a crime against children will be recognised and acted upon swiftly and decisively. Until then we must work to eradicate the ignorance that causes the already deeply wounded to suffer even more.

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Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

October 24, 2014 at 3:29 am

‘7th Heaven’ Dad Stephen Collins Admits to Child Molestation on Audiotape (Report)

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Actor allegedly confesses to molesting up to three underage girls during audiotaped therapy session

Actor Stephen Collins, best known for playing a pastor on the WB series “7th Heaven,” has allegedly confessed to child molestation.

TMZ posted an audiotape on Tuesday morning that includes 67-year-old Collins apparently confessing to molesting up to three underage girls during a therapy session with his estranged wife Faye Grant.

Grant is believed to have secretly recorded the conversation – an act that’s reportedly legal in the state of California if done in the name of gathering evidence against a person who has committed a violent felony. Collins first filed for divorce from Grant in 2012.

Also read: HBO Suspends Pre-Production of Brian De Palma’s Penn State Molestation Film ‘To Deal With Budget Issues’

The New York Police Department is now conducting an active criminal investigation into Collins. “There is a formal complaint on file and the incident is being investigated by the Manhattan Special Victims Squad,” a rep for the NYPD tells TheWrap.

In the audio, it’s clear that Grant knew ahead of time that Collins had committed these alleged felonies. The actor makes reference to some sort of “disclosure” he’s made previously to his wife, which could be key evidence against him should it come to authorities’ attention.

Also read: Suspect Featured on John Walsh’s CNN Show ‘The Hunt’ Killed During Arrest Attempt

Collins goes on to provide details regarding the molestation of an 11-year-old girl who was related to his first wife. He says that he exposed himself to her when she was between ages 11 to 13, and that, “There was one moment of touching where her hand, I put her hand on my penis.”

“When you exposed yourself to *****’s 10-year-old sister, did you have an erection?” his wife asks him.

“No, I mean, no. Partial, maybe I think,” he replies.

“How did you talk to her? What kinds of things did you say?” she continues.

“What is it that you are looking for?” the therapist tries to interject.

“The exposure happened a couple of times,” he replies.

“A couple of times?” Grant asks. “You told me once.”

“No, I said on the list, it happened several times. I said on the disclosure.”

See video: ‘The View’ Debates Whether Lena Dunham Is a Comedian After Controversial Molestation Joke

Collins also mentions molesting ”the niece of the woman who lived across the way” from them in their neighborhood in L.A., to whom he claims he made amends 12 to 15 years ago, as well as a girl from New York City – hence why the NYPD is involved. According to TMZ, two NYPD Special Victims Unit detectives reportedly flew to L.A. last week to interview Grant.

TheWrap has reached out to both a publicist and manager for Collins, but hasn’t heard back yet as of publication.

Also read: Jennifer Lawrence Breaks Silence on Nude Photo Hack: ‘It Is Not a Scandal – It Is a Sex Crime’

Collins played Rev. Eric Camden on “7th Heaven” for 11 seasons from 1996-2007, which aired on the WB and later the CW. In the series, the minister played a father of seven, who navigated his piety and real-life issues in each episode. The show launched the careers of future stars Jessica Biel and Beverley Mitchell.

In a creepy coincidence of life imitating art, Collins played a father who has a sexual relationship with his teenage babysitter in the 1996 Lifetime movie “The Babysitter’s Seduction,” which co-starred Keri Russell. Ironically, he also appeared on an episode of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” in 2008.

Also read: Revenge Porn Attorney on Hollywood Nude Photo Hacks: A Few ‘Shrill Harpies’ Want It Equated to Rape

In recent years, Collins has also appeared in the NBC series “Revolution,” the ABC Family series “The Fosters,” and the Lifetime series “Devious Maids.”

