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Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.Allan Schwartz, Ph.D.
Dr. Schwartz's Weblog

The Politics of Divorce: When Children Become Pawns

Allan N. Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D. Updated: May 16th 2007

Were your parents divorced when you were a child or adolescent? Did your parents fight for control over you and your siblings? Did one of your parents try to turn you against the other parent? Did you get to visit and spend quality time with both your mother and father each?

Many people can answer yes to the first, second and third questions but no to the forth. With a more than fifty percent rate of divorce in the United States today most people can relate what it was like to live through a divorce with their parents. Unfortunately, they can also relate to what it was like to feel like pawns in the war that was waged by at least one parent against the other.

It is understandable that by the time two people are ready for divorce there are many angry, resentful and bitter feelings accumulated during the course of the marital relationship. Very few divorces are friendly and amicable with the former spouses becoming friends. Of course this does happen but it is more the exception than the rule. Having children to consider and care for does not seem to mediate the types of behavior displayed by many former spouses. In fact, all too often, the most resentful and angry of the two divorcing parents are all too willing to display a vindictiveness directed against the other parent by using the children as weapons in the divorce and post divorce war. These types of vengeful parents do not seem to understand that the only victims of this type of behavior are the children.

During my years as a psychotherapist I have experienced many cases in which parents wage bitter custody battles against one another. In these battles, one parent is attempting to obtain sole custody of the children while severely restricting the visiting rights of the other parent. Under these circumstances you might be led to believe that the battle was being waged against someone who was alcohol and drug addicted and was abusive to the children. At least that would make some sense of the angry situation. However, in all too many cases there is no such addictive or abusive process going on. Rather, the motivation of the vindictive parent is to exact revenge against the other parent for sins having been committed between the two of them and having to do with their relationship and having nothing to do with any legal or violent issues. For example, an angry wife and mother may feel so entirely disappointed by the divorce that she is swept away by anger, rage and the desire to punish the former spouse by demanding sole custody.

Another scenario is when each of the parents places the children in the middle of their conflict by attempting to turn them against the other parent. They will do all they can to devalue and demonize the other parent in the eyes of the child. The wish is to win the child to their own side so that they will be permanently allied with them against the other.

Perhaps the worst case situation is the one in which the divorce takes place, the mother gains custody, the father moves away and a curtain of silence falls between the children and the absent father. While this is less likely to occur today in the age of equally shard custody, it does happen and with tragic consequences for the children. What are these tragic consequences?

First, children identify with each of their parents. If they are made to believe that one parent is evil they will come to believe that this is true of them, as well. How can it not be so? If that is my father or mother and I have been told that he or she is a bad person then it must be true of me as well since I am their child.

Second, it is common for children to misunderstand what is happening between alienated parents and to blame themselves for their troubles. They are also quick to believe that one or both parents are leaving home because he, the child, is not loved. In some cases, a child who witnesses a parent packing and moving may fear that he, the child will be told to leave home forever. Young children, with fragile emotions and dependent upon nurturing and love may pretend that they do not care that the one parent has left and throw themselves even more upon the parent who is present.

For the child who experiences the loss of a parent because that parent has been successfully blocked from participation in the child's life the consequences are worst. Most frequently but no always the parent who vanishes is the father. The child is left to imagine what became of the missing parent.

In fact, many studies show that divorce can result in children growing into adults who have low self esteem and more depression and anxiety compared to those who were raised by both parents whether the marriage remained intact or there was shared custody.

It is really important that divorcing parents communicate with the children that they are loved by both Mom and Dad and that the divorce is not caused by the children. It is also important to communicate confidence in the other parent and that Mom and Dad just cannot get along together and that these things happen but that they are safe with and loved by each parent.

Divorce is difficult enough for everyone without embroiling the kids in the angry politics of the adults.

Your comments are welcome.

Allan Schwartz, LCSW, Ph.D.

Readers who live in the Boulder, Colorado metro area, or in Southwest Florida may contact Dr. Schwartz for face-to-face consultation. He is also available for psychotherapy through Skype video for those who are not in Florida or Colorado. He can be reached via email at dransphd@aol.com for details.

    Reader Comments
    Discuss this issue below or in our forums.

    Grand Mother with Temporary custody. - - Jan 14th 2015

    Grand Mother cuts off all contact and visits between child and father and his family. The mother was on drugs so the maternal grand mother underhandedly talked the childs mother into signing her custody rights over to the grand mother. This all took place while the father was in jail for not reporting to his probation schedueled meeting, for an unrelated offence that he will be off probation for in March. this is the only conviction he has ever had.  The Father has always had a close and loving relationship with his four year daughter.The child has never stayed with any other person as a baby sitter other than myself ( I am one of the G grand mothers 73 going on 50 ) and the otherg G Grand Mother same age,  both on the fathers side.. the child in her 4 years of life has never been of much intrest to the Maternal Grand mother. and had only had less than 10 short visits with her in her life. ,,,  so while the father was incarserated, the woman managed to get into court and gain temporary custody of the child. Knowing the father would not be able to attend the hearing.  So now she has not allowed over night visits with any one on the fathers side including the father. These are the only people this child has any kind of a relation ship with and the people who have loved her and cared for her, her intire life. This woman is doing irrepairable damage to this child . We have only been allowed to see her for 5 hours on Christmas day. and no more since around the 20th day of November 2014. Her Daddy and I have begged to see her for the weekends , To no avail. The Maternal Grandmother has no concern for what is best for our Grand Daughter and I am so distrought over the stress and Confussion she has caused this child. She is a controle freak of the worst kind. anyone that would keep a daddy's girl away from her Daddy for her own self gratifaction should not be allowed around any one's child . she is cold hearted and inable to give love to this child . She hates the childs family and  is punishing the child for her own sick amusement. This is criminal... We have Hired a Lawyer and  hope to be in court soon. But it could be weeks. We need prayer...

    21 months - Jay gamble - Jan 7th 2015

    my son's mom lied in court, sent me to prison to save herself, and is the biggest b**ch I've ever met. All because of greed, jealousy and manipulation. I saw it coming and didn't heed warnings by my family. I pay child support based on a  previous high paying income but can't find work because I'm an ex felon. Beginning my own business was the solution and she can suck my ....! Try to find my sons money now,you piece of cr*p. You asked for it, you got it. Judges in America  also have no checks and balance system in place. They know that women can destroy their political career unless they give them what they want. Pitiful. The judge in my town has no character or dignity left. He is a fool, was led by a fool and remains a fool. Funny to me that I sued my ex for visitation and pay outrageous amounts of child support and yet don't have much say so in the custody department? Why is that? She doesn't follow any of the court orders she agreed to and yet I've been told not,to waste my resources on a court system that's totally messed up. I drive over 600 miles every other weekend for a 48 hour visit. It will change someday until then she can suck my ....!

    Kids Used to Punish Me for Divorcing Their Mother - Shephard - Oct 29th 2014

    Unless you live through it, you really would not understand what it is like not to have your father around.  I am a child of divorce.  My greatest fear was divorce, creating the same situation for my kids that I was in.  After years of taking abuse, being smacked around by my ex-wife and called a coward for walking away, I decided I had enough.  The moment I started the divorce proceedings, she went straight to court and said I had said I wanted to kidnap my two kids and return to Africa with them. She said I was abusing her, and was scared to be in the same room with her.  Child support was tasked with the duty to investigate her accusations.  They took 5 months & for these months I was not seeing my kids (one of which was only 5 months old). The investigations found out that there was nothing in my behaviour to suggest violance, or did I pause any threat to my kids, but since it had been 5 months since I last saw them, they had to arrange a re-introduction (I am their father for goodness sake).  This meant seeing my kids under supervision- precisely what she wanted- to exercise control over how and when I see the kids. I was very angry that the British courts, after finding that I was really a good dad, still found ways of frustrating me and failing the kids in the process. They said I should open my heart and just agree to suervised visists, which are meant for criminals and suspects. They delayed the process, and then turned around and said they still needed to control me with my kids. I walked away from it all.  It has been 3 years since I last saw my kids. My daugther writes to my mother asking for me, begging me to go to courts so I can arrange to see her and her baby brother again because she misses playing with me.  I will not forgive that woman for what she did, especially after years of her abuse.  She now insists that I go to the courts and apply for visitation rights.  She is scared of going back to undo what she did because she fears I wil take the kids from her.  She blatantly refuses ever lying to the courts, and says it was my fault that my kids are fatherless. Only God can forgive her, and I pray that God forgives me too for the hate I feel towards her. I pay child support, and pray that by drunk of an ex-wife uses the money on the kids. I recently found out that my 3 year old son has developed asthama- what are the odds it is because she smokes like a chimney and was smoking aroung our kids after the divorce! The courts are ignorant to this inequality, and funny how they say they are trying to do what is best for the kids.  Well, in my case they did the opposite. Shame on my wife and shame on the British Courts for supporting her on her campaign to punish me using my kids as weapons.  Blood is thicker than water, and if God wishes us to be together again, we will, otherwise I can do nothing but praying for them daily.  God will deal with her.

    What if - - Sep 19th 2014

    Well my ex husband told everyone that I was a slag and that his child - his son aged nearly 7 did not belong to him.

    He convinced the woman he ran off with that as well. He ran off to Kilmarnock with his mistress (she was also married and left her 2 kids behind)  and told his mother that my son was not his child. His mother got on a train walked through my door and begged me to confirm that my son was her grandchild.

    Because my ex had conviced everyone I was a slag I ended up in a strange place miles away from my family ( Oh yes I forgot to say. He had moved us from piller to post for 6 years from one end of the country to the other - we had to keep moving because he kept having affairs.) I ended up with no friends and everyone believing his filthy lies, isolated and alone. Then to boot his mum bloody well died on me - she was in such an awful state when she arrived on my doorstep within a few days she died of a massive heart attack. And guess my ex told everyone it was my fault that she had died.

    I battled through and finally met some one - this some one helped to bring my son up. Now I never told my son what a nasty psycopath his father is. And guess what years later he appears back on the scene with his vicious wife (who had sent me letters accusing me of being a leech) and is know playing happy families wth my grandchild - I am suprised the evil devil did'nt as for a dna test. So the moral of my story is if you want your child to kick you in the teeth because you have protected him from the truth go ahead. But if I had my time again I would make sure my son knew exactly what was happening. Then he would's grow up with bloody rose tinted glasses on with me on the side suffering at every turn, knowing he is back on the scene telling filthy lies in the background.

