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When your finances prevent you from getting legal help

Is money keeping you from protecting your child?

Is money preventing you from helping your child?

Many parents faced with an ex who’s assaulting their parent-child relationship feel helpless, and think that taking legal action is too costly. While it can indeed be expensive, it can also end up costing you nothing… and the alternative is simply not acceptable, which is the continued emotional abuse of your child.

If your child is being abused in a campaign of parental alienation, you need to get legal help. Many decrees have standard language addressing badmouthing the other parent or discussing other adult matters, but many do not.

Here’s an example from a Texas decree:

Minimize Exposure to Harmful Parental Conflict
The conservators agree that any discussion regarding the child(ren) will not occur in the presence of the child(ren). The conservators further agree not to discuss any any conflicts that may be occurring between the conservators with the child(ren).

Family courts are aware that many parents will drag their kids through the divorce drama, so most have standard language like the above depending on what county and state you’re in.

If your decree doesn’t have such language, it needs to be inserted. Consult an attorney, who will be able to advise you on how to add this (usually called a “Motion to Modify,” which is a written request to the court to change a prior order regarding custody, child support, etc) to your decree.

But before you take the legal route, consider getting CPS involved first. Although CPS doesn’t deal with many parental alienation cases, you could get a caseworker who does understand this form of abuse (sadly most CPS caseworkers do not). Be prepared from blowback from your ex, but don’t let that stop you from taking every effort to protect your child. I suggest having some audio or video evidence to back up your call to them. Being that abusers frequently abuse on multiple levels (see this post), the caseworker could end up discovering abuse that you were unaware of.

Then, it’s time to find a good attorney. If you’re a father, find a male attorney, and if you’re a mother, find a female attorney. Why? Because sexes tend to side with and have a better understanding of each other.

Call at least five or six attorneys. Since an attorney’s job is to fight for the best interest of children, make sure you mention that your child is being abused. Any good person/attorney is not going to say, “I can’t help you” just because later in the conversation you mention that you don’t have the money immediately available.

There are many options for paying attorneys that you and your attorney can agree to. Don’t be shy in suggesting one or more of these. In most attorneys’ eyes, some money now or over time is better than no money at all.

Here are some ideas and tips:

  • Don’t go with big-name law firms. Go with the smaller firms or independent lawyers as their odds of needing you as much as you need them are pretty good
  • Dig deep: use your credit card, sell some possessions on eBay or Craigslist, take out a home equity loan, downsize your $30,000 car, borrow money from a friend or relative, etc.
  • Suggest bartering if you’ve got some talent, skills, or a product that could help the attorney
  • Your attorney should advise you that you’ll be suing the other parent for attorney fees (as he or she is the guilty party, and the reason for the legal action in the first place).

With the divorce rate as high as it is and the amount of parents that are unable to control their emotions, parental alienation is a common problem. And in the mind of a parent who’s capable of abuse, the best way to hurt the other parent is to turn the child against them.

There’s always a way to legally help your child who’s a victim of parental alienation. Lack of money is no excuse for not fighting for your child.

Bonus tip: Remember, if your decree has any wording addressing keeping the child out of conflict, your legal efforts should be an easy fight for your lawyer because he or she would be likely setting up a contempt hearing. Get as much evidence as you can, including therapist notes, audio/video evidence (complying with the law, of course), other witnesses, etc. The more evidence, the better.

Mentally abusive parents frequently abuse on other levels

What keeps a parent who is capable of damaging a child mentally and emotionally from damaging them physically or sexually as well?

Not much.

Parents who are mentally abusive lack the ability to control themselves. Which means they’re unable to contain their emotions, which then spills into doing what’s right for their child, which is sheltering them from harm– any harm. A parent who is OK knowing that their child is suffering (especially over lies that the parent creates) is a toxic father or mother, and toxic fathers and mothers are bad people who have few limits on what they’re capable of doing. 

What I’ve noticed in my own experiences and in the experiences of blog commenters is that parents who can harm kids on one level frequently harm them on others, too.

These “manure-spreading” parents are capable of damaging kids across the spectrum of child abuse: physically, mentally, sexually, medically, and educationally. To be fair, few toxic parents damage via all of the five categories.

Examples
A parent who is physically or sexually abusive is also mentally abusive. Comments are made such as:

“Look what you made me do, don’t tell anyone about this or else…”
“This is your fault because…”

Name calling also goes hand in hand with these forms of abuse.

Here’s the thing: You can’t have a physically or sexually abusive parent who isn’t also mentally abusive. Any attack on a child’s body also is an attack on their mind.

To restate something important, not all parents who are mentally abusive are physically or sexually abusive. However, they have the potential to be, and too frequently are.

