Have you ever had a friend or relative that was depressed about their situation after a divorce? Did they try to explain? Were you wondering what they were talking about….Let me explain; the family court system is set up for one winner and one loser, whether that be the husband or the wife; 80% of the time the wife gets the children. Is it a coincidence, unfortunately not, as the state of Minnesota gives three options? First, you can opt to come to an agreement with your ex-spouse, second you can request that the state take wage withdrawals from the spouses paycheck for a fee, and third you may request that the state go after your ex-spouse in which case you are enrolled into title 4-D which is welfare; if you are accepting welfare from the state, you are required to let them help you collect. Unfortunately, many are routed directly into title 4 D where they collect for you. Have you ever wondered why? The state gets matching funds for everything they collect, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is a very large group of people that make a living off of highly contentious divorces. Namely: family law attorneys, guardian-ad-litems, therapists, judges, parenting mediators and the entire family law community. This is big business. Who would want to give up something that is so lucrative?
Parental alienation is defined as “a mental condition in which a child—usually one whose parents are engaged in a high-conflict divorce—allies himself or herself strongly with one parent (the preferred parent) and rejects a relationship with the other parent (the alienated parent) without legitimate justification” (American Journal of Family Therapy, Volume 38, Issue 2, 2010). This process leads to a tragic outcome when the child and the alienated parent, who previously had a loving and mutually satisfying relationship, lose the nurture and joy of that relationship for many years and perhaps for their lifetimes.
Now that I have given you a small glimpse into this problematic issue, the question remains as to what can be done about it? Here’s a start: For anyone who has been directly affected by the family courts and loss of parental rights….there is an upcoming meeting that you must attend!! On Saturday, September 24th at 2pm, the Center for Parental Responsibility will hold a meeting at William Mitchell College of Law with numerous legislators to discuss the most recent developments on the legislative bill seeking to introduce a presumption of joint custody in divorce cases across Minnesota. In addition to the meeting, a local Doctoral student is completing a Research Study examining the impact of parental loss on non-custodial parents. The findings of this research could have a significant impact on current custody practices. Given the lack of research in the current psychological literature, this is an extremely important study. This is a very unique opportunity for individuals who have been impacted by custody loss (men and women) to make a stand and have a voice. Please take the time to attend! This fight cannot be won with just a few, but together change can happen.