    Dad left with two little ones - Kathy Kalb - May 31st 2014

    My son was left with his two little kids. Mom left, and moved in with an unemployed drug dealer.  During this time I was turned into CPS, they interviewed me took a drug test was clean.  They wanted to visit with the mom, her drug test real bad.  I lost my job in this time.  Two days before temporary custody the family took the kids and sqid they would be at their grand fathers house.  This grand father is also my wifes doctor.  They were suppose to trade me cars, instead they left me without a car.  No one would answer my calls, called police repored the kids, and my car.  No help from them it was a civil matter.  I hitch hiked into town to meet my lawyer, then was going to rent car when dad got to airport.  I got a call from CPS, told me she tested real dirty.  By the time I got the car the kids were taken to the doctors house mad accusations I didn't pass my test, there was maggots all over my house, I neglected my kids.  I had a home inspection done, and passed drug test.  I did lose my job and was moving. I got an apartment, have money in the bank, child care paid for I'm hoping to get my kids back.  I done nothing wrong but am looking for job, and have money in account to support my kids.  I go to court Tuesday not sure because he is a doctor if I will get my kids back?

    So what are the victims to DO - Nicole - May 22nd 2013

    I started reading through the comments. I can't help but mention that most of the comments are made by the stepmothers who aren't related to the kids. I didn't finish reading a lot of comments. It seems most of the people commenting don't know how to spell or use proper grammar.

    Who am I? I am middle aged woman and my parents were divorced on my second birthday. At this point, both parents are dead. My mother never said an ill word about my father nor would she allow us kids to do so. My father, on the other hand, was still trashing her verbally after she was dead. I was physically assaulted by my teachers in elementary school and by him from eighth grade until he kicked me out. At best, he didn't care to stand up for me with my teachers. At worst, he was actually behind it. No one has ever been in my corner, except for my mom and now the taxpayers provide some of my support. My father wasn't a good person. He never cared about us and I've watched him use other people, too. For example, he only married his third wife so she would take care of him.

    Now, I'm watching a friend go through a messy divorce and I see her husband using her youngest as a pawn and playing head games with her.

    The problem with this country is that we have stopped caring about values. We don't teach children to have integrity and ethics. Rather, we give lip service to ethics then teach children to win and be evolutionarily on top. We don't provide support systems and positive feedback for those who remain ethical. So, why, pretell, are we surprised when adults lack in ethics so badly that they use their kids as pawns or spies?

    Also, if the other party is fighting dirty by using the children as pawns, what is the course of action for the other parent? Because it seems to me, we have left the good parent with the option of stooping low or their kids going into the hands of someone who doesn't actually care about them.

    Sociopath mom placing children in harm's way - - Feb 1st 2013

    My daughter's father has 2 children by a woman who is using the children against him because he left her. She behaved as though she wanted him to leave for many years, allowing animals to soil a brand new home and his pillows and things. When he expressed disgust she gave him the answer, "Go ahead and leave if you don't like it!", which was a common answer to any problem he had with her. He married her because she became pregnant 2 months after declaring that a doctor had determined she was unable to have children.

    After he left, she has talked badly about him, demonized him, TAKEN OUT A PROTECTIVE ORDER AGAINST HIM (!!!) and ironically insists that they do not correspond throgh a mediator, and now, the worst of it all, she is allowing the 15-yr old daughter to do whatever she wants in order to get her to take her side. Due to that, the 15-yr old has already (proudly) lost her virginity, is stealing marijuana from her mother and using it, and she has recently been seen (by others, not her mom) hanging out with people who are known for getting in serious trouble with the law. Also, this young lady (the 15-yr old) constantly gets called out by other parents due to her abusive demeanor towards their children. It just gets worse and worse.

    There's a 10-yr old daughter who loves her half-sister and father very much. She enjoyed her time with us because we always tried to take them places and do things to have fun -- we tried to implement a "policy" of NO NEGATIVITY for their well-being. So when the mother became aware of her joy in being with us, that's when the protective order came up. In the presence of their father's mother, she actually told the children that he did not care about seeing them, he only was upset about the protective order because it kept him from hunting.

    I have since left. I have to raise my child in a happy home-or try the best I can.

    I've worried about them growing up to be unloveable people, but now it's a matter of worrying about the 15-yr old being sexually assaulted or worse! This woman puts on so well, she gets by with anything! What is anyone supposed to do about a woman like this?!

    Legal plunder our children there Pawns - Rob - Dec 24th 2012

    Children are being used as commodities. – Rob – Dec 2012

    The law favors most woman in custody battles. They spend more time trying to give the mother a reward for her behavior. The first years of child support payments go toward the mothers lawyers fees to help the grandparents and mother alienate the child from the father. 50/50 shared custody is child support. The father is forced into bankruptcy funding the opposing party through MEP and paying his own legal fees. If a good father wants to be part of his Childs life he should not have to go bankrupt trying to fight for weekend and holidays have his drivers license and bank accounts seized by MEP. After two years eventually the court system financially and emotionally destroys the man trying make him pay unreasonable amounts of support payments and legal fees. Most Lawyers and Judges allow conflict to continue to create legal plunder. This woman and her lawyer created High Conflict as a tool to master manipulate sole custody. Best interest of the child is 50/50 unless there is a major proven concern.
    75% percent of males in prison grow up without a father. Boys belong with good fathers especially when they hit early adulthood. Control freaks are master manipulators. Control Freaks have master manipulated the court system to benefit themselves. The family law is one sided to create Legal Plunder.
    No woman has ever been charged for false declarations.
    The first five years of a child life is the bonding years of a child with his parents. STOP using our children as PAWNS.

    Children are being used as commodities. - Rob - May 27th 2012

    The law favors woman in custody battles. They spend more time trying to give the mother a reward for her behavior. The child support payments are used to help the grandparents and mother alienate the child from the father. 50/50 is child support. If a good father wants to be part of his Childs life he should not have to go bankrupt trying to fight for weekend and holidays for two years eventually becomes broke trying to pay unreasonable amounts of support payments and lawyers and judges allow conflict to continue to create legal plunder.  Best interest of the child is 50/50 unless this is a major concern. 75%percent males in prison grow up without a father. Boys belong with their fathers especially when they hitThe law favors woman in custody battles. They spend more time trying to give the mother a reward for her behavior. The child support payments are used to help the grandparents and mother alienate the child from the father. 50/50 is child support. If a good father wants to be part of his Childs life he should not have to go bankrupt trying to fight for weekend and holidays for two years eventually becomes broke trying to pay unreasonable amounts of support payments and lawyers and judges allow conflict to continue to create legal plunder.  Best interest of the child is 50/50 unless this is a major concern. 75%percent males in prison grow up without a father. Boys belong with their fathers especially when they hit there early adulthood. Control freaks are master manipulators. The law is one sided to create Legal Plunder there early adulthood. Control freaks are master manipulators. The law is one sided to create Legal Plunder.

    The first five years of a child is the bonding years of a child with his parents. STOP useing your children as PAWNS.

    Step Daughter uses emotional blackmail - Chris - Jan 3rd 2012

    After years of trying to figure out my husband's ex, I am now certain she is a hostile aggressive parent.

      Step Daughter lived with hubby & I for 12 years.  At age 15, her mother pressured her to live with her. Both parents have 50/50 custody. Courts said ok, even after presenting the fact that mother moved 15 times in 13 years, took daughter to see a juvenile relative that molested said child, etc.  I could go on & on but I won't.  Step daughter moves in with mother, then moves all her belongings out 3 months after court.  Calls & says she is not coming back.  Refuses to talk to dad for 4 months.  Finally does because he is awarded counseling.  Doesn't see me for 8 months. 

    Shared parenting goes out the window.  At 17 child can do what she wants.  She barely speaks to me.  Has seen her dad only 10 times in a year.  Her counselor calls to say she is so stressed all the time that she needs to be on anti-depressants.  No one will tell us what is so stressful.  Not mother, daughter, counselor.  Husband will not go along with the pills till he talks to her counselor.  Now this child won't acknowledge her father in any way shape or form.  Cat had to be put down, texted & called.  No response.  No holiday greetings.  Talk about emotional blackmail.  I am at wits end.  Husband is close to giving up. 

    The only one making out in the deal is the mother, who took us to court 6 times for custody, 4 times for child support (even when she paid us), 2 times for contempt (she lost), and has done nothing but put us down for years.  Some of the things she told her daughter over the years would make your hair stand on end.  

    So here we are, no closer to working out a relationship with daughter, who will be 18 in a few short months. 

    Why oh why can't our judges, guardian at litems, social workers, counselors, etc. be schooled in these & other matters?  Why should a 10, 14 or 16 year old dictate who they will live with?  And when the parental rights of one parent are not being met, like no visitation, why don't they intervene right away?

    thanks for letting me vent.

     

    my boyfriend's x - michelle - Jan 2nd 2012

    My boyfriend divorced his x after she had 5 extra marital affairs. Unfortunately at the time of the divorce he was one year out from treatment for a perscription pill addiction due to suffering from PTSD. He got treatment and is doing excellent. He agreed to allow the X to have disgression over visitation because he felt he did not have legal recourse. This was a massive mistake. The X is using the children as pawns against him to control him. We have been dating 18 months and most of it I have remained silent because if she finds out we are dating she will not allow him to see his children. This woman is in a relationship and has been the entire time but she cannot get over the fact my boyfriend has moved on. We have offered to pay for therapy on many occasions to help her deal with this situation but are met with the most insane emails and text messages I have ever seen. This woman is clearly has mental issues and needs some form of therapy. She has even screamed and attacted one of the children by scratching his face. The children beg their dad to see them but the X says only if she is present which then insues into a huge argument because she begs him back and he refuses her. I have children and have a wonderful kind relationship with their father and it just breaks my heart to see what these three beautiful boys are being put through. I have shown emails to friends with physchology degrees and they say she appears to be a sociopath. She is high functioning in public ( a kindergarten teacher at a catholic school) but secretely goes crazy. I have phone bills where she has texted and called 3-4 times a minute for 6 hours straight while supposedly working. It is very disturbing. When we offered to pay for a mediator or counselor she started cussing and name calling. I always respond kindly and tell her I want to get along and will do what I can to make it right and she continues with the abusive emails. I don't know what else we can do. My boyfriend doesn't have enough money to hire an attorney at this time. I don't know if contacting the state would help as I feel this is child abuse. She tells them they can't see their father because he'd rather have a girlfriend. I just want to find peace with this and to make it right. I think forced counseling is our only option but how do we do it????

