Children of Divorce: Breaking the Resistance and Refusal Dynamic

Continuing Legal Education Topic Parental Alienation is a hot Family Law topic. There is heightened awareness and increased repercussions for parents guilty of intentionally turning their kids against the other parent. With this increased attention to alienation, there is also recognition of the slippery slope pattern of rejection of a parent labeled RRD (Resistance, Refusal Dynamic). Experienced Livingston County Child Custody Attorney Kathryn Wayne-Spindler recently attended a Family Law Continuing Legal Education seminar where Hon. T.J. Ackert of the 17th Circuit Court Grand Rapids; Ben Burgess of  Parmelee and Associates in Grand Haven; and Connie R. Thacker of Thacker Sleight Continue Reading…

What Constitutes Parental Alienation Situations?

A Quiz: Three Hypothetical Parental Alienation Situations It’s the night before a high school junior’s first AP exam and it is his father’s visitation time. According to his mother, the dad has shown a pattern of lax supervision resulting in the kids staying up late and running out the door without breakfast in the morning. What should she do? Let the child go to dad’s anyway. Put a box of granola bars in his backpack. Address it with the dad and let him know how important it is for that particular night that the kids sleep and eat well. Request a swap Continue Reading…

Children of Parental Alienation Suffer as Adults

As incidences of Parental Alienation Syndrome increase, therapy professionals are looking at the long-term impacts on the children of high-conflict divorces. Children of Parental Alienation Suffer Later in Life According to Edward Kruk, Ph.D., “Psychiatrist Richard Gardner developed the concept of “parental alienation syndrome” 20 years ago.” Now, decades later, the children identified as being the subjects of Parental Alienation are becoming young adults and encountering difficulties in the own marriages and parenting relationships. It manifests itself in narcissistic behaviors, addictions, and difficulty co-parenting. The term Parental Alienation is used to describe a perpetual pattern of one parent brainwashing the Continue Reading…

Does Court Hear Child Choice of Custodial Parent?

In most divorces there are five main players in the courtroom scene – the spouses, their attorneys, and the judge. All adults. They negotiate, mediate, meet, fight, plan, argue and resolve. The unseen actors in the legal drama are often the children. Understandably, parents want to protect their kids from the harsh realities of the courthouse and may not want them privy to adult issues like infidelity, mental illness, and drug use. Many parents also believe that, as parents, they know what’s best for their kids. So how much influence should courts give child choice of custodial parent? Child Choice Continue Reading…

Parental Alienation Damages Kids

News coverage of the highly-publicized case of three Detroit-area children sent to Children’s Home after refusing to have lunch with their estranged father quieted when the children went to camp. But the intense controversy surrounding the case highlights the issue of Parental Alienation. “Parental alienation is a very real and very serious problem in highly-contentious co-parenting situations,” Michigan Family Law Attorney Kathryn Wayne-Spindler pointed out, “anytime one parent speaks ill of or encourages the children to avoid the other parent it influences all the relationships negatively.” In most situations, parental alienation begins with snide remarks or underhanded accusations meant to Continue Reading…