Parents engaging in Doctor Foster-style attempts to alienate children from their other parent through divorce conflicts could shed contact under a “groundbreaking” trial.
The new approach, devised from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass), is geared toward handling parental alienation by urging them to consider the “profound” psychological impact on the child.
Cafcass, that represents children’s voices in family court disputes, ” stated the High Conflict Practice Pathway is an answer to an “growing recognition” of alienation from the 60,000 private law cases where it is involved each year.
In cases children refused contact or could be moved from residing with the parent who is regarded as alienating, allowing them to maintain a connection with both, or the instigator even restricted from.
Anthony Douglas, Cafcass executive, stated alienation occurs in about 10 percent of its private legislation caseload, involving about 6,000 children a year. The three-month trial is currently functioning with 50 of the circumstances.
Asked what triggered the new approach, he told the Press Association: “I believe our raising awareness of the damage to children – it is invisible but often causes them profound psychological injury – and the fact that the cases in court often stretch for months and months, which adds to the damage.
“There are definite signs, we have checklists and staff are trained to recognise that.
“If a kid doesn’t want to find another parent, possibly there’ll not be any fantastic reason and the other parent’s behaved impeccably, that’s a clear sign alienation is happening. Or if a kid uses language that is obviously not a child’s language.
“The approach will use methods to make the alienator view the damage they do – they might feel they’re assisting their kid by shutting the other parent outside.
“They are attempting to turn their child into a child soldier in a struggle.
“(The growth) is either a gain in recognition however there also might be some social trend – there are trends in society that have a ‘me, me at any price’ selfish component”
Referencing hit BBC play Doctor Foster, Mr Douglas said cases can become complicated when both parents see themselves as sufferers or alienation is led by more than only 1 parent.
The show includes a couple locked in an antagonistic break along with also the consequences for the family, including their young son.
Cafcass stated alienation was seen on a spectrum, without any contribution to the lively by the parent, having some mild or moderate in impact to cases parent manipulating the youngster.
The body said : “Where alienating behaviors are intense, seriously hindering or preventing contact, it may be in the best interests of their child for professionals and the courts to think about a change in who the kid resides.”
Mr Douglas said the programme, which started this season, was meant to find a settlement before it might be used more widely and also the outcomes of the trial is going to be evaluated.
Sarah Parsons, the body’s assistant director, told the Guardian: “Our new approach is groundbreaking.”