    a MOTHER BEING DONE WRONG BY THE LEGAL SYSTEM - - Nov 14th 2011

    IN MY CASE MY EX-SPOUSE USED MY HORRIBLE MOLESTATION DONE TO ME AS A CHID AND THE FACT I WAS A FOSTER KID. I TRUSTED HIM WITH THIS PERSONAL INFORMATION. I FELT I WAS CRUCIFIED FOR THAT BITTER PAST BY MY EX-SPOUSE. WELL HE LIED IN COURT AND EVEN TWISTED THINGS FROM MY CHILDHOOD AND USED IT . HE EVEN HAD MY TEENAGER LIE TO HELP HIM GAIN CUSTODY OF HER AND MY 4 YEAR OLD. MY EX- WAS MANIPULATIVE AND CONTROLING AND VERBAL ABUSIVE AND PHYSICAL ABUSIVE . I READ UP ON THE FAMILY LAW AND LAW CODES WERE IGNORED . JUDGES WHO ARE BIASE THEY DON\\\'T LIKE PARENTS WITH A PHYSICAL WALKING DISABILITY\\\'S EITHER. WELL MY EX- HE GOT SOLE CUSTODY I HAD VISIT RIGHTS. FOR THREE YEARS HE DISSAPPEARED AND HIS ATTORNY HELPED HIM HIDE. ONCE HE WAS FOUND THE JUDGE IGNORED THE LAW CODES FOR A PARENT WITH COUSTODY THAT KIDNAPS CHILDREN. MY EX-SHOULD OF WENT TO PRISON AND THE ATTORNEY SHOULD OF AS WELL. I HAD A MOTHER BOND WITH THE 4 YEAR OLD A GOOD RELATIONSHIP I CARED FOR HER AS A STAY AT HOME MOM. THREE YEARS IS LONG ENOUGH TO BRAINWASH HER TO HATE OR THINK I\\\'M NO GOOD. MY OLDER KID I USE TO WORK AND MY EX-MOTHER TOOK CARE OF HER SHE SHOWED HER IT WAS OKAY TO DISRESPECT ME AS HER MOM. IT MADE ME FEEL HURT AND BETRAYED AND I WAS ROBBED TO MOTHER HER WE HAD NO BOND. I WAS TREATED SO UNFAIR BY THE LEGAL SYSTEM. MY EX- DIDN\\\'T CARE HE WAS MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY HURTING MY 4 YEAR OLD. I HAVE NOT SEEN HER FOR YEARS SHE IS NOW 11 YEARS OLD. I WAS GRANTED ALIMONY AND IN THE END OF A LONG 5 YEAR BATTLE AFTER THEY WERE FOUND I STILL HAVE NO COMMUNICATION HE ALLIENATES ME FROM MY CHILD. AND THE ALIMONY ONE JUDGE GAVE ME ANOTHER TOOK IT AWAY FROM ME! FROM READING UP ON FAMILY LAW IT STATES A JUDGE CAN NOT OVER RULE ANOTHER JUDGES DECISIONS IN A CASE. SO MY EX-OWED ME BACK PAY HE STOPED THE PAYMENTS THEN VANISHED WITH KIDS! HE WOED ME OVER 6,OOO IN BACK PAYMENTS OF ALIMONY. THEN THAT JUDGE CLOSED THE COURT CASE. I WAS TOLD I COULD FILE A LIE DETECTOR TEST BUT IT DO ME NO GOOD . MY EX- USED THE LEGAL SYSTEM TO WRONGFULLY TAKE MY KIDS AWAY. I GRIEVE OVER THE LOST OF MY YOUNGER ONE AND GRIEVE OVER THE LOST OF THE OLDER ONE IN RAISING HER I HAD TO WORK AT THAT TIME. IT HURT THAT SHE DISRESPECTED ME IT HURTS TODAY SHE BELIEVES BY MY EX-MOTHER I NEVER WANTED HER!THIS BULLSHIT OF ATTORNEYS BEING IN CHAMBERS WELL OLDER KIDS TALK IS NOT GOOD. THIS IS HOW PARENTS WHO GET THEIR KIDS TO LIE WIN FAVORS OF THE JUDGES. WHAT I\\\'AM IMPLYING IS THIS NEEDS TO STOP BE HIDE CHAMBERS. EVEN IF THE CHILD LIES AND A JUDGE HAS NO PROOF IT HAPPENED THEY BY LAW GO BY THE KIDS WORD NOT JUST THE PARENT WHO HAS THE KIDS IN HIS/OR HER CARE. NOT ONLY DOSE THE PARENT SUFFER WHO DID NOTHING WRONG THE INNOCENT CHILDREN SUFFER ESPECIALLY IF THE PARENT THEY LOST WAS THE ONE THEY HAD A BETTER RELATIONSHIP WITH. MY OLDER KID SHE FOUND ME AT 18 AND TOLD ME SHE WAS SO SORRY BUT AFTER I COULDNT GIVE HER MONEY ANYMORE TO HELP HER SHE CALLED ME NAMES AND THINGS GOT BAD. AT THE TIME SHE WAS 18 SHE THREATEN TO LIE AGAIN TO THE COURTS AND SAY I WAS HARMING MY SON WHO I HAD WITH THE MAN IN MY LIFE NOW. MY EX-SPOUSES OBLIGATIONS AS A GOOD FATHER HE NEVER WAS ! IT STATES IN FAMILY LAW BOOKS IF A PARENT USES THE KIDS TO GAIN CUSTODY THEY SHOULD SEEK HELP THAT THEY ARE MENTALLY ILL!!! A LOT WAS WRONG WITH MY CASE AND I FEEL JUDGES WERE PAID OFF . TODAY I\\\'M WRITING MY LIFE STORY AND I WILL ALSO LET READERS ON WHAT REALLY IS GOING ON IN THE COURT HOUSE . I WAS TOLD WITH WHAT WAS DONE TO ME I COULD GET MY CHILD BACK BUT I HAD NO CASH TO PAY FOR THE FEES . I WAS TOLD IF I COULD COME UP WITH THE CASH THE CASE WOULD BE PULLED OUT OF VENTURA COUNTY SO MY EX- ATTORNEY DIDNT KNOW ANY JUDGES. I WAS TOLD IT HAS BEEN A LONG TIME AND IT BE A LONG BATTLE TO UNDO THE MENTEL AND EMTIONAL DAMAGE DONE TO THE CHILD AND YEARS OF THERAPY. SOMETHING NEEDS TO CHANGE WITH THE LAWS EVEN FOR US ON DISABILIY.I CAN ONLY IMAGINE WHAT ALL THIS HAS DONE TO MY YOUNGER CHILD WHO I LOVE AND MISS AND WHO I MAY NOT EVER SEE AGAIN IN LIFE. YET IT FEELS LIKE NO ONE REALLY CARES UNLESS THIS HAS BEEN DONE TO THEM...

    Child custody and Move away - Nila Fordyce - Aug 24th 2011

    This is a great article. I wish you would publish this to all the other LCSW--especially in Ca. that are in the child custody evaluator business. These people, are greedy, very mother friendly and alot of them are incompetent. However, one of the other tragic things I find is the broken Family Legal System--some states are worse than others as far as being greedy,biased and incompetent as well. This is so...very sad--they are also the one's hurting our innocent children along with a very selfish parent. And not to start a gender war here--but it is still the poor innocent good fathers that are getting crucified in our Family Legal System. These so called experts do not care about what is in the best interest of the children nor do they seem to care...I find this all so egregious to the good relationships children have with their parent (fathers). Children need their fathers more than ever. But, the most henious of laws that can rip a child away from their parent are these tragic move-away laws...They should be banned!!! And this happens all the time--if you're a father chances are you will lose big time. If a mother has fallen out of love with the father--having an affair and wants to take the child to live with her lover thousands of miles away--they allow it. For no other good reason or some inane reason. This to me is unscionable.  But, unfortunately again, their are alot of very narcissistic mothers out there--I could name a few right now. These people are the ones destroying our childrens futures and this needs to stop now.

    The Family Legal System in this country needs a complete overhaul from the top to the bottom. They have to make it equal justice for all or not at all. They need make Shared-Parenting mandatory.And these very selfish parents need to go to classes before they even think of doing something that would be detrimental to the childs upbringing. Divorce is hard enough on them let alone having a parent who you were bonded with ripped from your heart...The profound emotional impact of them is everlasting...

    Perplexing - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Jul 15th 2011

    Sadly, I am aware of similar cases as yours. It is not up to one parent to avoid using children as pawns in a divorce situation, it is up to both parents. There are too many cases in which one parent is willing while the other is not and just continues to manipulate the child against the other parent. It's terrible and that is all I can say.

    I want to suggest that it's not just men who go through this. I know of several mothers who have either lost custody or have very limited custody and whose ex husbands are equally short sighted and sadistic.

    Perhaps a support group for divorced parents in a similar situation?

    Dr. Schwartz

    A different scenario that's perplexing. - John - Jul 14th 2011

    Wife cheats; I find out but ignore it to stay as a family but especially to be with my 4 1/2 yr. old son. She messes with HER 50/50 schedule immediately leaving no alternative but court, which crucifies me (the former PT worker & Primary Caregiver) for 6 yrs. losing everything while she relentlessly pciks me apart yet NOT able to drive a wedge between son & I who never have an upsetting word.  He is 9 & we a kindred spirits while she behaves unbelievably sadistic identicsl to the Malicious Mother Syndrome.  I ignore most of what she does & live with it the best I can with Support Gropu while the System rapes me financially & emotionally. Example, Judges ignore my son's Child lawyer Report offering 50/50.  X-wife has been able to fabricate the notion that I hate all women, which she knows is ludicrous JUST because I prefer traditional ladies like my Mom.  Having said this, my University Gov. city is notorious for a HUGE circle of radical feminists for years. My son adores me & obeys her.  His personality has changed from extraverted to introverted over 3 1/2 years.  Even the lawyers don't trust the women Judges here in Family Law IF their client is male.  In closing, the quantity & insane quality of methodical abuses towards me are hedious from X-wife and these women in the system.  Many other men are experiencing the same thing here. there, and everywhere. What do I do?

    Sometimes they alienate for no reason at all - "Grace" - Apr 28th 2011

    My husband has been divorced for 10 years; currently involved in a child support mod case for the last year - first in the divorce, that he brought to court. Kids were 4 & 8, now 14 & 18.

    During the marriage, his ex committed adultery once, twice, three times - who knows how many times, she wanted the divorce, she abandoned the children in the last six months of the marriage & moved to another state with her boyfriend, plus she took out a $10k home equity loan on the "marriage home" a month before she abandoned the kids. She forged his initials on changes to the Divorce Decree after he signed it. Left my husband destitute after the divorce, to raise those kids himself. He lived with family when he could, with the kids. Six months after the divorce was final, she moved the kids to another state without his permission, against the JPA. The list goes on.

    Sadly, he paid his child support in cash for the first 4 years - until she finally had it enforced in the state she lives; so no records of payment the first 4 years. When she applied for enforcement in her state, she claimed he did not pay her a dime in 4 years prior. When he brought this all to court last year for mod + her 8 years of contempt with dependent exemptions taken against the divorce decree - she counter-motioned that he hasn't paid her a dime in 10 years, even though there are records since 2006. She is in the banking industry - so she spends the child support money on lavish business suits, haircuts & colors, nails, a new Audi every year, fake boobs - you name it. She's been remarried since 2006, to a child rapist - we just found out.

    After the court proceedings began, the alienation from her end was beaming; he had a great relationship with those kids even though he hadn't really seen them much since 2006 - thanks to mom cutting off all communications with my husband when the child support enforcement was final in 2006. But since last August - she has been poisoning those kids even more against him and I - which is obvious with their actions on Facebook, email, etc. Mom spied my husbands & my Facebook accounts through the kids - until I commented on the then 17 year-olds post one day, then I was removed permanently. It's very obvious mom said something about the court case, which is a violation of the JPA. The 18 year old's last day of high school was Jan 27 2011 - and she sent her father a nasty message on facebook - obviously prompted by mom.

