Parental Alienation

January 31, 2011

Parental Alienation Syndrome is dangerous territory, especially in the hands of a monied, narcisisst­ic, controllin­g parent … usually an abuser.

Post divorce, our Court appointed custody expert and family therapist (originall­y chosen by my ex’s attorney) revoked my ex’s limited visitation rights because he’d told our daughter’s I’d “never wanted them, hadn’t taken care of them when they were born, and didn’t love them.” PAS on his part?

Rather than improve his parenting skills, my ex hired Dr. Gardner to testify I was guilty of PAS. Without ever interviewi­ng me, our daughters, or the court appointed custody expert & therapist, Dr. Gardner testified that I needed to be thrown in jail “unless I got the girls to love their father.”

Our court appointed experts were furious with Gardner, saying he’d been bought and was a disgrace to their profession­. It turns out the Judge saw it the same way. I maintained my sole custody and over the years my ex rarely if ever exercised his visitation rights. (Oh, from the beginning it was my ex, a surgeon, who’d requested sole custody, not me.)

While my ex’s attempt to use PAS against me backfired for him, the frightenin­g aspect is my ex hadn’t yet depleted all my money via court battles. After years of using the courts as a means of post-divor­ce abuse my ex has succeeded in destroying me financiall­y. I shudder to think what would happen if he dragged me in today….
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost


4 Responses to “Parental Alienation”

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry for what you and your children went through.

    However, parental alienation is real and affecting countless children, parents and extended family members every year.

    Dr. Gardner may have coined the term “parental alienation” but the patterns of behaviors that comprise parental alienation have been around for centuries. And while I am in no position to comment on the details of your case, I also don’t believe in throwing the baby out with the bath water. The key to helping families address legitimate cases of parental alienation is education. We must educate legal and mental health professionals on how to identify and address legitimate cases of parental alienation so these professionals can help judges make good decisions that are truly in the best interests of the child.

    For more information on parental alienation feel free to visit


    mike jeffries
    Author, A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation

  2. Thanks Mike for visiting and commenting. I agree that parental alienation is real and education is key. My concern is that in my case it was my ex, who was perpetuating PAS, turned around and used it against me. It became one more abusive tool in a chess game with the courts.

    PAS is harmful to kids and for their sake needs to be identified and countered. I plan to check out your book!

  3. Hi Sharon:

    And thank you for your response and for your interest in A Family’s Heartbreak.

    Sadly, lies, half-truths and insincerity are standard operating procedure in family court. Whether the issue is false allegations of parental alienation or a misleading testimony over some financial matter, our adverserial system of justice in Family Court is not serving the citizens it was designed to protect. Perhaps in criminal court — where judges have less discretion and scientific facts take precident testimony — things are different.

    I look forward to your feedback on the book.


    mike jeffries

  4. Oh my God, that story is terrifying — especially the part about the expert not being able to see what was really going on. Did your ex give up because your youngest turned 18? The Family Courts really need to find a way to stop (via sanction or just not allowing yet another court battle) these litigious narcissists from blowing up people’s lives.

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