Although it’s unclear how TMZ obtained the audio, it’s not uncommon for parties involved in contentious legal battles to leak evidence to the site in order to gain a PR advantage in their case.unnamed

Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

October 8, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Great explanation about the dynamics of DV by proxy from Lundy Bancroft’s Book When Dad Hurts Mom…

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Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

September 30, 2014 at 6:56 am

What Does a Severely Alienated Child look like

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What Does a Severely Alienated Child look like in Parental Alienation Syndrome.

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What Does a Severely Alienated Child look like?

Copyright 1998 by Douglas Darnall, Ph.D.

The child has a relentless hatred for towards the targeted parent.
The child parrots the Obsessed Alienator, and makes statements against the targeted parent.
The child does not want to visit or spend any time with the targeted parent.
Many of the child’s beliefs are enmeshed with the alienator.
The child’s stated beliefs are delusional and frequently irrational.
The child is not intimidated by the court.
Frequently, the child’s reasons are not based on personal experiences with the targeted parent. Instead, the reasons reflect what the child is told by the Obsessed Alienator.The child has difficulty making any differentiation between the two.
The child has no ambivalence in his feelings; it’s all hatred, with no ability to see the good. (Black and White thinking)
The child has no capacity to feel guilty about how he or she behaves toward the targeted parent; The child cannot forgive any past indiscretions or parenting mistakes.
The child shares the Obsessed Alienator’s cause. Together, they are in lockstep to denigrate the hated parent.
The child’s obsessional hatred extends to the targeted parent’s extended family without any guilt or remorse.
The child can appear like any other normal and healthy child — until asked about the targeted parent, which then triggers the child’s hatred.

* For more information about alienated children,see ‘Divorce Casualties: Protecting Your Children From Parental Alienating’, Dr.Douglas (Doug) Darnall Ph.D.

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September 26, 2014 at 10:28 pm

PARENTING COORDINATION Issues – Pros and Cons Parenting Coordination is a Bad Idea. Why: / The Liz library

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This article was originally posted on The Liz Library ( link below)

Let’s start with the problems with parenting coordination that every lawyer knows: inappropriate delegation of the judicial function, impediment to court access, and denial of due process. And go on…

The parenting coordinator concept encroaches on family liberty interests, bringing the government behind the closed doors of people’s lives, injecting into the private realm a third party who is not in any way more capable than either of the parents are to make day-to-day decisions about their own families, values, and goals.

Parenting coordination is a made-up, make-work field that has been invented by bottom-feeding extraneous “professionals” who have literally reproduced like bacteria in the family court system.

There are no studies indicating that parenting coordinators make good decisions, improve the lives of children or parents, or improve child wellbeing. And, there is no reason to believe they would.

What qualifies a person to make personal family and childrearing decisions for other people — what physician a child should go to, what school, other academic decisions, what extracurricular activities a child should participate in, family routines and scheduling decisions, seating decisions at the bar mitzvah or soccer game, and so forth? What qualifies a person unilaterally to interpret a court order, or “fill in the gaps” in the details of a legal document, a “parenting plan” (a violation of freedom of contract)? What qualifies a person to do “parenting coordination” to “help other persons implement” a legal contract (marital settlement agreement), as a supposed neutral?


What constitutes “success” at parenting coordination? Who knows. To the parenting coordinator, perhaps getting a nice fee.

To a judge, perhaps that he thinks he’s eliminating work, clearing his docket, or just putting off disputes to another day, or another judge. If a judge thinks this is good for the court system, he’s mistaken, because parenting coordination will make the congestion worse in the long run. While the parties are being denied immediate access to the judge, the presence of a parenting coordinator counterproductively requires that the door be left continuously open in the case, generating additional issues. The parenting coordinator’s ideas introduced into the case, the minutiae that now has a forum, and the inevitable iatrogenic problems virtually guarantee that this is a short-sighted nonsolution to court congestion. Some of these issues may or may not be immediately apparent, and may even avoid detection in short-term surveys of pilot projects (assuming such studies otherwise are methodologically sound, which is unlikely.) The problems nevertheless are foreseeable. And relieving court congestion by hindering litigants’ access to court (without regard to whether this is beneficial to families) is, in any event, of dubious validity as a rationale for the denial of due process.

