Alleged parental alienation case raises concern for kids: Part I

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Child Custody on Tuesday, July 28, 2015.

We have previously written about the problem of parental alienation in divorce and child custody cases. Extreme cases of parental alienation involve one parent’s deliberate attempts to convince children to hate and reject the other parent. This is often done through telling lies about the other parent, verbally disparaging them and cutting off the other parent’s access to and contact with the children. The end product in such cases is nothing short of brainwashing.

Allegations of parental alienation can be difficult to sort out, because kids can legitimately be angry at one or both parents in divorce. Examples include when one parent has cheated on the other or has been physically abusive. Although it didn’t occur here in Illinois, an alleged parental alienation case making national headlines demonstrates that under such circumstances, the children almost always suffer the worst psychological and emotional harm.

Understanding this case requires some background information. According to news sources, both ex-spouses originally come from Israel, where they were married. They eventually relocated to Michigan and now have three children, ages 14 (or 15), 10 and 9.

The ongoing custody battle dates back to at least 2009. Court records and news reports suggest that at one point in 2010, the children’s mother unsuccessfully filed for a protection order against her ex-husband because of (seemingly) one alleged incident of domestic violence. The father was never charged and the order was apparently denied.

One news report also says that in 2009, the mother alleged that the father wanted to take the children back to Israel. It is unclear if this was substantiated or if this was the reason why the mother filed an emergency motion for divorce and full child custody.

We now jump ahead to earlier this summer, when a Michigan judge tried unsuccessfully to require the children to even have lunch with their father, much less visit him. The judge believes that the children have been brainwashed by the mother, and was so fed up by the children’s refusal to cooperate that she held them in contempt of court.

They were originally sentenced to spend the summer in juvenile detention. In reaction to public outcry, however, the judge had the children moved to a court-ordered summer camp instead.

Please check back later this week as we continue our discussion about this bizarre and heartbreaking case.

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