As we have written elsewhere, Parental Alienation (PA) cases are different in that the surface appearance is very different than the underlying reality. This “things are not as they seem” reality is however not always easy to reveal persuasively to the trier of fact.
Many of the tools, strategies and tactics used in non-PA type cases are unhelpful or even may be counterproductive. These cases must be approached with this in mind. Failure to recognize these key differences, can spell the difference between success and failure.
Therefore, when Parental Alienation is present, even in its earliest and most incipient forms, the strategies must be different.
In such cases mediation is rarely effective, since the real driving force behind the alienating parent’s goals are the removal of the other parent, which cannot be put on the negotiating table. Therefore when some settlement is reached on a given issue, another will “pop up” to take its place. This “wack a mole” phenomenon is very much on display when attempting to mediate differences in a Parental Alienation case.
Whereas largely negotiated or collaborative strategies may be most useful in cases without PA, in these cases, litigation is almost always necessary. In these cases, it is also imperative to expose the inappropriate actions of the alienating parent. That parent’s false vilifications of the other parent must be exposed.
Without this exposure of the alienating parent, the court is almost certain to get the remedy not only wrong, but opposite of what it should be. This is due to the fundamental counter-intuitive nature of Parental Alienation cases. Its appearance is opposite the reality underneath.
Directly related to this, the alienating parent’s lack of credibility must be exposed via discovery and extensive cross examination. Without this, the court is again likely or almost certain to get it not only wrong, but backwards. These cases typically require extensive discovery in order to accomplish the goals of exposing the missteps of the alienating parent, as well as their often characterological lack of credibility.
In other words, Parental Alienation must be presented in ways that are not only different, but very nearly opposite strategically. Failure to do so is very likely to predict failure in litigation outcomes.
We cover this topic and 10 others in depth in our premiere online workshop, “Litigating Family Law Cases with Parental Alienation”, learn more here.