Pennsylvania new rule banning parenting coordinators, April 2013 So if relief of court congestion isn’t a measure of success in parenting coordination practice, then what is? To one of the parties, that he or she now has an ally? That one of the parties is happy? Parenting coordination advocates of late have been busily setting about to create satisfaction surveys (not unlike the self-serving “evidence” that we saw upon the implementation of mandatory parenting class programs). But that a given litigant is satisfied would not be an indication of success at all unless we know with certainty that that party generally has the more meritable position. It might well be an indication of the complete breakdown of justice. Just as with the parenting class and court docket faux research, we also would have to discount these on studies based on lack of credibility because of $elf-$erving corruption, as well as unintended bias that is built in because of non-random subject selection, unwarranted optimism, self-reporting respondents’ fears that negative comments could come back against them, and other methodological problems.

How about an objective measure of success, such as increased family well-being? How is this possible when people are burdened with tasks and negotiations and meddlesome reportings of the details of their days to third parties, when their time and money is consumed, pointlessly, when their privacy is intruded upon by the government like this, and when they are forced to kow-tow to the dictates of a court-appointed, decision-making autocrat in every area of their most intimate lives? It’s not.

Are there better child-rearing outcomes? As compared with what? Defined how? And if not, what the heck are we supposedly doing here? Under any definition, increased child wellbeing has not been shown to flow from any of the ideas of applied therapeutic jurisprudence, i.e. trade promotion, in the family courts. (In fact, increased well-being in the population generally has not been demonstrated by any research from the burgeoning of psychological interventions and therapies over the decades.)

Just as with custody evaluators and guardians ad litem, and even to a large extent, the practice of mediation, there is no way to do any decent studies in this area. Psychology is not science — or good lawBenefit is not even apparent informally across demographic groups. Don’t fall for self-serving industry articles spinning speculation. Research will never demonstrate any benefits from many of these ideas, including parenting coordination, because credible studies simply cannot be done. Even, inappropriately, after the fact. (If you don’t understand why, contact me privately and I will direct you to material on social science versus science, experimental methodology, logic, and how to do critical reading and thinking and not be such a credulous patsy.)

The parenting coordination concept is an infection that causes all of the problems that custody evaluators and GALs bring into the family court system, and then some. Again, what qualifies a third-party stranger parenting coordinator to make daily family life decisions for other people? Nothing. And nothing ever will. Many of these kinds of decisions are made based on a free individual’s own private life, relationships, desires, work needs, schedule, and personal values, beliefs and goals. The parenting coordinator makes decisions based on the parenting coordinator’s own private agendas, preferences, motives, work needs, values, beliefs and goals — and which party the parenting coordinator just happens to like better (which already is the unfortunate but real basis for most of custody evaluator and guardian ad litem opinings). The decision-making is based on, inter alia, intangible personality things as well tangibles such as who likes them and pays them timely and well.

Many, if not most, lawyer parenting coordinators as well as many mental health professionals, notwithstanding their ostensible “training”, completely lack psychological insight. That’s because it’s not a function of academic training. Parenting coordination also is not “co-parenting therapy” (which rarely works anyway — witness all the mental health professionals lobbying, writing, organizing, promoting, bucking for the authority to be mini-judges and dictators in a “parenting coordination” role.) Most mental health professionals also lack a clue regarding the repercussions in law of their ideas (a more obvious deficit, since they are probably not lawyers), yet these are people supposedly interpreting and “filling in the gaps” in legal documents!

The primary reason there is no valid “training” to be had is that there is no body of expertise, no foundation of knowledge, upon which to base any such training. It’s… all just made up. Maybe they’re smart? Well, not versus all possible litigants by a long shot, and no stranger will understand the daily life and routines, family members’ needs and personalities, the interactions going on in someone else’s household or the effects of their ideas in practice unless they actually spend considerable time in that household. Which, of course, they don’t.

