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Keeping Families Connected

 Resources for families dealing with high conflict divorce and parental alienation

A Father's Journey: Parental Alienation, Divorce
and Loss of Child Custody

I am a very private person. It may not seem like it when you review this Parental Alienation Resource site and realize how much of my personal journey I have shared with you, yet it is true.

Three things compel me to open my and my children’s life to you in spite of this fact. The first is an inexpressible and inexhaustible love for my sons. The second is my love and compassion for other children that have been alienated from their parents and families. The third reason is that the God I gladly serve and follow seems to be leading me down this path to help others heal.

I was married in May 1986. My marriage was extremely difficult from day one. I am not saying there were no good days or good memories, just that the difficult ones were way more often than the good ones.

Our first son was born in January of 1992. Before he was ever born, my wife and I had already been to see 6 or 7 different counselors, including pastors and other professionals in the counseling field. In July of 1994 our second son was born.
 

During the years that followed, things got progressively worse and my ex-wife filed for a divorce in 1997. Father and sons before PAS

I was threatened many times during my marriage that I would never see my children again. And time has shown just how real those threats were. I had no concept that any parent would be willing to abuse their own child in order to hurt the other “targeted parent”. I had never even heard of Parental Alienation and had no idea what a targeted parent was.

I also had no idea just how common parental alienation tactics were in a high conflict divorce, or how any parent could get away with such alienating behavior, even when a court of law and mental health professionals were involved.

My introduction to the family court system was like a nightmare that still has not ended. I was totally unprepared for what I learned and was subjected to by a court system that was supposedly serving families and protecting children.

Like most parents, I had no idea how many of our legal rights had already been stripped from us in this country. It continues to shock me that we have lost so many of our precious freedoms to politicians, judges and special interest groups in this country. And most of you will never even know it until you run up against "the system".

There is an entire set of "codes" and "precedence" that politicians and judges use to control the public (you and I) and to nullify our rights under the Constitution of the United States of America. I won’t even get into the technical legal specifics of how this “corporate” designation and power is used to abuse parents and their children.

Over the next two years the children’s mother started sending a barrage of complaint letters and phone calls to the Friend of the Court about me. It became more and more apparent by her actions, statements and other people's observations, that their mother did not want me to be in my son's lives at all. Sole child custody and complete alienation seemed in fact to be her ultimate goal. At this point I began researching Parental Alienation. As I studied family law and mental health research in this arena, I soon realized I was a targeted parent in a severe case of alienation.

At one point, my ex-wife went to the family court and stated that she was "fearful" that I might kidnap our sons. This was especially ironic when you consider that I had actual recordings of her threatening to kidnap our sons from me. The court in its infinite wisdom issued an ex-parte PPO (personal protection order) against me for 4 years because of her "concerns". In the end, there was never any evidence to support this assertion. But the abusive damage to my sons had already been done...

According to testimony my ex-wife gave in court, she alerted everyone possible about this potential "threat". She got the teachers and the principle at the boys' school involved in "protecting" them from their father. She had the police speak to both of my children about how to "protect themselves" if they saw their father anywhere. She had the pastor at her church talk with the boys and to warn them about the "danger" involved in allowing their father to contact them.

It appears, she used every authority figure available to her to brainwash and scare my sons into distrusting a father and parent that loved and had taken care of them their entire life. Unfortunately, I have learned that this is a very common tool used by alienating parents to alienate children from the targeted parent. I had no idea that there were that many sick people in the world…

She also cut our sons off from all contact with my parents, their grandparents. Even though their grandparents lived 1500 miles away, she thought it was "just too hard on the children" to accept phone calls or even receive gifts from my parents. She totally and heartlessly cut them out of our son's lives.

My father died in April of 2006 from complications of Parkinson's disease. He died never having committed any crime, yet he was deprived of sharing his life with his own grandsons for the last 8 years of his life. Cutting the children off from their grandparents was supposedly "in the best interest" of my sons according to their mother. Cutting extended family off from contact with the children is a favorite tool for alienating parents to use in child custody court cases.

The judge in my divorce and custody case, refused to allow me even supervised visitation with my children for 4 years. She mandated that I have a psychological exam. I had two of them. The problem for her was that both mental health professionals recommended that I immediately be placed back with my children and that I actually get an increase of parenting time with them. The problem for me was that the damage had already been done.

It has always amazed me that the family court constantly uses rhetoric that they are doing what is in the “best interest of the children" but at least in my case and many others, "appears" to do exactly the opposite in practice.

The children’s mother admitted in court (under oath) that she had violently threatened my life. And yet I was the one with a PPO filed against me and cut off from my children.
 
During this court battle it became fairly common for me to have an early morning court hearing (scheduled by the judge) and then for that same judge toward the end of the day to state that "she didn't have time" to hear my case. Although I can't be certain (there's my legal disclaimer) I am reasonably confident that she knew my family law attorney charged $250.00 dollars per hour. I'm also reasonably confident that this was part of what "appeared to be" her personal vendetta against me and fathers like me that dared to fight to be in our children's life.

I had three different legal firms represent me and ALL three separately said "she can't do that" at some point while they were representing me. Even they were aghast and incredulous at what was happening in that court room.
At one point I was in an evidentiary hearing. My attorney was about to introduce rebuttal testimony as evidence that contradicted statements my ex-wife had just made. In the middle of my attorney introducing that evidence, the judge stood up and said something like "I've heard enough, I've already made my decision". I have the court transcripts as evidence of this incredible breach of legal responsibility (as I understand the law).

