Fathers & Families supporter Michael Hunter recently published a letter in Sacramento’s Capitol Weekly (3/11/10) concerning parental alienation. The letter comes on the heels of a debate between Fathers & Families and California battered women’s advocate Preston Thymes over parental alienation, AB 612, and how family courts handle domestic violence accusations.
Thymes’ article criticizing Fathers & Families is Parental Alienation must be excluded from all custody hearings, (Capitol Weekly, 2/18/10). Our response is Preventing courts from considering parental alienation will harm kids (Capitol Weekly, 2/25/10).
Some people contend that legislatures should not adopt a rebuttable presumption of shared parenting because they assert that it would “tie the hands’ of family court judges. These advocates do not honor the fact that a rebuttable presumption for shared parenting is rebuttable.
It is illogical for these same advocates to “tie the hands’ of family court judges by limiting the testimony that family court judges are allowed to hear. The presumption for shared parenting is rebuttable, and testimony about Parental Alienation is not taken as true without evidence.
I disagree with Mr. Preston Thymes who asserts that recognizing Parental Alienation as a legitimate issue in custody cases would endanger abused children. Not only would abused children continue to be protected by family courts, but recognizing Parental Alienation as a legitimate issue in custody cases would help children who have been alienated.
In genuine cases of domestic violence or child abuse, all sides agree that courts need to protect children from abusive parents. We do not limit testimony about domestic violence or child abuse simply because there is a large body of evidence which shows that false accusations of domestic violence are a major problem in child custody cases.
There are children who have been alienated from one parent as a result of the actions of the other parent. These children need help.
Read Hunter’s full letter here.
To learn more about Parental Alienation, as well as Fathers & Families’ Campaign to Ask DSM to Include Parental Alienation in Upcoming Edition, click here.