Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More on PAS (Parental Alienation Syndrome)

Considering the response that came through here when I published oops: PAS, Ohio & Indiana, I thought I ought to note Ohio Family Law Blog's Can Parental Alienation Be Far Behind? The Warning Signs Every Family Lawyer Should Know:

Our guest contributor this week is Judianne Cochran a nationally recognized expert/consultant in the following disciplines: sex offender profiling; interstate and international parental abduction; interstate custody and parental alienation. She has testified in numerous Courts throughout Ohio and the country. Judi presently resides in Columbus, Ohio.

One must understand some of the characteristics of the alienator to be able to correctly read the pattern as it develops.


  1. The alienating parent is obsessed with destroying the child’s relationship with the target parent. Children, especially younger children, will begin parroting the alienating parent and start to express anger or fear about the target parent. The child often cannot tell you the reasons for their feelings beyond what they are told by the alienating parent.
  2. A pattern of interference with parenting time begins very quickly after a custody order is in place. Telephone contact is either cut off or sharply curtailed. Visitation is often denied, often by claims that the child is ill or was ill during the night, or citing vague excuses.
  3. Their anger sometimes becomes irrational and no one, especially the court, can convince them they are wrong and anyone who tries becomes the enemy. At this stage, often the alienator will begin firing and retaining new attorneys in an effort to find someone who will “side” with them and file “smoke and mirror” motions in an effort to get the court to intercede and block the target parent from seeing the child. If met with any success in modifying the order, the alienating parent then has a powerful tool to use in their effort to convince the child there is danger in a relationship with the target parent.
  4. The court does not intimidate or deter them, and they will openly defy any orders. What may appear as a series of minor incidents actually foretell a fully developed case of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS).
  5. In some cases, when thwarted in getting their way with the court, a parent may actually abduct and conceal the child. In their minds, they are doing “whatever is necessary” to “protect” the child, and they wholeheartedly believe the action is justified. It should be noted that in almost every instance of criminal custodial interference, once caught and arrested, the abducting parent claims they were simply protecting the child. Even a cursory look at the history of a case will often show the developing pattern of behavior and the fact that absolutely no evidence of abuse, domestic violence or inappropriate behavior has ever occurred.
Here is a tip I think that might be of use in Indiana as well as Ohio:
It should be noted that while we are able to see the appellate decisions and reported cases, it should be kept in mind that most of these decisions at the trial level are not reported so careful attention should be paid to the current “climate of the court” in any jurisdiction. A well documented history, or log, of the patterns presented in supporting memorandum to a motion to modify is becoming more successful in Ohio courts today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes here it is on a Thanksgiving Day and I will not be getting a call from my daughter now 23 years of age. I have been fighting PAS for more than those years. Its been severteen since I last saw, talked to my daughter, or touched her. Her mother got pregnant on purpose. It was a way to control, she thought, the end of her marriage to her then husband. The husband got the three children of the marriage. The youngest was only four. I felt so sorry for her and tried to get her mother to appreciate her need. Her mother used to brag about how well she knew her body, knowing the moment she ovulated she would say. I was a needy person and very naieve as to the pathology she had within herself. When she was four months pregnant I had started talking to her husband as I had began to understand her very well. He told me she had told him the same lie thirteen years before right after they got married. He had wanted to finish his education. She got pregnant saying her diaphram had gotten a hole in it. She continued getting pregnant for all those years twelve more times she had bragged. But with a weak cervix, she trotted to the doctor to get it sewn shut. That was the day I learned she was pregnant with our daughter. Imagine getting divorced and trying like hell to keep another pregnancy in the midst! Her mother did those things mentioned in the article and so much more. On the first court hearing where I wa trying to get our daughter she did a thing I have heard associated with Alienators- she brought an entourage of people many of them vicious too as witnesses for her. She had a vicious, sick sponsor for her AA program.

I could go on and on and on. Dont ever tell me PAS does not exist and I am so happy that this site is here, apparently represented by some of the same people that are in courtrooms daily. Beware of those who reject PAS. One of them the Justice for Children group in Houston, Texas, even founded by a lawyer who had worked for CPS, is one such group. They are in DENIAL and they are sexist. Hard to imagine right? But when a person understands the symptomology of addiction the many places it is found begins to show how these disparate circumstances begin to connect. One book that showed me so very much is by Anne Wilson Schaef, When Society Becomes An Addict, Harper and Row, 1986.
Robert Gartner