By the time I hired my third legal firm it had become obvious to my family law attorney that this court (appeared to be) biased in my divorce and child custody case. He was so convinced that she was conducting herself in (what appeared to be) such an inappropriate and biased manner that he asked the judge to take herself off of my case. He even went through the legal motion to have her removed from my case. What a joke that was. But I have nothing but respect and appreciation for this man's efforts.

Father and son before parental alienation tacticsMy attorney was the ONLY individual in this entire mockery of justice that actually showed any evidence of caring about my children, and he fought hard to shelter them from the Parental Alienation tactics employed my ex-wife and the judge involved in my case.

After all of that, my ex-wife filed suit for her attorney's legal fees that she had incurred for the numerous times that she initiated legal proceedings against me. And the judge ruled in her favor (hard to imagine by now isn't it) in the amount of approximately $55,000.00 dollars. That did not include my own attorney's legal fees.

After 4 years, well over $100,000 in legal fees, I was finally allowed to see my sons (in court-ordered therapy with a psychologist). We met for approximately 1½ years. During this process the children’s mother starting complaining that coming to counseling was too "traumatic" for the boys and she was "concerned" for their health. They were allegedly having headaches and stomach aches from the stress. Mysteriously any time we seemed to make progress in a session, the next time they came back they were more distant than when we started.

It finally became obvious to the Dr. and I that because of what they "seemed to be" experiencing at home, my children were under a great deal of stress from this situation. It appeared that being put in the position of counseling (and the backlash from their mother because of it) was indeed affecting their health. Once I became convinced of this it became clear to me as their father what I needed to do.

I shared the passage in the Bible with the doctor that describes an incident with King Solomon and two mothers. There were two women that both gave birth to children at approximately the same time. While sleeping, one of them rolled over on her child and he suffocated and died. The next morning the mother realized that her child was dead, so she took the other mother's baby and switched it with her dead baby. When the second mother woke up she soon realized what had happened and fought to get her child back.

The two mothers were brought before the king. He listened to both of them and then said he had decided to cut the child in half and they could both have one half to end the dispute. The first mother (the one that had rolled over on her own child) said fine, go ahead and cut the child in half!

The REAL mother said please let the child live! She can have him if you will only let him live! It was obvious from their reaction who the real mother was. The real mother loved her son more than she loved herself. She would rather give her child to someone else than to let harm come to him.

I told the doctor that I would be that parent for my sons. I would stand aside and remove them from the stressful situation that they were in. I asked the doctor to release them from the court ordered counseling process, until they were old enough and strong enough to face the repercussions at home when they wanted to see me again. I am still waiting for that day….

In May of 1999 I married the most incredible woman I have ever met. My wife has walked with me through all of this and our relationship is stronger and we're more in love than ever. We continue to treat each other with love, respect and compassion every day we're together.

She has shared the trauma of me losing my sons, the horrific family court battles, and the financial devastation that came with it. She has suffered through all of this, and yet continues to have a very special love for children that she has never met (except through my memories, pictures and our prayers for them together). I can't imagine how I would've made it without her. She had two beautiful daughters from a previous marriage, and they continue to be a joy to both of us. They are both grown and married and we presently have 7 wonderful grandchildren as well.

She had her own experience with Parental Alienation that caused problems with one of our daughters for years, until our daughter finally discovered the truth. She had been lied to. It's our hope and prayer that our sons Joshua and Nicholas will soon know the truth themselves.

In May of 2004 we put together a website for my children based upon a suggestion in the book Divorce Poison by Dr. Richard Warshak. My sons have been lied to - just like your children most likely have been.

We'd suggest building a website if you're separated from your child. It will be a great source of healing for you and provide a way for your child to reach out to you when they're ready.

Some of you may be feeling VERY hurt by things your children have said to you and about you. If this is the case, you'll need to work hard at setting this hurt aside and being the "parent" they need you to be. If you really understood what's been done to them, you'd easily forgive anything they've said or done. The Alienating Parent is the perpetrator here. They're the ones that refused to protect your children from themselves and their wrath, hatred and need to control.

We believe that the preservation of the family is crucial to every child's health and wellbeing. In my opinion, only those with selfish, immature or special interests believe otherwise. Hatred, bitterness and control issues almost always fuel Parental Alienation. Your love and commitment to putting your children first is the antidote to the poison and abuse that they've been subjected to. Loving father & son relationship

It is our belief that your battle is not just with the "powers of this earth" but is very much a spiritual battle as well. Turning to "The God" that made us all, is the only way to survive and win the spiritual battle that you and your children are in. We will do everything possible to assist you in your quest for peace, sanity and forgiveness along the way. Please go to our Suggested Reading Materials page under Parental Alienation Resources for more information about this very important topic.

This site and ministry exist today because of the heart-rending experience that we've endured and live with on a daily basis. Although I wish that our experience with Parental Alienation and the family court system was unique, it is not. But if you are reading these words you probably already know that.

God bless you sons. This site and ministry are only possible because of all that we have been through. I am so sorry for what has been done to you - done to us. I love you and I am waiting…

Love, Dad

* Please review the rest of the site to find Parental Alienation Resources that can help you or other families
being affected by this terrible form of child abuse. *