The Salt Lake Tribune offers a worthwhile article on parental alienation “syndrome” and its application in the family courts.
All too often, a caring parent, simply trying to protect their child from an abusive or neglectful parent, is labelled as an alienator – just for telling the truth about what the other parent does.
This scenario parallels putting the victim on trial in a criminal rape case.
In order to convict in a criminal trial, the state must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
That is a purposely high burden of proof, to take away a presumed innocent individual’s liberty.
But when did that become the standard that must be met before there can be intervention to protect a defenseless, innocent child?
It didn’t. In family court, the mandate is to serve the best interests of children.
Just because the high burden of proof for a criminal conviction can’t be met, doesn’t mean that the accused didn’t do what he or she was accused of. It just means that we, as a society, have decided not to convict and impose criminal punishment in such a case.
In many cases, parental alienation “syndrome” works to shift the focus of the case to “parental rights”, at the expense of children’s rights. As a result, the children are punished along with the so-called alienating parent, much like throwing the baby out with the proverbial bath water.
Is that the side we as a society want to err on in custody and visitation cases? Particularly where there is a wide spectrum of alternative options available to protect both children’s rights and parents’ rights – unlike in criminal cases.
Read what 17 year old Tiffany Ann Carver has to say, whose mother finally got custody of her after a 13 year court battle, in this Salt Lake Tribune article: Abuse, or a ploy for custody?