I wonder if anyone has used the research above in court and what the outcome was? From what I have read, current court application of child welfare is firmly indoctrinated on bowlby atrachment theory. And selective impirical studies which support this theory. Promoting primary caregiver status
Richard warshak, produced a report in 2014,with concensus from 110 experts entitled SOCIAL SCIENCE AND PARENTING PLANS FOR YOUNG CHILDREN”. From texas university. It is science lead. And contradicts entirly the primary caregiver model. Firmly concluding that equal status parenting is the best model for babies and infants.
Has this research ever been presented in court in uk and what was the outcome?
Have added the links for the report, and an article RE Sir James Mumby, where he commented upon what was considered pivotal findings.
Even if this has not been used in a UK Court, what do people think with respect to the research and using the paper in court? whilst it may not get a dramatic change in a judges opinion. i do suspect that it may bring about a preferred conclusion for fathers sooner rather than later over the duration of a child arrangements case.
The Custody Minefield research section includes Warsaks work, which would suggest that it may have been used, but theres a huge swath of research on the CM website, too much to link to here. Just don’t get bogged down in it.
Thanks for the advice, and links, I had a quick look and there are some useful links there for sure. The best advice is to not get bogged down. It is very easy to let this sort of thing become all consuming.
I will admit, I have in hindsight, in the past let this become all consuming. I now spend far less time than I have in the past on this.
In the link I posted at the top, re mumby, mumby invites alternative evidence to be presented in cases, I think it is perfectly acceptable to present alternative views, especially if that view is supported by science ,im not sure that it could be held against you.
Do you or anybody have any thoughts on this? Particularly would a judge get pissed, because they have to think and I think it is difficult to argue against warshak. Incidentally warshak also states bowlby acknowledges his theory is flawed
Maybe, if alternate research is presented in more cases, the provenance of the work becomes more legitimate if one judge confers to the work after 100 cases where it is cited. It then has greater credibility for use for these types of intractable, hostile disputes.
A furthur thought, I noticed someone started a petition a few years ago to criminalise parental alienation. The petition was dealt with in usual way with the same rhetoric as what appears typical. The courts have xyz at their disposal to deal with parental alienation. Their powers are all preventative,Whether they use their power or not. Parent alienation is recognised in some countries as child abuse, which has a punishment element as well as a preventative element usually attached. Have the government or law ever given a stance on why parental alienation is not dealt with in the same way as other child abuse? Is it just because child abuse laws do not specifically cite parental alienation as child abuse?
The complexity of a case is pivotal in how that case is managed. For instance where many cases are heard by magistrates, to introduce research of this nature would just go over their heads, as theyre not even legally savvy, never mind anything else!
Its true too that the courts already have laws in place to deal with alienation, on rare occassions that has included transferral of residence or imprisonment. If the laws were applied more rigorously with committment and consistency a lot of the behaviours would be nipped in the bud.
Im helping with a case at the moment where a judge has been quick to involve a Guardian and the high conflict pathway, which is a new project to deal with implacable hostility....a pre cursor for alienation.
The UK courts have been slow to recognise PA and I believe that takes us back to the outdated, Bowlbyesque concept of Mother as the primary carer. The courts havent moved at the same pace as the fast moving changes within the family dynamic.
Back in 2014 we had, what was supposed to be, a new Children Act, that was supposed to change the fathers position, but As it progressed through several readings, the best bits got removed and chipped away, leaving a new act with no teeth...a wasted excercise, an opportunity missed.
Some would say it was down to a powerful feminist lobby that had the ear of the politicians... in my opinion you cant pin the current situation down to any one thing.
Opening the family courts up would help, stopping the use of magistrates that have little training and often lack critical thought would also be a big step in the right direction. If judges were accountable, in public, for their decisions, we might see a different story!
I dont think criminalising parents is really the right way to bring about change, except in exceptional circumstances, as the impact of that would be felt most severely by the children.
In my humble opinion education is key and a sea change in attitudes... but as younger generations replace the old guard that change will come about.
Its a huge subject and one that has many strands to it!
I agree with some of your comments absolutely. The one thing I have come to realise is that government and law appear to work for the vocal minority rather than the silent majority.
If you consider that most significant changes in law occur these days because of keeping issues in public eye, and drawing attention, the nature of courts makes it difficult to keep implacable hostility in public eye I suspect.
Education as a means to resolving the issue and I always suspect it is used frequently when a position cannot itherwise be fully supported (how often do we hear after a public issue _ " we need to take learnings, blah blah" when the problem was already apparent but actively ignored??? I think in the majority of these types of issues, the inhospitable parent, knows that what they are doing is fundamentally wrong, but know all too well, nothing will happen to them. So on that perspective they are already educated, and its choice. If they genuinly do not regard what they are doing as wrong. Then are they fit for purpose?
By extension, if you conceed that PA, implacably hostility etc is child abuse, then it follows that if education (of the parent) is the most desirable way to rehabilitate, why isnt the same rationale used for all other forms of CA? Instead prisions and registers and restrictions are used? Why the ambiguity? Im not sure that any of the above CA neccesitates maintaining a relationship with the abuser
... whilst orders made are completely at the discretion/whim of the judges making them, the problem will continue. This huge variation in outcomes, also makes it difficult to know how best to manage a case, as the result is largely down to the calibre of judge sitting on the day. Lack of judicial continuity is another obstacle.
Obviously there are some crimes against children that can only be dealt with in criminal court, personally I think that most PA doesn’t fall into that category, so I guess that’s where we disagree.
Alienators that knowingly deny the other parent a meaningful relationship with their child should be held to account and there are laws already in place to do so. Its the fault of the courts for not taking a timely and firm hold of the situation imo. Rather than the parent that plays the system, it’s the system that is sometimes not fit for purpose.
I think you also have to keep some perspective, the vast majority of separated parents manage to co parent effectively, without outside agencies interference. Of those that can’t work between themselves, often a court order is enough to get the co parenting process working... its only a very tiny minority of parents that refuse to comply and use their children as the ultimate weapon.
Parents that haven’t been able to find a way to be in their children’s life, when the problem becomes unmanageable, they find their way to forums like this... we never hear from the vast majority of parents that can work it out between themselves.
I would also add that false allegations should be considered a form of parental alienation, particularly if these allegations are passed on to the children and influence their feelings towards the other parent. Isn't this just another form of domestic abuse and by extension, as seen in other countries, child abuse.
The problem with family law, and probably more so than in other areas of law, is that it's often one parent's word against another, and if it's gone to court, then at least one of the parents is being unreasonable (as mojo says, the vast majority of parents do come to an amicable working arrangement, but we never hear about those) so it is then difficult for the court to establish where the truth actually lies.
I think there are cases where ambiguity exists, however, once you hit the courts, as you say someone is being unreasonable. The person who stops contact, has to have a reasonable excuse. That excuse should imho, not only cover an act which the other parent considers unsuitable, but must be so unsuitable to confirm the parent whose act lead to the resisting of contact is in fact unsuitable as a parent.
Most of these stoppages appear to be malice driven. I.e dad got new girlfriend etc etc. And whilst mother doesnt like it. She should not have the right to state im not going to allow contact until im satisfied the new girlfriend is not going to be detrimental to my child
This undermines the fathers judgement, which was satifactory when child was conceived. It therefore also logically follows in my mind, that if a mother does this. And she chances it in a court, then should a judge rule that the new girlfriend was fine. Then the mother must have acted unreasonable and fined.
The courts could use a 3 times and your out logic. If any parent witholds contact, unreasonably, on the priciple/example above and is shown to be unreasonable in court. Then custody should be moved automatically to the disadvantaged parent.