An MP fighting parental alienation claims that most of the agony for families could be ended with one simple change to the family law system.
Andrew Brigden, MP for North West Leicestershire, speaking at the House of Commons launch of the National Association of Alienated Parents, said: “Our family courts system has many critics, fathers say they can’t see their children, mothers complain about harassment and families can spend years in and out of court.
“However, there is a straightforward solution to most of these problems. A specific stand-alone fault in the family law system has been identified and it can easily be put right.”
Now Mr Brigden is calling on other MPs to support his demand that Britain’s senior judges look into his claims.
Speaking about a child’s right to have a meaningful relationship with both parents following separation, said that CAFCASS and the courts had failed to take a genuine stand against obstructive parents.
He said: “he major part of the problem is the failure of the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service and the courts to intervene and take a genuine stand against obstructive parents who engage in parental alienation and prevent court order access. This damages both the relationship between, and the mental health of, the child and the non-resident parent.”
The biggest fight against parental alienation officially began with the launch of the new campaign group which has connections across the world.
On the run-up to the launch the National Association of Alienated Parents has already sent out a 175 page document demanding the law is changed to protect children and parents alike when a marriage or relationship hits the rocks.
The document – which you can read here https://www.consumerwatchfoundation.com/category/parental-alienation-the-report/ – has been put together by lawyers, psychologists and alienation experts and has been sent to social services, Cafcass, Britain’s courts and Parliament.
The report is estimated to be more than 40,000 words long and is one of the most in-depth studies made of the problem.
At the launch at Portcullis House, Westminster, organisers said ‘most of us here are all parents who understand what it is like to live with our children rejecting us without any justification or for the flimsiest of reasons’.
NAAP says that in order to reject a once-loved parent a child must suppress their love and attachment to that parent.
Organisers believe it causes profound emotional and psychological harm with life-long consequences.
One said: “Parental alienation is not a parental rights issue: it is a mental health issue. Harm is inflicted upon our children whilst grief and trauma is inflicted upon parents and families through being erased and removed from their children’s lives.”
NAAP is now offering:
- A helpline for parents
- A website with forums
- Lobbying power
Andrew John Teague, of D.A.D.s (dads against double standards), one of the organisers said: “The way families are treated by the so-called carers and the courts in appalling. Cafcass, which is supposedly there to help people as they try to sort their lives out after separation or divorce and keep in contact with their children, needs to be totally revamped.
“They need to realise that in their ham-fisted and uncaring ways of dealing with families they are destroying lives, including the lives of the children, the people they are supposed to be protecting.”
The consumerwatchfoundation.com has published stories revealing the horrors of what some families have gone through because of the way carers and courts deal with them.
There are well-documented cases of alienated parents being told that they shouldn’t tell their children they love them, send letters and birthday cards expressing affection. While some only have supervised visiting rights others have revealed the heartbreak of not seeing their off-spring, sometimes, for years.
D.A.Ds, which began as a Facebook page and now has more than 20,000 members, was a prime mover in setting up NAAP along with others including PA authorities Karen and Nick Woodall, who have published a handbook for parents and practitioners, Understanding Parental Alienation, Learning to Cope, Helping to Heal.
Karen believes that parental alienation is finally starting to be seen as child abuse in the UK and CAFCASS – the organisation which claims it looks after the interests of children involved in family proceedings – has agreed it is necessary to change how it treats families.
Many victims of PA deny this is what they do, claiming they do more damage to families and children than good.
Nick describes himself as: “A partner at the Family Separation Clinic. I focus on separating families and supporting the whole family to manage change in ways that provide the best outcomes for children.”
Karen said: “Parents will be supported from now on by the new representative body – The National Association of Alienated Parents. We will join with other parent support bodies as part of the worldwide representation of the needs of families affected by PA. NAAP, will formally launch with a seminar at the House of Commons in February and will increase pressure on government and CAFCASS to properly meet their needs as set out by internationally recognised standards of practice.”
Karen said: “Parental alienation is harmful to children and deeply distressing for families. In its worst form it is serious child abuse, in all forms it is a tragic outcome for children. I welcome the launch of NAAP and know that the power of loving parents will bring great change in the coming year.”
Is Mr Brigden’s claim right? Is this the way to go forward – tell us your thoughts in the comment box below or write to us at https://www.consumerwatchfoundation.com/send-us-story/