The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

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1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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DuPage County divorce attorney child custody

Many couples can successfully complete a divorce in a cooperative manner, but when children are involved, things can become a bit more complicated. Most parents can agree that the most important issues to deal with during their divorce are those that concern their children. In many contested or complex divorces that require court intervention, the court will likely appoint a child custody evaluator to determine what would be in the child’s best interests, as far as allocating decision-making responsibilities and parenting time. An Illinois child custody lawyer can help you fight for your parental rights and protect your child’s best interests.

What Is Parental Alienation?

The term parental alienation describes a parent’s behavior when he or she attempts to harm the relationship between his or her spouse and their child by turning the child against the parent. The alienating parent typically uses manipulative techniques to achieve this and can even lead the child into believing that the alienated parent is the enemy. Parental alienation is considered by many psychologists and others in the mental health professions as a form of emotional child abuse, which is why it is taken so seriously during child custody proceedings.

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Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois family lawyer, Illinois parenting time and responsibilities lawyer,When you are going through a divorce, it can pretty much turn your life upside down. Though you may experience some stress and anger, there are ways that you can combat that stress and deal with your anger in a healthy way. Unfortunately, this is not what happens in all divorces. In some cases, one parent may have so much hate for the other parent that it overcomes the love that they have for their children. This is when parental alienation usually appears and it can be detrimental to your child’s wellbeing.

What Is Parental Alienation?

Parental alienation occurs when one parent tries to turn the children against the other parent. Most of the time, this happens when one parent is so angry at the other parent that they use deprecating comments, false allegations, and bribery to try to get the child to turn against the parent. Both the mother and the father are equally as likely to be the alienated and alienating parent. Typically, parental alienation occurs in families in which one or both parents have a personality disorder, but parental alienation can happen in any family.

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parental alienation, DuPage County family lawyerThe FBI believes that most of the thousands of children who go missing every year are abducted by a parent, usually a parent who has not been granted primary custodial responsibilities. In a significant number of these cases, authorities believe that the abducting parent had help from a third party.

Faye Yager, who founded Children of the Underground in 1987, freely admits that her organization is one of these third parties. During its heyday in the early 1990s, the group stole names from the birth certificates of dead people, advised runaway parents and their children to “leave everything behind,” and concealed them in one of an estimated 1,000 safe houses. These parents (mostly women) were on the run from allegedly abusive current and former partners (mostly men) and the courts that supposedly turned a blind eye to their plights. The movement lost steam in 1998, when Ms. Yager faced 60 years in prison for alleged child kidnapping and child cruelty; the charges were eventually dropped when the children at issue returned to their father.

Although the 68-year-old activist is now semi-retired, the group recently made headlines again in Minnesota, where a mother and three other people were charged with hiding two girls from their custodial father for over two years.

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PAS, parental alienation, DuPage County child custody attorneyA Michigan judge made headlines earlier this summer when she ordered three children – ages 14, 10, and 9 – to spend time in a juvenile correctional facility when they refused to have lunch with their father. Such an extreme case of parental alienation syndrome is quite rare, but PAS is common in most DuPage County child custody disputes, to one degree or another.

Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Lisa Gorcyca issued the order in a six-year-old divorce case between a General Motors engineer father and a pediatric eye doctor mother. Much of the rancor in the case stems from an August 2010 incident at a West Bloomfield park; the township is an upscale Detroit suburb. Apparently, the mother locked two of the children in a car to “protect” them against their father; a third child climbed to the top of a piece of playground equipment to escape his father who, according to the child, threatened to kill him if he did not come down.

Police investigated the incident but made no arrests; however, the father later admitted that he forcibly removed the child from the playground equipment to put him in a “time out.” At the same time, although she denied wrongdoing, the mother agreed to volunteer at an animal shelter as punishment for violating a court order.

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.

630-409-8184

1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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