Bottom line? Once someone’s an abusive parent in one of the categories, they very often abuse on one or more of the others.

[If you are curious about the use of the terms “medical abuse” (also known as Munchausen by Proxy) and “educational abuse,” click the respective links…]

 

A vital technique in combating parental alienation

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Children who are regularly in therapy are usually abused

I got some insight from a Child Protective Services worker here in Texas the other day. She told me that kids and teenagers that are regularly in counseling or therapy usually have one or more parents that are abusive. Most of the time, kids that are in counseling are there due to bad parenting of some sort (there are exceptions, of course).

I believe that kids placed into counseling regularly are the product of parents that are passing along their own issues. Emotionally healthy parents generally don’t have kids who are so out of alignment that they need regular, ongoing professional therapy. Kids who are exceptionally difficult even with outstanding parents need correction and adjustment from their parents, not from an outsider who is at a complete disadvantage.

I look at my own situation: my son is placed into counseling every month at least once with a psychologist (who unnecessarily told my son about my book on mental child abuse. Causing yet more confusion to my son) by his mother, and my son is with his mother the vast majority of the time. His issues are his mother’s. One of my son’s “issues” is the fact that I wasn’t there at his birth.” Yes, a matter where he wasn’t even consciously aware, is an issue 12 years later. It’s deplorable. When I ask Mom why he’s in counseling she only will say “He won’t tell me; he just says he wants someone to talk to.”

“Abusive parents frequently will use counseling as a deflective shield to what they’re doing to their own child; it’s a cover for their own abuse. For who would question a parent who’s seemingly trying to “help” their child with counseling?” – BrainwashingChildren.com

The sad irony is, the people that should be in counseling aren’t, while the innocent children are. It’s almost as if the parents are conditioning their child to get used to their abusive behaviors…

 

 

Visitation fabrication

Visitation FabricationOne lie that many brainwashing parents do to their children is making up completely fictitious stories about why the ex did not appear  for, or appeared late for, visitation drop-offs or exchanges.

In my case, I told my son and his Mom that I wouldn’t be able to pick him up for consecutive weekends ahead of time. Funny thing is, I actually figured his Mom might bring him to the normal 4pm Friday exchange location anyway. Sure enough: she did. The next time I saw my son, he mentioned that Mom has been taking him on those Fridays to the exchange point in order to wait on me. He said that he was “confused.” Of course he was– confusion between my words of “I won’t be there on these weekends” and Mom’s act driving him there in order to wait on me, knowing full well that I won’t be there.

This is another sad example of parental soul-destruction leveled onto children. To take pleasure in watching your children absorb with heartache the lie that the other parent doesn’t care enough to show is very sick.

Here are some examples of how these mentally abusive parents operate:

SITUATION #1
You are 5 minutes late.
MEANING GIVEN BY YOUR EX TO YOUR KIDS
You don’t really care that much about seeing them. If you did, you would never show up late.

SITUATION #2
You need to move the time back 30 minutes due to traffic, work, etc.
MEANING GIVEN BY YOUR EX
Ex shows up at original time and explains how inconsiderate you are to be 30 minutes late.

SITUATION #3
You let ex know you’ll be out of town for a weekend or month.
MEANING GIVE BY YOUR EX
Ex shows up at your weekends’ normal time and place with your children, and informs your children that their Mommy or Daddy must not love them very much and doesn’t want to see them.

Parents willing to do this are completely OK with seeing their kids suffer. Instead of building the little tikes up with excitement, which is what nurturing parents do, these bad exes would rather plant a mean lie into their kids’ heads in order to poison the relationship to their very own parent.

So it’s important to always talk about any missed or late drop-offs or exchanges with your kids. Mention how you’re sorry you’re a bit late, and the reason. If you’re gone for a weekend or more, let them know ahead of time, and also address it when you see them again. Ask them directly, “You haven’t waited at all where I didn’t show up, have you?”

You’ve got to be assertive but calm with issues like this involving your brainwashed children. Once your ex pulls this harmful maneuver, you also need to tell your children this:

“Son, if you ever show up and I’m not there at all, know that there’s a misunderstanding or a missed phone call or something. As I would never not pick you up unless it was something big or was a big misunderstanding.”

And if your children have a cellphone, instruct them to text or call you if they are ever waiting and it seems that you won’t show up.

Remember, you need to be assertive in these matters around your kids when they’re in the midst of a brainwashing campaign.

 

Narcissistic mother, narcissistic father – here are their traits

Narcissistic mothers and fathers have most of the following traits. How many apply to your situation?

