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Parental alienation may result in custody issues

As some Maryland residents may know, cases where one parent alienates children from an ex-spouse happen after divorce. A Michigan court took this into account when the judge ordered that three children be held in detention after choosing to not see their father.

The children, ages 14, 11 and 9, underwent a five-day reunification program before going to live with their father, his new wife and child.. The reunification procedure is a controversial procedure where children are forced to deal with the issue of parental alienation. Allegedly, the treatment may cost upward of $30,000 and involves intensive sessions to deal with the negative feelings against one parent as a result of pressure by the other parent.

In this case, the father claimed the mother of his children poisoned them against him since the parents' 2009 divorce. He has since asked for physical and legal sole custody. The divorce was reportedly bitter. The father has recently asked the court to keep the mother from seeing the children for a period of 90 days.

The controversy over the use of parental alienation treatment involves the concern by some psychology experts that it amounts to deprogramming with the possibility the children will be traumatized. Sometimes, allegations are made that the parent against whom alienation is aimed was abusive. According to one psychotherapist, it is important to see the family dynamics and determine if the child had a good relationship with the parent accused of abuse prior to divorce. If so, it may be realistic to believe that parent alienation may have occurred.

Child custody disputes can be bitter. Family law attorneys will likely remind their clients who are in the middle of one that the paramount concern should be the best interests of their children.

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