To go back to the court congestion problem that is moving the legislatures and courts to embrace the parenting coordination lobbyists’ arguments: parenting coordination provides a forum for the arguing of minutiae that, in the absence of a parenting coordinator, the parties would have to work out, and learn to work out, on their own, or just let go. In other words, it addresses issues that wouldn’t be there in the first place! It cannot prevent the litigation of issues that aren’t within the purvue of the parenting coordinator to begin with, but still must be addressed by a judge. With regard to these other issues, however, when the parenting coordinator makes a bad decision, or oversteps authority, simply because this was the decision of a third party, that opens the door to the courthouse for matters that otherwise would not have had a forum, or would not have existed at all. The very presence of a parenting coordinator, like an uber-parent for the parents, itself creates opportunity for petty squabbling, encouraging it because, ironically, just like a misguided inept parent, the third party (getting paid for his time) is ready and available to intervene in all manner of disputes, thus retarding rather than encouraging growth and cooperation. Conflict is something that harms children. Parenting coordination creates its own conflicts. And it not only encourages new conflicts, but creates a number of other foreseeable harms.

Parenting coordination is expensive, even at hourly rates less than the ordinary rates charged by these professionals when they do real work. This is so because the cost is for extra work, on top of the lawyers and litigation expenses the parties still have to maintain; the parenting coordination process actually does not eliminate any of this. Rather, it adds on additional professional expenses to handle minutiae that otherwise would not be creating expense. Ultimately, it’s very expensive because any expense that does not yield something of equivalent value is a waste of money. Moreover, having a parenting coordinator at the ready permits one party to spend the other’s funds by unilaterally contacting and choosing to bring issues before the parenting coordinator. Generally, both parties have to pay a portion of the parenting coordinator’s fees; usually these are divided 50-50, and timely payment of the parenting coordinator’s fees also becomes a matter of high concern for the parenting coordinator, adding that issue into the case.

Once appointed, the parenting coordinator has absolutely no incentive to work himself or herself out of a job. The potential amount of work is open-ended and in large part able to be self-generated by the parenting coordinator. The schedule is flexible and the royalties can go on indefinitely, until the parenting coordinator is removed (but not “for cause” because this would have to be based on criteria of success that largely is unable to be established). (How nice for the parenting coordinator.)

Frequent and typical make-work by the parenting coordinator includes forcing people to include the parenting coordinator in all communications and emails, provide the parenting coordinator in advance with parents’ and children’s schedules and activities, meet at the whim of the parenting coordinator, provide the parenting coordinator with school documents and medical records, and the like. Churn, churn, churn, duplicate, churn…

Parenting coordination intrudes on privacy. Among other things, parenting coordination permits the state via a state-appointed agent to demand information and details about people’s lives that then can be brought back into court by the opposing party, effectively becoming ongoing compelled government discovery, contrary to the Fourth Amendment.

Individuals who choose to do this “work”, to become parenting coordinators, are the equivalent of paid yentas and neighborhood meddlers. They tend to be individuals who cannot make a go of practicing the profession for which they were ostensibly educated and licensed — the incompetent, the inexperienced, the nincompoops, the untalented, the lazy and/or the burnt-out. A good number have ulterior agendas, conscious and subconscious, either political agendas, or agendas of the psychologically issued psychic vampire or petty tyrant variety. Many parenting coordinators have axes to grind and strongly held personal beliefs about how other people’s lives should work, what constitutes “fairness”, fathers’ or mothers’ rights, parental values and roles, and so forth, as well as a need to re-visit, re-live and normalize their own family-of-origin issues.

A big draw for doing parenting coordination work is, of course, that while parenting coordination promoters tout the “lower cost”, meaning that they are willing to settle for lower fees per hour for this work rather than their other work, the work itself is relatively brainless. And it’s unregulated and practicably unable to be regulated. There is no efficient or effective oversight. Being unregulated means that there is no recourse against the parenting coordinator for malfeasance or malpractice. For good measure, as added insurance against malfeasance, many, if not most parenting coordinators require the parties to sign various consents and waivers of liability. Some statutes and procedural rules have formalized the lack of accountability as well. (How nice for the parenting coordinator.)

