How Parental Alienation Effects Family Court Cases
A thorough understanding of how Parental Alienation cases differ than others seen in Family Court is vital. It is very easy for the court, mental-health professionals, lawyers and clients to become overwhelmed, overly-focused or simply become diverted by details that are immaterial in reaching resolutions. Think of Dr. Bone as a fresh pair of eyes in the investigation of your case... eyes that are experienced in seeing through the facade that alienators are quite adept at creating. He is very experienced at weeding through a mountain of papers and identifying key points that will truly get the court’s attention.
The goal is to accumulate a compact version of the case and again, find those specific items that will be most critcal to helping the court to see the authentic history of your case. This part of the preparation of your case can save time and money. Any other professionals brought into the case or those you have already hired will have access to not just a condensed version of events, but a list of items to remain focused on. Too often the court and everyone involved seems to get side-tracked by unimportant details that waste precious time and resources.
Dr. Bone understands that while these “unimportant details” may be very emotionally important to a mother or father experiencing them... they are often however, irrelevant to the court and to helping your case get resolution.
This step is where your case will change direction, regain focus and find positive footing amidst the drama of Parental Alienation. The goal is to eliminate distractions that alienating parents create and help the court see the authentic version of your case. Dr. Bone works directly with a client to develop strategies that work to break-through the false-front presented by an alienating parent. He will assemble a team of professionals to work on your case under his direction and recommendations OR he will work alongside the professionals you have already hired. Dr. Bone feels that a “team” approach to presenting these cases is extremely important. Strategies will only work if everyone involved in presenting your case is fully prepared to implement them.
National Association of Parental Alienation Specialists - Featured Articles
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National Association of Parental Alienation Specialists - Education for Attorneys
The National Association of Parental Alienation Specialists has announced a new FL Bar Approved, online workshop entitled Litigating Family Law Cases with Parental Alienation.
Earn 16.5 CLEs in the comfort of your home or office.
Learn more here.
Consultation with the Attorney
When one considers that a busy family lawyer becomes involved in parental alienation in a relatively small percentage of their cases, it is easy to understand how it would be impossible for even the most competent family lawyer to keep up with the latest litigation developments. In addition to this purely “educational” purpose, the consultant can also help assist the lawyer with the development of case strategy, by incorporating knowledge on the subject and experience in what has been successful in other cases.
Review and Trial Preparation for Extant Expert Witness Work, Preparing Witnesses, Development of Cross-examination Questions for Adverse Witnesses and Related Activities
In most ongoing litigation, there are already existing mental health professionals involved with the case. The experienced consultant can help the attorney with critique of adverse witnesses as expressed in the analysis of expert reports, analysis of past testimony, and the development of cross-examination questioning, as reflected by the current standard of care. Additionally, the consultant can work with mental health professionals also involved in the case who may not be knowledgeable of the latest research and related matters regarding PA.
One of the most valuable functions served by the consultant is the development of general case strategy and determining which points are most important to emphasize and which are not. One of the biggest challenges the family attorney faces is reducing huge amounts of information and presenting it in a way that tells the case’s story in the most compelling terms. If PA is not involved in a case, this challenge is still present. However, if it is involved, the challenge is even greater. The likelihood that the case presentation and focus may become distracted increases and the danger of fragmentation increases dramatically. Alienation cases typically have voluminous amounts of information that must be organized and presented in a concise manner.
Cases involving PA commonly have mental health professionals already involved who may be otherwise competent, but naïve to Parental Alienation. Such therapists may find themselves treating a child who has become alienated from one parent due to the actions of the other parent. These therapists will very often side with the alienated child’s resistance to seeing the unwanted parent and believe they are “protecting” the child from the other parent when in fact there is no danger. In PA cases, these professionals become “adverse witnesses” and therefore unwittingly support the alienation. In the context of litigation, the attorney for the alienating parent is often able to persuade these therapists to offer an opinion that supports the child’s not seeing that other parent, even though they have never even spoken to that parent. Once a therapist has done this, he or she has typically committed significant ethical errors, which should diminish their credibility. However, if the attorney for the alienated parent is not aware of these ethical intricacies, this therapist’s opinion could go unchallenged and potentially do great damage to the case. Exposing these ethical gaffs is extremely important to the truth of the case as it is understood by the Judge; however, these types of ethical errors often go unchallenged. The consultant, seasoned in PA, would not allow this process to go forward unchallenged.
Consultation With and Training of Mental Health Professionals Involved in the Case
In becoming involved with parental alienation cases in multiple states, it is evident how many potentially good, yet alienation naive clinicians are available. Years of experience have taught that well intentioned and otherwise competent (yet untrained in the area of alienation) professionals have unwittingly done harm, and have inadvertently worked in support of the alienation.
Ironically enough, competent therapists, but inexperienced in working with alienated children, will often support the alienation. Likewise, evaluators naïve to PA will assume the allegations of abuse to be valid and accurate and will not have the tools to effectively evaluate this and to rule on it. Therefore, finding a parental alienation-savvy evaluator is critical.
PAS Meets the Frye Standard
PAS was tested and did pass this important legal test in November of 2000, in Tampa, Florida. J. Michael Bone, Ph.D. was directly involved in this Frye Hearing as was Richard Gardner, M.D. along with Richard Warshack, Ph.D. The court ruled that PAS was accepted in the professional scientific community and did meet the Frye standard.
Preparing for a Custody Evaluation - Audio and Document Files
Learn how to present the true history of the life of your family and to drive home the reality of your loving relationship with your children. Expose the distortion of history, expose the lies and convey the actual truth of you situation by implementing your most important tool, story telling.
Available by the hour or per retainer agreement. Consultation is based on Dr. Bone's extensive clinical experience of over 25 years as well as in his advanced academic training and teaching background. I have extensive knowledge of the Family Court System throughout the United Sates and some experience abroad and can offer assistance.
PA in the Family Court
The process of presenting evidence.
Proactive Strategies and finding the Appropriate Professionals