Readers will be interested in this article which is written by Francesca Wiley QC of 1 Garden Court Family Law Chambers for Family Law week, in which she discusses the issue of serious parental alienation. The following is an excerpt.
‘There has been resistance in the lower courts to even considering that the presence or dynamic of alienation may be real. Nevertheless other countries, including Canada and the USA, identify it and have been proactive in their approaches, now using “parenting coordinators” and “bridging programmes” ordered and supervised by the court by which skilled and informed professionals help to restore relationships with parents and children identified as alienated. In Mexico and Brazil alienating a child from a parent is a criminal act.
In the UK parental alienation was often seen as a phrase relating only to campaigners for fathers’ rights and as a consequence professionals and courts were slow to accept such an analysis could or might be right. The default position was to consider an assertion of parental alienation as a red herring raised by a (most likely, aggrieved) parent as part of a long standing problem or dynamic with their ex-partner and with limited insight into their own role in the family. In some cases this will, of course, be so.
Careful scrutiny of the facts is essential at an early stage as well as a garnering of as much objective evidence as possible about the circumstances in which a parent now has no contact.’
It seems to me that the issue of parental alienation is one which is now being taken seriously in London at least and those of us working daily with this problem welcome this article on the issue wholeheartedly.