If you’ve heard argument otherwise, that the field was chosen in order to “help” (dictate to other) people, or because they were “frustrated” as lawyers or psychologists or mediators in not being able to “help” (dictate to other) people, then given the relatively lower (albeit no-overhead) hourly fees charged for parenting coordination, ask how much unpaid voluntary work the person has done. Query why this ostensible advice-giving do-gooderism wasn’t just done through their church, or a community charity agency, and offered to all-comers in their avocational spare time on a no-obligation basis, while in their regular working time, they just continue to practice the profession for which they actually were trained and licensed. That’s how good samaritans and persons with kindly, charitable intent usually “help” when that’s the actual motive and they already have a real profession to practice in the family court field.
The nature of the function as designed enables parenting coordinators to churn money by insisting on all manner of crap that involves them, under circumstances in which their decisions cannot be second-guessed, even by a judge. The parenting coordinator’s “work” cannot conveniently be reviewed by a judge because the “proceedings” with a parenting coordinator are informal, undocumented, and outside of the court and due process. In many jurisdictions, the parenting coordination practice essentially is professed to be “confidential except when it’s not.” (More on this, below.) Also, there is no criteria of “success”, no standard of satisfactory practice. All fuzzy. If and to the extent acts or omissions of the parenting coordinator are contested, no matter what occurs, the parenting coordinator simply can “remember” conversations and events differently from the way they really happened. If contested, the parenting coordinator also can — and will — employ the ready CYA alibis of “high conflict custody case” and one parent’s ostensible irrationality or prevarication.

Many of the lawyers, mental health professionals, and erstwhile mediators and guardians ad litem who want to do parenting coordination have no actual experience themselves as parents, let alone as caregiving parents, let alone as single parents — or with blended family issues, or with children with particular issues, or in “shared parenting” or divorced situations. Some do, and as noted, more often than not, they are normalizing their own issues. These advice-givers do not necessarily hail themselves from successful well-functioning families. Parenting coordinators bring to their job their personal opinions and values and speculations founded on their unknown personal backgrounds, including some of the most dysfunctional (and undisclosed) personal familial histories, and implement their personal and political agendas. They are the antithesis of “wise persons”, who generally are not found among neighborhood gossips or those who relish involving themselves in the mundane details of other people’s lives.

Time spent with the parenting coordinator, where not catering to the dysfunctional weak or abusive litigants who are hoping for support or a sounding board is tedious and time-consuming for the parents. The same timewasting, of course, represents a ca-ching in the bank account of the parenting coordinator, which encourages plodding and more time-wasting meetings and talkings. (Meanwhile, the litigant fantasy of having a parenting coordinator “on the case” as an ally will end quickly when the selected parenting coordinator in this crapshoot aligns with the other parent.)

Parents are placed at the whim of all kinds of arbitrary demands made by the parenting coordinator, including for the payment for their time, which is largely in the control of the parenting coordinator and possibly the other party. (This applies, to a great extent, as well, to various court-appointed therapists and GALs). Given the presence of the parenting coordinator, and the payment incentive, every decision, no matter how petty or absurd, is open for endless discussion and rumination. In addition to being time-consuming, this is a delight for stalker-harasser abusive types, as well as those who just won’t let go of the other party.

The parenting coordinator can think up all kinds of activities to do and with which to require the parents to comply: pseudo-therapy (unregulated of course by the licensing boards because it’s “not really” therapy, and it’s “not really” law); “communications counseling”; “coaching”; reading of materials; various “educational” homework assignments; meetings with one or the other of the parties, meetings together, meetings with various combinations of others; demands for disclosure, frequently in writing, of private thoughts, emotions, and information; consultations and strategy sessions with the children’s guardian ad litem and parents’ court-ordered or parenting coordinator-ordered therapists; meetings with the children’s physicians and teachers; meetings with anyone at all; ordering of a parent into supervised visitation or therapeutic visitation; recommending to the court therapies of all kinds with yet more of the helping professionals — almost anything. Confidentiality? That’s a pipe dream. It’s only “confidential” when that suits the parenting coordinator, and there’s a court issue. But under the pretext of having to gather information, the PC has authority to yammer to pretty much everyone in the community. And if a parent doesn’t comply, there are sanctions, imposed both by the parenting coordinator and the court for “noncompliance”.

