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The new head of Family Law and Parental Alienation
It was the Familes Need Fathers conference last week and the new head of Family law made a speech which is a pdf document inside the article linked

Some good stuff but he still gives a lot of weight to anything Women’s Aid have to say.
It sounds a bit non committal I think. And this is the issue - it is the women versus men argument kind of. When the announcement came in the papers that parental alienation would be considered child abuse and Cafcass would take the child away from the alienating parent - I thought - that means alienating parents will be accusing alienation! As well as abuse. They then back pedalled from that, presumably because womens aid's point of view is that some women who have had domestic violence have a partner accusing them of alienation.

I am not sure about "fact finding" being the solution and don't see it should be any different than "evidence". If someone claims alienation and the other person has regularly stopped contact and been hostile - then that is clear evidence of their attitude to contact. If there is no criminal record then it is likely that alienating parent, claiming abuse, is lying. And cross examination at a final hearing is designed to prove someone is lying.

So this is the mess. People who don't tell the truth - an alienator will claim domestic abuse whether it's true or not. Which undermines real cases of domestic abuse. Real cases of domestic abuse will have evidence.

Since that newspaper report from Cafcass about parental alienation there has been a massive push from womens aid and a lot of TV and cinema publicity about anti abuse to women. Which of course is quite right. But it means that all men will still be classed as abusers, if the Mother says so - until proven innocent.

There is so much pressure for courts and Cafcass to protect children - and Mothers - that it sounds like the move towards recognising parental alienation has swung the other way. When it is an absolutely vile form of emotional abuse.

So rather than saying fact finding is the solution I think history is more important - history of an attitude to contact, history of a parent's care, history of a parent's communications (is it hostile or reasonable). Just as a medical specialist looks into a patient's history to form the right diagnosis.

From what I've heard fact finding seems to come down to a Judge taking a view on whether they believe someone or not.

Anyway - they should work on coming up with an "alienation test" and shorten the whole process - like a lie detector test. Instead of putting the onus on the alienated parent to spend £50,000 on court fees and psychologists reports to prove alienation.

Bring in lie detector tests!

There are two big things going on. There is serious domestic violence - usually against women but not always - which should be able to be proved fairly easily before child arrangements even come into play. And a reason for a relationship to end. And there is serious parental alienation - usually against men but not always and with a history of a high conflict personality and a revengeful attitude - because a relationship has ended.

Surely psychologists reports as the first port of call would save a lot of Cafcass time and delays in court.
You have very valid points. What WA does very cleverly is take anything men do and turn it into abuse of women.

Cafcass gets a say too which will also be influenced by Women’s Aid no doubt. They are everywhere.

When questioned about false allegations the man was a little less sure of things apparently.

If courts tend to believe only women the whole thing falls down of course and attempting to have contact with your children will be abusive! However evidence may be key but it may then result in people not leaving evidence that can be used against them.

Sometimes I wonder what this country is becoming...
A Solicitor who helped me a couple of years ago (after a false allegation) said it's the culture of abuse these days - people accuse it for motivations and everyone has to take it seriously. What I think is so wrong is that people (usually women) who accuse it falsely, not only undermine the situations of serious cases, but don't get locked up for making such awful allegations. Surely it's a crime. The trouble with false allegations - it messes with peoples heads and there's the "no smoke without fire" thoughts. There was a period when teachers were being suspended left right and centre. I read an article by a supply teacher who was sent to a particularly rough school because the class couldn't keep a teacher for long without them leaving. Saying he walked in the room and one of the kids said - if you don't do what we want we'll accuse you of sexual abuse. Scary. Lie detector tests are the only thing I can think of!

Silly me - this is why lie detector tests can't be used

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