    Two weeks before any court date, it's obvious she snoops the kid facebook accounts & continues to spy... don't know what she expects to find; she's already brought "altered" facebook posts of my husband's to court to prove something or another, which she hasn't. The most recent action involved both kids removing both of us completely from facebook this month, two weeks before the court date that wound up being rescheduled. Needless to say, we've pulled all the posts & photos off the kids facebook a long time ago, so whatever she thinks she's hiding, she's not. The attorney has it all.

    So in this case - you have a rotten money-hungry mom who has done everything wrong, including alienate the kids from dad - for no reason. He was there for her for 4 years after the marriage ended - all her nonsense, boyfriend after boyfriend, fiance' after fiance', followed her around every time she moved to stay close to the kids - and this is how he is repaid. He's done nothing wrong - except produce 2 very smart children with a horrible woman.

    My husband is tired of the games; if his kids want to be loyal to this woman who does nothing but badmouth him but puts her hand out for that $650/month like clockwork - so be it. We can only hope that someday those kids will want to know the truth, and when they do - we'll be more than happy to show them all of the court documents and the nonsense "mommie" has been puttting "daddy" through all these years.

    couldn't care less - - Apr 27th 2011

    You said: "For the child who experiences the loss of a parent because that parent has been successfully blocked from participation in the child's life the consequences are worst. Most frequently but no(t) always the parent who vanishes is the father. The child is left to imagine what became of the missing parent. " 

    You might like to include that sometimes the children couldn't care less what became of the missing parent because the other parent has made it his life's work to alienate those children from that missing parent. 

    And further, his passion for this work is fired by his deep down knowledge that he was thwarted by not being able to continue to control his "chattel" who finally had enough of  his fists and verbal abuse but couldn't get legal or community support or help and was unable to save her children from having their whole family destroyed.

     

    At least for this missing parent anyway.

    Lies that can be proven - mitzy - Apr 25th 2011

    My children father is a natural liar, victim, narcissistic personality, he was also a workalcoholic, and alcoholic.  They knew none of this.  I worked very hard and have been a constant stay at home. Upon his retirement he informed everyone that he was going to be Mr. Mom, even though I had no plans to go anywhere, not even to work.  He has been on a rant to "get rid of me" once I expected him to keep some of his promised that retirement would be for us, and all the money he earned we could now "enjoy ourselves".  He lied. His first act of retirement was to "kick me out of our home", basically if I didn't like "it" being anything he wanted to do, I could leave. I did, but we lived with my mother in government apts, and the rules, made our stay temporary.

     So I came home, with our daughter (about 11 at the time).  Nothing got better in fact he wanted to be a cared for child, and to drink and to make trouble, for myself, the 11 year old and the grown daughters. He had very little to do with them during all the years he worked three jobs (my fault of course), suddenly now that the job was done, he was Mr. Mom.  No, he had used me up to do what he wanted and now he wanted me gone, so he had everything (that I did, built, repaired and kept going) to himself. The end. No relationship at all, just him doing what he wanted and me playing Mom to him.

     Now he is using this daughter (15) to care for him when I no longer will, and using her needs to piggy back into having it all with NO effort on a daily basis except pleasing himself. A seven month seperation, where he was living with our oldest daughter (long story) just single her and him (another way to make me pay with the shame of it all), did no good whatsoever. Out of the blue he gives up his house (at Christmas time, better to grandstand don't you know) and not being divoriced I couldn't stop him from coming. All "our" his money to him, is in a retirement account he can and has accessed at will whenever he wants to leave and punish me for "complaining".  He dissappears for weeks, with no way to reach him and "threatens me with being cut off" yet expects me to take care of everything including paying the bills, while he lives the life of a single man, until he gets bored with that.

    I am trying to save money for a long over due divorice, yet I am expected to do for him, and if not, he uses the 15 year olds needs to get his met, and triangulates her in the process. Clearly he came back to drive ME out, so he can have it all, and I get NOTHING. This way his original plan don't you know.

    If a parent wants to "use the child" nothing, not a divorice, or anything will stop them.  There ought to be a law, oh yeah, there is "no fault divorice". Bull

    Still angry at my Parents for divorcing - Taylor - Feb 16th 2011

    As a womb identical twin survivor, my parents divorced when I was 12. They put me through so much pain and hurt. They fought between me, said nasty stuff about each other, fought about money. They only cared about themselves that they will later forgot to include in the divorce certificate that one of the parents or either one, was to help pay for my first car, or me going to college. I never had that support. I had to find other ways to get money sources. My dad got paid child support- $250/2 weeks from my age of 12 to 18. I am now 27. He doesn't lend money anymore. He is remarried and so is Mom. I still feel resentment when my dad asked if it was okay if they got a divorced. I never knew what it meant or that they never took the time to talk to me about it..I don't know. I still give them punishment to this day since the divorce. I declared myself not to marry nor give them children. I have not seen my Dad's family for a whole year, last year. Loss of interest in his family perhaps? It has been like that all my life. I feel so confused right now and have no idea to express how I'm feeling. Just don't know who I am.

    My issue - - Feb 4th 2011

    Hi there, 

    No divorce should be unequal, kids should be given a chose in who they want to stay with. I come from a divorce parent and it was ugly and my mother turned us children against our father. I left my marriage because I wanted an education and their father was having none of it. He made stories ups and brought the authorities in on me, it spiral out of control and I went from seeing the children 8 hours every weekend to 4 hours to no access at all because of all the lies their father told about me. I live in the UK and I hate it that I have no rights. From the schools to seeing the children in the street they are no longer allow to talk to me. They just wave at a distant which is crazy because their father won't allow me to talk to them. When he not there I get to hug them and kiss them and they laugh at how ridiculous it is. I have now going back to court for full custody because I don't want them spending the rest of their life living like this. When I look back on this event I hate it because I just wanted my freedom and it should not have cost me a revengeful guy handing out aggressive emotional abuse to my 3 children in return for paying me back. The law need to change to ensure that if they believe for one minute the children are being use by one parent against another then the parent doing the emotional blackmail should not have the children at all. I hate my parent behaviour and my 3 children hate their father behaviours and lies that being brainwashed into them. For no reason than he couldn't stand me getting an education. I did the right thing for myself but the cost my 3 children are paying is not right and I done nothing wrong to be treated this way, he abnormal and I'm the decent parent here. 

    Vindictive - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Nov 9th 2010

    As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Psychotherapist, I can report to you that I have had experience with this unfortunate type of scenario. All I can adivise is that there is nothing you can do at this time. Clearly, the court has decided that she can have partial custody or visitation rights based on their investigation of the situation.

    I have found that most fears about the children in this type of case are greatly exaggerated. You cannot prove that the mother is wispering bad things and many young children find it difficult to transition from one home to the other.

    At this point you have to "grin and bear it," and  be very reassuring to your child. At least, that is my opinion.

    Dr. Schwartz

    Vindictive sociopath - tenja01 - Nov 9th 2010

    We are currently fighting for custody of 2 children aged 3 and 5. Although we dont bad mouth the mother and make every attempt for her to interact with the children (ph calls, dinners, weekends, scrap books), she is a known compulsive lier and only pays attention to herself. This past weekend the 3 year old came home anxious and is having difficulty sleeping in his own bed. Something that has never been an issue. I know his mother has been at his ear and i have no idea what spinning she has done to the little fella but it is heartbreaking to see. I tell him we love him and that he is safe at our place. We acknowledge that he is sad but cant do anything more. How can we combat someone who is out to get her own way and her "one-up-maniship" when it is starting to affect her children? the sad thing is that the courts and other professionals who do not know her fall for the lies and we appear the crazy ones when we tell the truth. We are not vindictive people and are honest to a point that the mother surprises us still with her "nuttyness" i am afraid that something bad will happen. My partner (her ex) believes she has already tried to do things to hurt the 3 year old. She is truly psychotic, how can we deal with someone like this? We never say anything to the kids about this.

    History is repeating itself with my grandson! - Brenda - Oct 14th 2010

    My three children have been placed in the middle for many years between my ex husband and myself. For years I have said nothing to defend myself against many spiteful attacks and lies from the my ex in laws.  Once the children were older I began to defend myself even though I knew it was wrong. It hurts so much when my children shown me in many ways that they had believed their lies. My oldest is now a single mom, and I have a beautiful grandson who is 3.5 years old.  He calls me Nana and I love so much. I am very happy to be a grandmother, but my ex sister in law is now getting my grandson to call her nana as well. How do I get this to stop when my daughter will not say anything to her father or aunt because she is suppose to hate me on that side of the family. I need this abuse to stop, as it is so hurtful and my grandson is going to pay the price. My grandson is repeating things to me that they are telling him and breaking my heart.  How do I not get pulled into this again. I was able be strong when my children were growing up against these spiteful attempts to destroy the relationship I have with my children. I would say to myself that they will grow up someday and to just hold my tongue for now. Realizing that these people are never going to give up trying to make me miserable and hurting the kids who are caught in the middle. I have no way out. Please somebody give me some advise, I do not want my grandson to be a weapon.  I have recently considered removing myself from his life altogether so he is not victimized like my children were when they were growing up. If I do not remove myself, I am afraid history will repeat itself. I just can't do that to him. Help please!

    asberger diagnosed child blocked from seeing father by mother - Peggy - Apr 27th 2010

    I am the grandmother of an absolutely marvelous six year old little boy, his father (my son) and his mother were never married and it would be fair to say never really had a relationship. So basically, there is not any shared good memories or relational ties to fall back on.

    Last year my grandson's mother moved to another state (her husband is in the military).  My son, wanting to insure that "distance" would not become an issue in regards to visitation, moved his family to the same state (don't get me wrong there were other reasons to move as well - but being closer to his son was his main motivator).

    During my grandson's step father's deployment, his mother, through extremely diligent efforts and against many psychologists statements, managed to find one that was willing to diagnose my grandson with Asbergers Syndrome.  Please keep in mind that my grandson is age appropriately verbal and has hit every intellectual and physical milestone.  The diagnosis was made based on my grandson's self soothing behavior of head banging against his pillow or the back of his car seat prior to going to sleep, his inability to sleep through the night at his mother's home, his acting out and aggressive behavior with his mother and that he doesn't appear to have as active an imaginative play life as children in his age group.  While my grandson did at times head bang prior to going to sleep, he did not really act out in an aggressive manner while at my son's home during visitation  (which normally lasted 5 to 7 days).  In retrospect, it could be said that he did not have as much imaginative play as other children in his age group - but he was always interested in a variety of play activities and a variety of toys so this lack was something we really needed to search for once it was brought to our attention by his mother. There was never an issue of his not sleeping throughout the night, he played hard at my son's home, went to bed at an appropriate hour and got up early (usually between 6:00am and 8:00am).

