This website addresses Parental Alienation (PA) and Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). The focus is to provide information and tools for effectively dealing with their destructive nature within the context of family relationships and the court system. While there is currently a tendency to eliminate the use of the word "Syndrome" in such discussions, it is included in this website for explanatory and historical reasons.
PA and PAS are two of the most destructive and devastating phenomenon that can affect parents, family, friends and especially children. Cases involving these issues are perhaps the most vexing and difficult that exist in Family Court. They require careful and painstaking preparation, analysis of voluminous documentation, preparation of experts and collateral witnesses. They can be difficult to demonstrate in court and include arduous steps that exceed the normal representation of a Family Law case without parental alienation. These cases exploit and wear down the system and do so in the service of the alienation.
Alienation vs Estrangement
When a child is resistant to seeing a parent, the reasons can be reduced to two basic phenomena: alienation or estrangement. Within the professional community, these two words have been used interchangeably by various authors over the years. In an effort to reduce confusion that this usage may have caused, there is a growing acceptance of how these two words should be properly used.
First, "Alienation" refers to a child's resistance or refusal to see a once loved parent, typically within the context of divorce or post divorce. Alienated children are told distorted and untrue things about their once loved parent, which cause them to mistrust and become alienated from them. The key is that it is not that parent's actions that cause this alienation reaction, but rather it is the influence of the other parent in imparting this, that is the cause.
In the case of "Estrangement" it is that parent's own actions that have caused the child to not want to be with that parent. For example a child might become eventually estranged from a parent because that parent is neglectful or abusive, which would mean that this parent's own neglectful or abusive behavior that has caused that child to be resistant to seeing them.
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The misuse and misapplication of PA and PAS
Parental Alienation can be used incorrectly and misapplied. I have witnessed abusive parents falsely using Parental Alienation claims to aid in their own situation. In such cases, I reserve the right withdraw my services and dismiss any client misapplying Parental Alienation to their case.
J. Michael Bone, PhD.
Dr. Bone is an experienced consultant for cases involving Parental Alienation and has spent over 25 years working with high conflict divorce as a therapist, expert witness, mediator, evaluator and consultant, both nationally and internationally. Read More