Does this not strike you as an outrageous and unconstitutional denigration of the First Amendment freedom of speech and association, Fourth and Fifth Amendment privacy rights, and the fundamental parental rights of perfectly fit parents, as to whom the state would be unable to file a dependency action and remove their children to foster care? Free, competent individuals are entitled voluntarily to subject themselves to private judges and arbitrators, of course. But why would any informed and reasonably intelligent individual who is not under duress and coercion, ever agree to living with one who cannot be appealed, discharged, or limited to issues brought before him? Answer: they wouldn’t. Either these litigants were not properly informed (in any number of ways), or they indeed were under inappropriate coercion of some kind that rendered their consent essentially involuntary.

How-to techniques for would-be parenting coordinators in this newly invented “profession” consist of almost anything the parenting coordinator might dream up, sprinkled with suggestions and teachings borrowed from law, psychology, mediation and other practices, as well as fantasies from other imaginative self-styled professional parenting coordinators in the recent explosion of manuals, books and trade-promotion “trainings”. (Until enough fools sign on for this cock-‘n-bull to fill a workweek, for the ambitious, there’s still money that can be earned professing to be a mavin). Parenting coordination “training” materials comprise mostly stuff plucked from the asses of their inventors.

Doubt me? Read some of it. Parenting coordination methodology includes such things as ordering people how to talk with each other (“use my template”), ordering parents in what method they may or must talk with each other (“email only, and you must copy me”), and even uttering orders to parents regarding when or whether they must or may not meet and/or communicate with each other, with the parenting coordinator, with the court or their own lawyer, and with other people such as extended family, all in astonishing violation of fundamental constitutional rights. To facilitate all of this, parenting coordination orders, agreements, “voluntary” consents, “understandings” and intake forms generally require the parents to sign away all manner of these constitutional rights — in what is, essentially, a busybody’s lucrative wetdream.

As previously noted, having a parenting coordinator on a case keeps the case continuously open and invites it to explode into endless issue-making, rather than being finally resolved, and in doing so, actually creates more, not fewer, problems for both the litigants and the courts. Sometimes a case does appear to resolve, but all too often that is only because the financially or emotionally weaker party, or the party unfavored by the parenting coordinator, just gives up in defeat, beaten away by the constant undercurrent threat of litigation, the harassment, and the need to avoid continuing costs.

(If judges’ goals here are to get people to just shut up and go away, we could eliminate all of the docket problems in the civil courts and achieve equally fine results just by closing the courts altogether.)

Parenting coordination, the latest of the therapeutic jurisprudential ideas, is dangerous, and not merely because of the distortion it makes in the judicial system and of due process. In recent years there has been a burgeoning of child abuse and deaths stemming from child custody disputes in which abusive individuals get custody and visitation rights, correlating with the rise of joint custody theory and the intrusion into the family courts of therapeutic jurisprudence. Unqualified strangers can and will make bad decisions that simply cannot timely be brought to court, cannot effectively be reviewed by the court, or which are prohibitively expensive to bring to court. Parenting coordinators have missed domestic violence. Conversely, in one Florida appellate case, a parenting coordinator wrongly claimed that domestic violence had occured when it hadn’t, prompting an emergency change of custody. Parenting coordinators have assumed facts that are not true. They have perceived emergencies or situations incorrectly. They have mischaracterized events and made egregious judgmental mistakes. They have lied outright. See the cases. The concept is dangerous because parenting coordinators are not and practicably cannot be subject to any effective oversight. Each case is different, there are no studies, there is no body of knowlege, there is no methodology, there are no licenses, there are and can be no effective regulations, there are no actual practice parameters other than aspirational sound-goods, such as “be neutral”, there are no definitions of a successful outcome, and it’s all vague nonsense or worse.