    Last fall, and prior to the official diagnosis, my grandson's mother was paying personally out of pocket for ABA therapy for him. This included 2 and 1/2 hours five times a week of therapy. The ABA therapist never requested any information regarding my grandson's behavior while at my son's house, and when contacted by my son for information (his right under court order) bluntly refused to speak with him.

    According to my grandson's mother, this therapist never speaks to non-custodial parents and she believes that this is the therapist's right and that it over rides my son's rights and the court's order.

    My grandson's mother does not believe that my grandson does not present at my son's home as he does at her's and believes that my son is lying about this and doesn't believe me when I confirm that what my son says is indeed truth based on my personal and direct observation. So without any contact or personal first hand observational assessment of the situation while at my son's home during visitation, the ABA therapist has recommended that my grandson not travel, and that no visitation occur outside of his mother's home.  (When we do try to visit at his mother's home, the visits are blocked.)

    Several months later, according to his mother,  my grandson began refusing to speak to anyone on his father's side of the family.  When I suggested that this was a problem behavior and that we needed to come up with a behavioral intervention plan for this I was quickly and bluntly informed that my six year old, Asbergers Syndrome grandchild had a right to his feelings and that he did not want to speak or see anyone on his father's side of the family.  That she, his mother, was not going to "make" him have any contact with us as it was his right to his feelings and she was going to honor those feelings.

    We have tried to honor my grandson's therapist and mother's recommendation and have not pushed any of the issues.  It even seemed reasonable that he not travel during the behavior assessment and the creation and implementation of his behavioral intervention plan.  

    The problem is this, we are told to obtain ABA training before we can spend any time with him - yet, we cannot get an ABA therapist to conduct the training since his therapist won't speak to them either. My son is told to get a contract with an ABA therapist (for 2 1/2 hours of therapy when my grandson is at my son's home), yet to contract with a therapist the new therapist needs to speak with the one(s) contracted by son so that everyone is operating under the same intervention plan - yet his therapist refuses to speak to them as well. An initial report from his ABA therapist was shared with us, but we were never given the behavioral intervention plan.  My son was simply told that he would "have" to duplicate everything (purchase a trampoline, lock up my son's toys, etc) prior his ever being allowed to come to my son's home again.

    Every effort, every attempt on our part continues to be blocked.  His diagnosis is the excuse when it suits or his rights to his feelings and the behaviors from this feelings being "his right" when that suits.  We need an advocate.  We need someone who is knowledgeable to give us some advise regarding what is reasonable contact between my grandson's father and my grandson's ABA therapist, etc.  Is there any organization or information group that can be recommended?  Since he has been given this diagnosis there is concern that it won't be simply going into court with a contempt complaint.

    after ten years of guardianship we give the children back feels like we are going thru a divorce - jm - Apr 26th 2010

    we recently released our guardianship and custody of our grandchildren back to their mom after ten years. the youngest was only 3 months old and her sister was a year and a half old. We never kept the mother from the girls but there was times the mother didn't see them for a few months at a time (by her own choice) and in recent years she had them every other weekend and basically when she wanted but even as of recent most of the time the mother would not call or see the girls for two weeks at a time due to her own choice...we decided since the girls were older and wanted to be with their mom we would release the guardianship and return them to the mother on the bases that we would still see them every other weekend and on wensdays to start with(i understand as they get older they will not want to come all the time and that is fine)..the mother promised the girls that she would let the girls see us everyother weekend ect...that she would never take that away from them...it has been only two months and she has found every excuse she can not to let them come over she threatens them if they miss behave they will not be aloud to come see us and if they act up they will never be aloud the rest of their lives to see us...the mother and step father call me a whore and say i sleep with my dad in front of the girls (i know they could not come up with stuff like this on their own)...they call me the C word and worse and tell the children they want to beat me up and we are no good (my husband and i) ... the girls live in fear that everything they do can result in a no visit, their mom already took away wensdays because i called the school and asked them to bring their jackets (that i bought for them, so that i could wash them) on thier first wensday stay over and the mother found out that i called the school and talked to the youngest (i wasn't trying to keep it a secret from the mom) and the mom tripped out and had a meltdown over it and called us and told us no more wensdays and i guess the girls had a breakdown and began to cry and scream that they wanted to come and that she had promised them if they were good they could come...we have had several episodes like this resulting in the girls not being able to visit...i have seen the girls 9 and 11 changing slowly they are violent not only to each other but others they are very clingie when they have been here and also disrespectful they have changed from happy go lucky girls to unhappy aggresive children the girls tell me how much it hurts to hear their mom and stepfather and friends talk so badly about us and when they try to tell them they are called rude and disrespectful and told they are not aloud to come for their next visit...not only thier mom and step father tell them things like this but the parents friends also...is this not phycological abuse! what can i do...the girls are afraid to even tell their mom anything because they are afraid of what the moms reaction will be ...what do i do...i am so afraid for them they are emotional wrecks...

    Kids stayed with Dad mom resents them for it. - - Feb 20th 2010

    Great article. I'm separated moving towards divorce. My kids chose to stay with me. My ex resents them for it. For a brief while the youngest was with her and I would call daily. Now that they're with me she rarely calls them. They rarely call her too. I don't understand it. Many hurt feelings between the ex and me but we talk often and I express to the kids that she is a great mom but we're just not right for each other anymore as a couple. Her needs have changed. She wants her autonomy. I just don't understand how a mother can resent her kids. She told me flat out she feels betrayed. My approach has been different. I've asked my kids what they choose to do and I respect their decision. There mom is a decent person how could I resent them for choosing to be with the woman who gave birth to them. However, they chose me. I'm overjoyed but I want them to have a better relationship with their mother even if it means my loss. After all aren't parents supposed to be selfless regarding their kids?

    Help im no monster - amanda - Feb 17th 2010

    Hello, I am very sad my son is forced by courts to see his dad, i have never interfeared but as my son gets older he comes home saying things like Dady has a house near him for us to live in, the money dady sends you is for me to buy toys, dady says your a mean person and a monster he has even come home asking what a hore is like come on how  can i stop this, my sons dad drills him and threatens him to tell him stuff or he sill spank his bum this isnt right I never say anything to my son about his da never....should i just give in i cant fight him hes to powerful I just tell my son he knows whats right and what ever he believes is true, i am a good person  ilove my son to death how can i make him see his father is the monster in a good way  HELP

    I kept every record, every email, it worked - stepdad with visitation, Yippee - Feb 7th 2010

    My wife abused her kids and I had so much incredible proof that she abused her two kids that as a stepdad I received 10 days a month visitation. What shocked me was the fact that the wife lied to the judge, like the phrase "the therapist did not recommend I stay in contact with the kids" according to the wife. Well, my clueless wife told my neighbor and her first husband that the therapist did recommend I stay in contact with the kids. Plus the therapist, on her deathbed, wrote a letter saying my ex. stated that I had a very close relationship with the kids. All this proof of lies, result...no punishment of the wife. Judges want to judge on one item, visitation. They don't want to create another trial. That is wrong and teaches all lawyers and bad spouses to lie.

    Judges need to be punished for teaching that it's wrong to lie in divorce.

    I also found my wife's notes saying she was abusing the kids and must stop. The biodad gave me permission to see the kids. Tons of evidence gives a judge an easy decision. Don't erase anything!  Judges can't go by words, they need paper and audio and video. I had 6" thick of material, 170 video's with the kids, songs of love from them, notes on how nice I was. And still no one stops her child abuse. Sad.s

    divorce and child stuck in the middle - - Dec 22nd 2009

    Divorce is not an easy option as i have learned over the years, however when my child came into this world i thought i was blessed with offering of future happiness but that was not the case as the soon-to-be-ex-husband betrayed my trust when i found out just two days after birth and not only that i was abused by my soon-to-be-ex-husband. Luckily i am a head strong person and educated on a university level and hold down a job as well. I had to force the 'husband' out of the home as he thought beating me to a pulp was reasonable in front our child. Yet to this day he has not paid any csa and ignored the court letters. My child is not resentful and he even told his teachers that he his glad that he has his mum to look after him.

    The only time i felt really angry was when the 'husband' decided to intitiate contact proceedings after all the abuse. Obviously i have a good solicitor on hand and replied back to his solicitors and again no reply. Let me tell you something don't give your child to an abusive partner and be strong and fight what is right for the child.

    need some advice...if possible - - Dec 16th 2009

    My ex-husband and I have 50/50 custody of our 2 girls, 6 and 9 years old! My husband and I own our home in Elk Grove and my ex still resides in Calaveras County with his girlfriend. My girls have gone to school in Calaveras County all their life and in the divorce I agreed with leave them in their school and I agreed with have them less days out of the year due to the fact that their school is an hour from our home, so I have them every weekend and more on the holidays when they are out of school. It breaks my heart that I do not get to have them with me more and I tried to get them to change schools last year when my ex started to default on our parenting agreement. I filed papers with the courts and started the process. During this time I received a phone call from my oldest daughter crying because my ex told her at 7 yrs old, that I was trying to take her away from all of her friends and from her dad. We went to mediation and I told the mediator what he told my girls and she scolded him for doing that. He told the mediator that I was trying to take them away from their support system and all of their friends. Needless to say, my girls believed him. All in all, after mediation I felt that I had no choice but to leave my children where they were because no matter what I did, I was going to be the bad guy.

    However, now after a year has passed, now my ex is trying to move my girls out of the school they are so fond of and into a worse school district then they would be if they would be going here. Now that it is conveinant for him it is okay to move them away from everything they no and into a whole different county and school. I talked with him about this and asked that the 4 of us sit down together and let show them the 2 different schools and let them choose where they want to go. But he doesn't want to do that and I can tell that he has already started to manipulate my oldest into doing what he wants. She is being hurt the worst by all of this because she doesn't want to go anywhere and now he is making her when he promised her just a year ago that she didn't have to. I don't know what to do at this point??? I know from research that the school district I live in is rated 2 points higher than the one he wants to go to and my girls have lived in my home for 2 years now and they have many friends already in this school. They do not know anyone where he wants to go. I am sick of him manipulating the situation and I will take it to court if I have to. Please help on what my next moves should be??? thanks so much

    son left mom at 14 years old - - Nov 9th 2009

    My son left me and my daughter 7 months after i asked my ex to leave. After 3 yrs of adultery and him not leaving this woman I asked him to leave. 5 yrs later my son is still living with his dad, and doesnt have anything to do with me. Why,..my daughter 2 years older  has stayed with me, and I have always kept the door open to her and my son right from the start for their dad to communicate and visitation. On the other hand , my ex tried to get sole custody of both kids at the time. My only sister has also sided with my ex and talks with him and visits with him when she comes to town, which my son sees and probably thinks i am the bad one..i am totally confused and desperate for answers.

    Grandmother and Grandchild - Allan N. Schwartz, PhD - Sep 30th 2009

    Hi Grandma,

    Yes, I do have a suggestion. The tone of your posting suggests to me that you have taken sides with your daugher and grandchild against your former son-in-law. While that is only natural you must be careful about that so that you not unwittingly repeat what your ex on in law is doing with your grandchild.

    What I mean is this:

    Despite the fact that your grandchild is complaining about her father, he still is and always will be her father. It is important that she visit him and know that she has your support and her mother's support in doing that.

    Be very careful not to agree that her dad is the problem and that she should not visit him. I realize that you may not be telling her that in words but children are excellent at picking or "reading" the attitudes and thinking of the important adults in their world.

    Also, I want to suggest something different to you about her problems:

    Your grandchild may be more upset about the divorce and the fact that there is a man in her mother's house who isnot her father than anything else.

    Things are often not what they appear on the surface. Remember, her dad is her dad and he is enormously important to her, much more than you may think.

    Advise her to just listen to dad and not take his words about her mom so seriously. Tell her to love him, which she does anyway but needs to know that its OK.

    Dr. Schwartz

    GRANDCHILD'S HEARTACHE - - Sep 30th 2009

    My grandchild is having medical symptoms due to the stress of being torned between mom and dad. When she is with her dad, he is constantly badmouthing her mom. Daughter has tried telling him that he needs to keep quiet, it upsets my grandchild. I will have to say that the mom doesn't say negative comments about her dad. This child is constantly not feeling well and have been to the doctors office more in this past month, than in her entire 11yrs. The mom has a live in boyfriend which my grandchild loves. He is so different then her dad, who always talks loud and most of the time unhappy, therefore makes everyone feel bad. She sees the difference and loves being with mom and him. She has said that she doesn't want to spend as much time with her dad, but he makes her feel guilty if she doesn't come to stay with him a couple of days. Any suggestions.

    PAS - VISITATION RIGHTS - John - Aug 14th 2009

    Hi everyone, it's a great comfort to see that I am not the only one going through this divorce thing. However I am also sorry that others are too! My wife announced one day that she no longer loved me and wanted me to leave the marital home which is owned by the council, which is our local area goverment if you like. I did not want to, but when I saw the council and the solicitor (attorney), they told me sooner or later i would have to go. I felt like a hole had opened up and swallowed me, 6 months on still can't believe it. I loved and still love all my family even the wife I resent for doing this. I even asked her why she was hugging and kissing me the day before, she said because it was false. She said I was controlling and always on my computer, which was not true. I always handed over all my wages let her control the finances as she used to work in a bank and loved it and i always worked away from home on newly launched cars. I honestly never cheated, treated her and the children as well as I could, but as soon as her lifestyle changed, which was caring for her Nan everyday as her DaD, and Aunts never did, she found very little time for us being me and the children. Of course her parents were happy with this (they were both divorce and re-married, mine were always and still are together). She started looking after her Nan thousands of pounds, distributing and hiding so they could talk her in claiming carers allowance from the state and getting paid to clean daily. She was earning more than i did when i worked, yet i never saw any of it. Both her and my girls made a religion of spending the weekend clothes shopping. I stayed at home doing chores in between looking for Jobs on the computer, as i had no money to go out to physically look afar and had done my weekly local shop/town visits.When out of work i had a chance to relocate and gain employment but my wife insisted if we moved away from her not so close family then she would leave me, so i gave up the chance for a good career.I did not realise whilst out of work the council paid my rent for my house as my wife insisted that my Jobseeking Money was required for the rent, which i easily gave up to her.She had been saving for our holiday 1 week away, car maintenance money, Christmas, Birthdays, savings for a rainny day which I did not see any of it. My bank accounts were slowly bled dry over the 6 months her money transferred and I was left for nothing. Although my girls 16 and 14 are not talking to me, why i dont really know, but my 10 year old son has remained loyal to us both. I find it hard to move on everytime i condition myself I receive a solicitors letter for erratic visits, which if you call putting of visiting my son because he has a party erratic then yes ok i'm guilty. These letters go on and on and she is getting legal aid.She won't talk to me and my son has to be go between, i apologise to him and he says its ok but its not. I haven't got the money to fight her, ifc i get a job then i can't afford my solicitor and the child support agency will takee 45% of my wages after the first £80. of my net income and i will loose my flat that all my family and friends have helped me get. My parents have used their retirement money on me, i can't understand why she wont communicate.

     

    Alienation - Lucy - Jul 16th 2009

    Could you please enlighten us on Gardners Parent Alienation Syndrome (PAS)?  In advance, thank-you.

    Editor's Note: The best way I can do that for you is to refer you to the Wise Counsel Podcast interview with Amy J. L. Baker, Ph.D. on that topic

    Divorce and Children - Allan N Schwartz - Mar 24th 2009

    Hi Gloria,

    Please look under "Reader Questions" for my comments about your situation. My response to your question will be posted in a short while.

    Dr. Schwartz

    DESPERATELY MOTHER - Gloria - Mar 24th 2009

    I am currently fighting the custody of my 15 years old son. He is temporarily leaving with his father.  A few weeks ago, I made the mistake of given my son to my abusive ex husband, my son was very disrespectful  to me and he constantly felt sorry for his father.  His father was poisoning him against me.  I thought that if my son live with his father would help my ex-husband to hate me less and my son would stop feeling sorry for his father and improve our relationship.   Now my ex-husband won't let me see him and my son don't want to talk to me. I can understand how parents that are alienated from their children suffer. The pain that I am going trough is unbelievable. I recently told my therapist that I didn't know what was worst the death of a child or knowing that he is alive and doesn't want to talk to you or see you.

    I need help.  I desperately want to safe my son,  but I don't know how to talk to him or what to say to him.

    alienation by a vindictive mom - - Mar 7th 2009

    I was the stay at home dad for over 8 years of three children(ages 5,8 and 11, girl, boy, girl respectively). No abuse or complaints ever from mom. I never did drugs, never abused alcohol, never broke my vows. I was a coach of three of my children's teams and well respected in my community. After a 15 year marriage my X was caught cheating and she then began divorce and the restaining order as a weapon to get the upper hand in a custody battle that I never wanted. She earned $150K while I raised the the nuts and bolts parent who also completely restored my great grandfathers Victorian home with no outside contractors. I wanted joint custody because I grew up from a broken home where my mom used parental alienation against my dad, she had sole custody.( my mother's divorce tactic to use my brother, sister and I as pawns caused us siblings to become alienated from our good dad for 30 years until my own divorce. I truly believe from all I have experienced and read in my 47yrs. that sole custody is child abuse, unless of course their is child abuse going on. My X is now doing what my own mom did to me as a child. She had me I arrested 5 times and held in jail for over 100 days BEFORE these cases of non-evidentuary allegations of restraining order violations went to trial. All cases were bogus and so dismissed but I am damaged by these arrests going into my custody trial. So often these days women use the Restraining Order when they file for divorce with no fear of the consequenses of perjury. My kids know what mom has done to their daddy, but I may have to wait years before I see them again. She got sole and legal custody and allowed to move 1500 miles away.I forgive my X because she will always be my children's mother and I love and respect my children so much and would never do them no harm or want any harm to come to my X. But I can't tell my X this because of the R.O.

    I will write a future fundraiser book to help children - Dawn Goff - Feb 9th 2009

    We can't change the past but we can change the future for other children! dawnangel999@hotmail.com

    children confused pawns - - Jan 1st 2009

    A young married couple are divorcing.  They had originally decided to approach this together, but the father did not show.  In the past six months, the father has "left" home, children and pregnant wife, not mentioning to anyone except his mother where he was, or if he planned to return -- for about a week on two separate occasions.  He spends money on alcohol - some say "average", some say "excessive". He has missed work while living with his mother.  She reported that he had the flu.  

    He entered the couple's home in direct opposition to the court order while no one was present, destroyed personal property and removed others.  He has threatened suicide on two occasions that I know of.  Perhaps these statements are for effect and control, perhaps they are true.  These statements are serious nontheless. He is hurting.  How can he be helped?   How can she be helped?  How can the children not be hurt?

    My concern is that on the first post-filing visit with their father, he told his preschool and primary school age children several untruths:  (1)  your mommy is dead.  she died last saturday.  (2) when you were brushing your teeth, she threw away all the candy in the house.  (3)  other things, including implying that mommy has a boyfriend.  A DNA test would reduce this statement as incorrect.  (4) etc.

    My concern is the anger and confusion these statements create for such young children.   How can someone who supposedly loves his children do such a potentially long-time harmful thing?  How can such a thing be adressed-- no allowing of negative statements of either spouse/parent -- particularily in the hearing of the children.  How can such a thing be handled?  --Does one ignore these statements?  Does one adress them as untruth? --essentially calling the dad a lier -- also not good and harmful to the children. Please help.  Children of any age should never be used as pawns -- this process is difficult in the best of situations.

    parental allienation - Donna - Dec 23rd 2008

    I adopted a little boy when he was two years old. At the time i did have a live in boyfriend that became a father figure to him. A few years later i took his sister at birth although she was never adopted. When my daughter was about four the biological mother wanted her back, which ended up in court. My ex boyfriend paid the attorney and we were given joint custody of the child. The biological mothers rights were never terminated. Since that time my ex boyfriend had taken control of everything. He has turned both of the children against me. At this point Social Services is involved, because he was accused of beating and cursing my daughter. He has been turned into Social Services several time for sexual abuse toward her, but nothing was never proven. She denies that anything has happened. Both of the kids are in his temporary custody at this time because they say that they are afraid of me. I have always been the one they have lived with, i am the one that has always took care of them financially and emotionally. They are older now, my son is a teenager and my daughter is nine. I am not allowed to see my children without supervision. I am on disability and social services order me to give my ex the check that i receive for my son, although they say that the goal is to place both children back in my home. If there is anyone out their that has any suggestions for me please help. I am hurt, angry, depressed, and mad all wrapped up into one. This is so unfair. Our system is failing these children.

    The pain of divorce, seen through my children - Rrebecc - Nov 25th 2008

    I am the a weekend parent and I have seen the pain of the Divorce, through my children. I have also seen how the father will try so hard to take the children away from me. I finally just let the children be children and let them live their lives. When I did this they seemed to be happier with themselves. but what I do understand is that the way the courts systems are know a day, it is not beneficial to the children, but beneficial to the adult who can lie the best. By the grace of God I know how the system is work's and have never lost my children. I believe the children are a gift from God and we should love with all our heart.