Depending on the vagaries of the practice from time to time in this or that jurisdiction, parenting coordinators effectively have license to wield heavy authority and extremely biased power, opining back to and influencing judges, bringing issues into the public domain that do not belong there and which were not brought into the case by either party, siding with one party unfairly (even developing personal relationships with one of the parties), and recommending or just ordering the parents to hire the parenting coordinator’s own cronies for therapies and guardianships and evaluations. It’s a recipe for more corruption and an insult to the rule of law.

Parenting coordinators can — and do — violate the terms of parties’ contractual agreements as well as the law. Lobbyists for statutory implementation of this role have argued, speciously, that oversight does indeed exist because, well, “if the parties are not happy, they can always go back to court”. But real life doesn’t work that way, and it especially does not work that way under these circumstances. “If you don’t like it, then take it to court” is a dare that can be thrown out cavalierly, because the parenting coordinator role permits these court appointees to hold over the head of objecting parties the power — baselessly presumed to be executed in good faith — to obtain the ear of the judge first, and to poison the well. They also hold more credibility before before the judge than those lunatic, bitter, embattled, unreasonable, “high-conflict”, personality-disordered parents. They can and do function as shadow witnesses ex parte, to provide the judge (directly as well as indirectly through guardians ad litem, other witnesses, and even via support to one of the parties) with information, evidence and innuendo. Their inexpert opinions can and frequently will label one of the parties as the recalcitrant, the wrongdoer, the deadbeat, the crazy, or the “uncooperative” one.

So “take it to the judge” does not work, particularly post-decree, when a party may be short of time or funds, or may no longer even have a lawyer. And it does not work because in many courts, days or weeks, or months may go by before a party can get a hearing. And it does not work because an objecting party has to overcome not only the parenting coordinator but also the opposing party — being out-voted from the git-go, two against one, a problem also inherent in the family court guardian ad litem role, but potentially even worse in this instance because the parenting coordinator solicits support from the guardian ad litem, the appointed therapists, and the rest of the courthouse cronies. And it does not work because “going back to court” means risking the irritation of the judge who appointed the parenting coordinator in the first place precisely because he didn’t want to hear about it. There is no oversight.

It is difficult to imagine a more
stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than to put those decisions in the hands of
people who pay no price for being wrong.Difficult to remove in any event once appointed, the parenting coordinator is even more difficult to remove when he or she is biased (and that’s a better than even bet, given the nature of ongoing informal relationships with people, especially where there is money at stake, and especially given who is drawn to this line of work). Bias should be one of the grounds that immediately would mandate removal of a parenting coordinator, but it also means that the parenting coordinator will be vested in preserving his own aura of competence and neutrality (as well as current and future income stream), all the while being validated by the party with whom he is aligned. Moreover, how does a party prove “bias” when the ubiquitous explanation is that the “disgruntled” party who didn’t get his or her way always makes this claim of “bias”.

There is no way to tell in advance who might be a “good” or “helpful” parenting coordinator. Families differ, circumstances differ, and personalities differ. To parties disputing this, or buying into a sell-job from some mental health professional, mediator, or burnt-out lawyer, I would ask: how great were you in deciding in advance who to marry, or with whom to have a child. What makes you believe that the third party who wants this easy work will be a second voice on “your” side?

In the inane insistence that “both” parents “participate” in making decisions regarding the child, in order to avoid stalemate, parenting coordination is the tool for unworkable custody and timeshare arrangements, notably joint custody, which removes from BOTH parents the right to function with authority and automony. A big flaw in the concept of joint custody is that, instead of having at least one functional parent, the joint custody child now has two ineffective half-parents who may not function except in tandem, and ironically they are typically the kind of parents least able to pull this off. With a parenting coordinator or guardian ad litem added into the mix, the child does not even have that, because instead of two half-parents sharing an undivided fundamental parental liberty interest, the child has half-parents who report to a parenting boss. It’s involvement by the state in the complete absence of any actual threat to the child that ordinarily would justify state intrusion like this.