    My poor babies - JEFF - Nov 24th 2008

    I recently divorced after 22 yrs of married. Even though i filed on the 18th year, she and her attorney had to drag it out so she could receive my military bennefits once i retired from the military. I got screwed from day one. The judge ordered me to pay all the house hold bills, vehicle, and give her an extra $500 a month. living me with alittle more than $100. to live for the month. So how did i make it? I lived out of my car, took showers at the base gym and ate MRE's and canned tuna. Since i didn't have a home, i couldn't get any custody of my kids. Me a three time combat veteran, comes home after 8 months in Afganistan, finds out my wife has been sleeping around, and it had gone on for the entire time i had been in Special Operations (16 years). I file for divorce, and find myself homeless, and alienated from my children. Vengance from my now X for divorcing her. By the time i got my own apartment about six months after fileing for the divorce, i was able to get at least ever other weekend with my children. My oldest child is autistic and my other child was only a toddler. My X has tried numerous tactics to turn my youngest agaisnt me, and she tried with my oldest, but the bond i have with her is very strong. I raised her and spent all my free time with her from the moment she was born. When she was diagnosed with Autism at 2/half, my X turn to me and said shes broke and handed her to me. So while the X made every excuse to run the roads. It left me and my little girl lots of time to do things.

     Since the divorce. My X left the state with them, without telling me or setting up any visitation. I barely get two phone calls from them a week, and i've only seen them once since August of this year. The divorce left me broke and nearly $100,000. in debt to three different attorney's who didn't help me at all. I ended up going thru the final divorce hearing alone. I was in talks with the X's attorney to settle it. She tricked me and gave me the wrong time to be in court. And of course, i missed the final hearing, and the court awarded my X's attorney all her fee's. Made sure she took all the good stuff out of my settlement offer and made sure her client didn't sign it. So i got stuck with allomony too. I don't have the money to fight her or the time, because i have to work 12hr days just to keep food on the table for my new family and pay my child support and allomony obligations.

    Children of divorce - Daniela - Oct 14th 2008

    Some people are simply not worthed to be parents. They find themselves in situation were they become jealous of the attention kids are giving, so they bail out. However, they don't want to pay the price, they will take the children along with the new spouse so they do not pay child support. They would be abusive or mean, because there is nobody to protect the children.They would use the children as pawn to get back to their ex, because their justification for cheating and breaking the family would be that is the ex's fault. Kids love is genuine, they feel more than anybody who is truth to them. However, adults manipulate kids evrey day to parent them, from doing the chores, to teach them stuff. Then adults who are not fit parents, would use them as pawns, and manipulated them to accomplish their own satisfaction. Sometimes, spouse of angry exs would join in to support, they would build a rationalization for their behavior that would not take in consideration reality and kids feelings.

    Divorce is not good for kids, but having a stable loving home makes up for a life of bitterness and fights. Couple should have mandatory counselling and parenting classes before allow to separate. The best parent should be awared custody. Having joint custody sometimes leave no responsibilty of the end results for both parents. If parents were in conflict and do not cooperate properly, sole custody should be reward. Visitation should be scheduled for the benefit of the child, should be one on one with the parent. The child need not to share with sibbilings that are not relavant, or spouse. The child needs her visitation parent 100% attention, to make up for the little time spend together. The child needs a stable family, not to be divide in two households. What we think we do best for children it might not be. Children should be give access to counselling, to be allowed to express their concerns outside the family. The family should be advice on issues that could become a problem with proper teaching and not blame. Yes, there is lot that needs to be done. But divorce shouldn't be that easy, if you made a commitment, stick with it. Don't just go and make a life for yourself because the spouse does not give 100% attention, or is not as young and beautifull as was before. There should be a fault divorce, and the no fault should be determined in court, not by default. The marriage was invented to protect the inoncent, the children. Now the children well being is secondary to political corectness of sharing the kids between parents. Until the man shares in caring the baby in his body for half time, I do not believe in parental equal rights. I do however believe in extrem cases, where parents behave abnormally, in which case the other one has to take the full responsibility.

    I have watched the pain - - Sep 22nd 2008

    This is all so true. I watched my husband grieve and suffer so much pain over his children. His daughter was 8 and his son 5 when he divorced. He was awarded joint custody. Every time we drove the 9 hours to visit his ex would run and hide and prevent his visits. Through all there growing up years she spoke of what a horrible person he was. Now the daughter 28 and the son 25 they hate their father and want nothing to do with him. He is a good man and wanted badly to be a part of their lives. His ex did all this out of hate and revenge. Even when they were married she used the children as a tool knowing his love for them.

    My heart goes out to my husband, but also for his children that have never had the oppertunity to know what a wonderful person their father really is

    i agree - MIMI - Sep 4th 2008

    Hi Lori,

    I agree that the truth should not be "sugar coated", and that the truth should be told considering age appropriateness.  I tried to "suck it up" for my daughter's sake, but it wasn't worth it.  In the end, the truth about what her father was doing didn't matter as much to her as I thought it would.  So in 2005, when she was nine years old, we got into an argument in the car, because she needed a school uniform and I didn't have the spare money to buy it.  She kept demanding it and telling me that I was lying, that I did in fact have the money for it.  I was so angry that I ended up punching her face, giving her a black eye.  I know that I should not have done that, but I do not want her to grow up thinking that what her father does to hurt me does not matter, because it does and it affects the way she sees me.

    When I met her father, he was an illegal immigrant from Brazil.  When we separated and I had already filed for divorce, I went to the Department of Immigration for the final interview, partly because I did not want to have him deported and have my daughter grow up angry with me for not having a father in her life.  He returned the favor by fighting me for custody right after the divorce was finalized the following year.  And now, because I tried to have the visits unsupervised in Florida, he had the court order me to pay child support based on imputed income of $50,000, which historically I never made. 

    I believe that if an ex-husband (or ex-wife) is abusive, manipulative and controlling towards the parent, that is a good indication that probable he/she will be the same way with their child.  If a parent truly loves his/her child, he will not use the child to try to get back at the ex.  It amazes me how the court did not consider all of the malicious acts of my ex in deciding on custody. 

    If you have any ideas on this matter, please feel free to share them with me.

    Madness - Aware Dad - Jul 28th 2008

    I feel much better since I realized it's mental illness that causes a parent to viciously hoard the children. These people are not capable of genuine love on principle. They are self loathing scociopaths who  see bribing and manipulating as thier only chance at any relationship. Until we accept this reality we will continue to lose our hair and fingernails.  Often on some level it was thier "inflexibility" which happens to be a universial sign of insanity, that lead to the maritial breakdown in the first place.

    Let's take responsibility for not detecting the signs of mental illness while courting these people and be more careful in the future. They are indeed an insult to those folks with mental health issues who take responsibility (and often medications) in acknowledgement of thier weaknesses, which normally is nothing to be ashamed of. Let's hope the best for our children and be ready to embrace them when they become wise to the machanations of the criminally insane. Thanks for your comments.

    It feels good not to be alone.

    HELP - Bill - Jun 16th 2008

    I am so emotionally mentally &physically drained from a horrible mother takes all divorce that walking away from my only child seems like a healthy decision for my own greedy self when my six year old daughter is no longer a tool I will hopefully begin to heal as a father who dearly loves his little girl this is so hard .  it seems fighting the establishment is for kids I am 38 and tired as long as Iwant to see my child there will be room for exploitation . until there is timely and clear consequences for PAS. children will be used. each divorce with children should be managed by a person who has been through a divorce as a child. passing more laws is not going to help so long as there is a monetary gain for the tyrants willing to do the dirty work. 

    Is Mamma's love enough? - Janet Gaston - Mar 26th 2008

    Hello I am one of the few moms that giave my ex sole custody under the understanding that it would be changed to joint when I left the state of Georgia, and moved to Texas where I live now. Four years ago, I left my now ex and had the kids, one boy and one girl. We were okay, until I got myself into trouble and I knew that if the kids could not be with me they needed to be with there dad. My ex would not sign the divorce papers I had done. So he made papers and i did sign over sole custody to him. never did I think that he would not give them back. I have spoken to the kids everyday since they have not been with me(except 7 days never in a row,in 4 years.) My ex just took 3weeks and 2 days away from my kids and myself. i had to appogogize for saying I am soory your dad did not keep his word about renting a video for the kids. of course when he said what I needed to do I did it. now our phone calls are taped and a lot are on speaker phone. I love my kids and want to cause no harm so I do as my ex says so that I may speak with them. Is a mother's love for a 10 yr. boy and 8 yr. old girl, to hang on to while their dad does and says what ever because "he is king and has all power, so deal with it" how can parents do this to their own flesh and bloob and think that it will not effect the kids? I can only do what I can from 2,000 miles away, call everyday to let them hear my voice and hear their voices, so that I can let them know that I am their mamma and I love them.

     

     

    Note: Janet Gaston (writing as janet) has commented on this issue in our online support community . Click here for a list of janet's community posts

    Cant' seem to compete - - Mar 2nd 2008

    I experianced that situation with my older children wanting to see and stay with their dad and step mom.  No matter what I did there house and life with the ex was always better.  But in the recent years the table have turned money wise.  However come to find out it was not the money or the house, it was what they were offered while they were there.  Alcohol, and yes even drugs.    Now my children have little or no contact with the dad, but I find myselft having to help them put their lives back together and get on the right track.   Now I can only pray for the well being and help them in any way I can.    Perhaps what is drawing them there is stronger than wealth.    Bless you, good luck, and stay strong!   You will be the one they want when they really need someone.  

    Abandonment by adult children of divorce. - Joan G. - Mar 1st 2008

    I haven't found exactly what I was looking for, yet. The situation is: Long marriage, divorce, ex-husband hiding many investments and much real estate.

    Ex has married again, and new wife is the epitome of a hostess. With a beautiful home on the beach, much much money, and a built-in hostess, how can I compete?

    When the childre visit, they visit him---not me. Only one of the children (all with spouses) has visited me, and only for an occasional weekend. In 20 years since the divorce, none of the spouses, and only one of the children has visited. Do I have any kind of right to see my kids?

    Joan G.

    February 29, 2008

    People have to stop protecting child abusers and esecially the one sexally babys and children! - Dawn Goff - Feb 25th 2008
    Anyone will find when confronted with someone that sexually abuses children they can't run from the issue and they have to take the problem by the horns and be like a bull! These men usually abuse 50 girl and boys 150 boys and sometimes they kill them too. These kids become angrey persons and sometimes will kill other children. Why don't we do something before the problem gets bigger.Get these people into therapy or counselors as need help and are jails are full already.Why don't we help talk about their problems as some goes many years without talking.Lets stop putting bandage on it. Also, why don't Goverments hire more Social workers to check in on these kids! Lets invest in our children by protecting them in there homes. Also,school and teachers don't forget to report abused children and do what right. Don't turn your back and look the other way! I have been watching USA TV. AND the court cases and I think it sad that someone didn't chech out the home of the children where the mother was kill by the dad and left two children without mother! Why didn't the teacher report the goings on in the home. I am sure that 8 year old said something about his mother being sick for so long. Thats where reporting might have save a life.We the people need to be the police and keep a watch on our neighbours.We need to care about neighbours! God Bless! dawnangel 

    Bad things can happen to good people - A mother's loss - Feb 19th 2008

    A similar situation happened to my son and me.   My ex got custody due to his threats of violence.   I moved away trying to get my life back together, only to find out my ex would not allow me to see my son. He moved from state to state, and as you know it is a different battle in every state, and lots more money.  By the time I had caught up with them, 14 years had past.  And needless to say by that time my son wanted nothing to do with me.   I contacted my son on several occasions just to experience how much he had been “brainwashed”.  Not only does my ex continue to add fuel to the fire, his present wife also joined in on the effort.   Thanks Dr. Amy Baker for doing research on something so important, and detrimental to parent/child relationship.  However I fear it is far too late for my son and me to reconcile our relationship.  But I am hopeful this study will help other children to understand some aspects of their lives.

    When you put things writing make sure you can or prove it! - Dawn Goff - Feb 14th 2008
    When we put things in writing on the computer or in print. Then we also better be able to prove it in a court of Law too. When wealth is lost , nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost , all is lost . by Billy Graham Evanelist dawnangel5@hotmail.com

    A person should look at the negative words they say about other! - Dawn Goff - Feb 12th 2008

    We should listen to what the word and sentences we say about people. If they aren't mostly positive and mostly negative then it's times to read a good book called The Dance OF Anger by Harriet Goldhor Lerner, Ph.D          Also, The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in the moments of comfort , but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy, by Martin Luther King, Jr.   dawnangel5@hotmail.com

    Re: My mother Dawn Goff - Tisha (The Angry Daughter) - Feb 11th 2008

    Oh my unfit mother is sending out quotes to people...I will play...Here is a quote for my mother:

    Happiness depends upon ourselves - Aristotle

    http://theangrydaughter.blogspot.com/

    Wake up and make that change! - Dawn Goff - Feb 7th 2008
    As they Say!          We are what we repeatedly do ! by Aristotle

    I think you need to step back - biomom3 - Jan 11th 2008
    Parenting is between the parents. No offense but no wife is really quite ready for their children to meet a girlfriend of their husband's... having a wife and girlfriend does make for a good divorce. You only know one side. Your boyfriend may be a great dad, and be acting in the best interest of his children.. but being an  not so evil ex wife who get run down... by an abusive ex and his girlfriend I see the other side I know the other side. There are two side and the pure truth  is something you cannot see.. you to close. I respect anyone who put the children first. The children have two parents let them work it out and parent. Your a girlfriend not a parent.

    Women who use their children as pawns - - Oct 18th 2007
    I totally agree with the previous comments since my boyfriend is going through the same thing with his children. He is divorced, and his ex is so vindictive that as soon as she realized I was dating him she put her children in counseling when they never were before. Eventually the 6 year old girl started saying she was angry at her dad and me which was puzzling since both kids had an excellent relationship with him, and the kids definitely were excited to meet me which infuriated their mother even more.So one day my boyfriend asked his daughter "Honey why do you say those things to the counsler and she said "because mommy tells me to say that stuff". So that was the start of it. Since then she has accused him of beating the kids and telling the little girl to tell the counsler that.Yesterday he went for a visitation order and was given supervised custody which could be  at least a 6 month process until its normal visitation. I just dont understand why my boyfriend and I could hear that little girl tell us her mother is telling her to say that but yet this counsler cannot figure that out. And now the kids and my boyfriend have to pay the price and she is allowed to continue to mentally abuse them.I feel as if the courts have greatly let these kids down

    parental alienation - Amy J.L. baker, Ph.D. - Oct 12th 2007

    I am pleased to see the issue of children used as pawns being written about as my new research on "adult children of parental alienation" shows how damaging this can be when taken to the extreme and one parent is able to manipulate a child to forgo a relationship with the other parent. The people that I interviewed for my study reported lifelong negative effects of this experience including depression, low self esteem, problems trusting others, and even losing their own children of a similar fate. Parents need to be educated about this prolem before it is too late.

    Amy J.L. Baker, Ph.D. Author of adult children of parental alienation syndrome: Breaking the ties that bind." W.W. Norton. 

    I gave Tisha dad lots a chances to stop sexually my son Troy! - Dawn Goff - Oct 8th 2007
     I just wanted to make a correction to my last comment as I was very tired when I wrote it . I could use long vacation from this issue and having to look back to the past and  the bad choice I made dating a man nine years older the summer before my 14 birthday. Also, wondering how I could fix it and hoping some day it would be resolved. Maybe, God is the only one that can fix this! dawnangel

    Yes, Children should be told the truth and consider their age in reason. - Dawn Goff - Oct 6th 2007
    Children deserve the truth before it's too late and the damage by that parent is too far gone.Children are people too and we should be straight with them.Things like letting your children go with an alcoholic that said 12 beer is a couple beer then drives with your kids in the car and you don'y stop it and try to pretend that things are ok or normal is wrong!Because some of us grew up in family that condone this , we shouldn't continue this circle , drinking and driving is deadly!, it kill my young brother.Also, Tisha forgot to tell the publis that health and Community Services was in vesigating her dad and not my second husband. I think it's sad that she and her dad have been trying to blame and use him as a weapon to cover up what her dad did to her handicapped brother all these years. Also, Tisha told her own family women doctor what her dad did to her and that same doctor came and told me. Also, that same doctor head my son with I was in the same room, that his dad was sexually abusing him.I gave Tisha lots of chances to stop abusing Troy but he wouldn't stop. Also, after my second was long gone , about three weeks gone, Troy came home and said dad was touching him again and I final had all I could take after I had been beat up by Troy after his visits with real dad, My nose broken and my head violently beaten.At the time I was sure why Troy was behaving this way and I had never had a child with Down' before and didn't know that signs that are on enternet. We should all know the signs of sexual abuse and first aid for deniel! I was shock with Health Community Services told me in 1991. dawnangel5@hotmail.com Good mom hates to tell any bad things about their dad! God Bless!

    Children Deserve to Have more than just a Financial Father - - Jun 18th 2007

      I have always heard about kids in divorce and how thorn they are between both parents, but I have never first hand experience or see for myself what divorce can do and what parents can do to the children they say they so love and care for.  I have had the opportunity to grow up with both my mom and my dad, exempliary parents, I could not have asked for more. 

    I married a man which is a true man and father.  He was married before, and have 2 girls.  He has been the strength of those 2 girls until their mother decided that she is going to stop it.  This is all because My husband decided to move on with his life, she resents him, why I don't know, because she was the one who did not want the marriage and she left.  The children love their father but not able to express it.  Their mother and grandmother fill their heads with all sort of lies about their father.  Now the girls are tell their father that they do not want to see him or hear from him.  He has tried over and over in the courts to let them see what is going on, but everytime the mother files some paper in court talking about the kids are afraid of their dad for some strange reason, so she wants visitation ceased.  The strange reason is that they do not have people around them to guide them the way they should be guided, and they are lied to constantly, and I guess the person who can hurt you the most is the one the children will obey.  The children are seven and eleven this year, and they are already pushed to make decisions that they have no idea how much of an impact they will make on their lives as they get older.  There are so many children and single moms out there that would love to have the emotional, mental, physical and financial support of a father. They would gladly receive the little they can get with open arms.  but this woman has a well respected man that is the father of her children, but all she wants is financial support, and goes every step to alienated her daughters from their father.  I wonder what on earth she thinks she is accomplishing.  All she is doing is hurting the same children she says she loves with all her heart.  Everything she is doing now, will be the undoing of her relationship with those girls later in life, she just does not know it yet. 

    I believe that the family court system does not do enough to protect children.  If there is no sign of physical abuse all is ok, but it is not, because mental abuse is very very significant and is one of the main problems of children that experience PAS. 

    We are expecting our first child, a girl, and no matter what, she will have the luxury of both parents.  If any parent out there want to deny their children of the other parent, you need to rethink your actions.  Instead of self, think of the best for your children.  Your children deserves to have both parents, especially if both parents are willing to share in their children's live and they are good influence.

     Divorce parents need to find that commom ground which should be the children.  Love them and give them what they need: love, care and thoughtfulness, not an option to choose sides.  If anyone read this, I hope it makes a difference, especially if you are all wedged up with anger for the other parent.

    PAS Parental Alienation Syndrome - Tisha LeBreton - Jun 12th 2007
    I am a daughter of pas "Parental Alienation Syndrome" cause by my mother.I am 33 & it is still effecting my life & she is still playing games to try & hurt my dad. I have a down syndrome brother who is easily brain washed & I made a group especially for making animations on pas dedicated to my dad & for other fathers who go through the same thing. I never knew it as pas until a couple years ago but I always thought of it as she was trying to brain wash me & constantly bad mouthing my father & I was looking up stuff trying to find other cases with down syndrome kids & fathers that may of when through the same thing...I printed off every thing I found & gave it to the social worker...My brother had a lawyer & even he saw through my mother...My father won in court my mother wouldn't put me on the stand because she was scared of what I would say...She let her boyfriend now her x-husband discipline us in ways that he had no right to do..Like for example burning my down syndrome brother fingers on a kerosene heater to show him not to touch it... After the court thing she was praising my father telling him what a good job he was doing & she couldn't pawn him off enough on my dad & as soon as her husband left her she went psycho again & started with all her crap aging...I had forgiven her her before this & she was saying stuff about her x husband that had just left her & I actually was believing her but now that she has started all this stuff with my dad again I don't believe what she has said about her x-husband...I don't think I will ever forgive her or believe her about anything again...I told her off & defended my father now she has my down syndrome brother calling me a devil witch is kind of ironic considering she is the one making up lies & trying to use her own kids hurt my father...

    Don't Children Deserve The Truth? - Lori Yoder - May 26th 2007

    In  a society that is drowning in "political correctness", are we supposed to throw our children into the mix as well?  With the advent of the pc "no-fault" divorce, we are telling everyone, children included, that divorce is OK - when it happens, it's no one's fault, no one is right, no one is wrong, it just happens.  Labeling the break-up of a family as no one's fault is the easy way out . The reality is, some Moms and/or Dads ARE at fault.  Instead of making it PC to lie to our children in this instance, we should be applauding those who are truthfully and age appropriately explaining the divorce decision to their children.   Covering up or "sugar-coating" the truth in order to be PC, insults the childs intelligence and one day I believe he/she will resent being sold a bill of goods versus the truth. An acquaintance with no vested interest in your well-being may consider a piece of spinach caught between your teeth a "fashion statement", but a loved one will respect your dignity enough to tell you it's there and even hold the mirror for you while you remove it.  Children shoud be  afforded the same respect.  If a parent is unworthy of being a role model for the child, the responsible, loving thing to do is to protect the child from that influence. We need to stop victimizing children with labels - if you tell a child he's hopeless long enough, he'll start believing it.  Tell him he's a "pawn" long enough and he'll believe that too.  But tell him the truth and you clear up the confusion which will then empower him to understand and move on with confidence.  I've tried to be brief but it's hard to encapsulate an opinion this important into just a few sentences.  

    Thank you for the opportunity to disagree with the popular PC theory promoted by the psych community these days.   

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