One should counter: if a third party stranger, based upon no established field of expertise whatsoever, is supposedly qualified to make and facilitate decisions impacting other people’s family lives, something that is not even usually encouraged in clinical therapy, then why is not the better solution just to assign that authority to one of the parents? The spheres of decision-making authority can be allocated too. It would be easier, cheaper, quicker, and done. And at least then the child would have one real and functional authoritative parent, something that IS demonstrably evidenced in the research to be necessary for child security and well-being.

While the rhetoric is rampant that parents are less likely or unlikely to consider their children before themselves in their decision-making when they are embattled in divorce and post-divorce issues, no research actually substantiates this concocted rationale.

2010 article on Florida’s Shared Parenting law by Judge Corbin The rationale first was invented by psych trade groups to lobby state legislatures for guardians ad litem in family law cases, and later was used to justify in part the appointment of custody evaluators. It’s become yet another family court system truism without a shred of foundation. The anecdotal claims (if you even get that much, get any anecdotes) of individuals who have a political or profit motive, peddling their services to the market, are just not credible, especially as to historic primary caregivers. No one is as interested in or vested in their own children’s happiness and wellbeing as the child’s own parent, or, if you must, as between two parents, than the one who already has shown higher attachment and commitment.

Parenting coordination stands as proof positive that something is very, very wrong with the substantive direction of child custody law in recent years. As more and more mental health professionals stream into the court system, get involved in bar associations, and encourage lawyers to mix it up in “multidisciplinary” organizations, the substantive laws are getting worse. The problems consequently are getting worse. The solutions for the iatrogenic problems caused by these therapeutic interventions are more and more of them. That’s dysfunctional. That cure is “hair of the dog that bit you” and goodgod, the “science” of the psychological experts is about as valid. There’s a better solution. You should know what that is by now. Just Say No.

— liz

[liznote: The child custody case manager or case management system, such as is in Kansas, is a similar concept.]

Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

July 23, 2014 at 10:19 am

New Developments on Parents of Missing Son Found Alive in Their Basement/ Inside Edition

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There is a new twist in the mystery of the missing who was boy found alive in his own father’s basement.

Twelve-year-old Charlie Bothuell’s stepmother was in court in Detroit on Friday after a night behind bars. The 37-year-old woman was busted for a probation violation unrelated to the missing boy investigation. But she is considered a “person of interest” in the case. Her four-year-old son and ten-month-old daughter were being cared for by child protective services. She pled not guilty to the probation violation.

Charlie, missing for nearly two weeks, was found in his father’s basement hidden behind a barricade. There was a wooden pallet used as a table, some bedding, and snacks.

HLN’s Nancy Grace breaking the news to his father that Charlie had been found in the basement is now being called one of the most riveting live TV moments in recent years. The father’s reaction is causing some to question if he knew where the boy was all along.

Grace said, “The barricade set up for the boy that he was hiding behind was of a nature that it would have been very difficult for a boy his age to do. Apparently it was put together with furniture like a dresser, a 55-gallon drum, a lot of boxes, and he was back behind that.”

Now, Charlie’s father is under investigation for suspected child abuse. Police recovered a plastic pipe, allegedly used to discipline the boy.

The father reportedly insisted little Charlie follow a grueling exercise reginmen of 4,000 steps on an elliptical trainer every day. The boy failed to complete the exercise the day he disappeared.

The stepmother reportedly texted Charlie’s dad that he was “not doing his chores” and he would “have to deal with that.”

Bothuell has denied any acts of child abuse.

The boy’s now in his mother’s care. His father has been ordered to avoid contact with the child.

Written by protectivemothersallianceinternational

July 14, 2014 at 2:59 am

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