Narcissistic parents are… self-absorbed, authoritarian, know-it-alls, negative, highly critical of others, yellers, secretive, possessively close to the child, cunning, manipulative, exploitive, stingy, pathological liars, envious and competitive, play favorites (and it’s a rotating favorite list), deaf to other’s opinions, bad listeners, braggers and exaggerators, ungrateful, boundary-less, inept at basic manners, lacking a sense of humor (especially at themselves), feel superior to all others, and are masters in making others feel guilty.

 

Abusive home = Unhappy home

If you dig down to the very core of why some parents and households are abusive towards children and others are not, look at how happy or unhappy they are.

A happy parent is one who nurtures his or her children physically and emotionally. Happy people don’t molest, pass hurt feelings on to, deprive the other parent’s love from, or otherwise hurt their kids. Happy people who go through divorces or break-ups hurt just like anyone else, but they elevate their behaviors to protect their children from the adult pain.

“All abusive parents are unhappy parents, and unhappy parents are feelings-based people who act out on these feelings without regard to whether what they’re saying or doing is right or wrong for their child” – www.brainwashingchildren.com

Look at your own situation of mental abuse or even milder alienation efforts. How happy is the person who’s damaging your child? Are they an overall happy person?

Whenever I think of the environment that my child is in, I think of his home with a big giant neon sign above it flashing, “UNHAPPY – 24 hrs/day.” The nearly decade-long campaign of harming my son’s relationship with me has been so pervasive, how could such behavior come from a normal, happy parent? It can’t.

The unfortunate part is the long-term outlook. Since it’s impossible for you to change the unhappy person’s core, what are the odds of the damage being done to the children who are in their midst stopping? Quite low. The only real way to help the children that live with these negative, unhappy, parents is to have them spend more and more time with the positive, happy parent. It can be a complete change of custody in severe alienation and emotional abuse cases, to granting the “happy” parent a lot of meaningful time in the decree.

The 10 Commandments of Divorced Parenting

The 10 Commandments of Divorced Parenting

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Don’t share any anger or grief with your child
  2. Never badmouth, demean, denigrate, or devalue your ex in front of your child. EVER.
  3. Communicate directly with your ex (your child is not a messenger!)
  4. Respect your ex’s visitation time (don’t bombard your child with calls, texts, etc.)
  5. Say positive things about your ex in front of your child (“I see you have your Mom’s good organization skills”)
  6. Never discuss pending family court matters with or in front of your child
  7. Enroll your child in doing kind gestures (a small gift, Father’s Day card, postcard, etc.) for your ex
  8. Encourage your child to communicate– telephone, email, texting, etc.– with your ex while apart
  9. Get your child excited about seeing your ex as visitation approaches (kids follow their parents’ emotional lead)
  10. Include your ex in important decisions

Divorce does not have to damage children. But it always does when divorced parents argue, bicker, play emotional games, try to make the child take sides, and even brainwash them that Mommy or Daddy is not worthy of their love. Parents need to elevate their behaviors by refusing to engage in any emotional or tactical behaviors that harm their child.

Bottom line: Show the child through words and actions that the other parent matters in their life. That’s one of the greatest gifts you can ever give them.

The 10 Commandments of Divorced Parenting PDF download

Destroying Dad’s Dignity

Thousands of fathers across America right now are viewed by their children in a disdainful, disrespecting way, brought about by badmouthing and brainwashing.

Even a father who is in jail and has done horrible things does not deserve a verbal attack. Adults can comment all they want on him, but when it comes to the kids, children should never have to encounter an adult who destroys their father’s dignity, even if that father is in jail.

The importance of a father and a mother to children is unrivaled. As such, no ex-wife, mother-in-law, or anybody else should trash the father in front of that father’s own children. Yet that’s what’s happening across America every day. Divorce and children born out of wedlock have caused many mothers to take out their hurt and anger on the “flawed” father by directly enrolling the children in their contempt and hatred.

The direct route for these bad parents to ease their hurt is to destroy Dad’s dignity. It ranges from saying how Daddy never loved Mommy, and doesn’t love the child either, to falsely accusing him of rape, physical abuse, or molestation. The most common way of lessening Daddy’s worth is by addressing him by his first name, and teaching the child to do the same. So Daddy becomes identified by his first name, “David.” Teaching a child to stop calling his Dad, “Dad,” is destructive beyond measure.

The goal is to impugn Dad’s worth as a father and as a human being. If the child is young enough, a parent can successfully diminish in the child’s eyes his or her own Daddy.

Any attempt to destroy a child’s connection to a parent should be punishable by law. But because it’s hard to prove, this kind of child abuse is enacted on children everywhere with virtually zero consequences for the abusive parent.

Destroying Dad’s dignity– or manufacturing a lie to a child that their father is not worthy of their love and affection– happens far too often. The best action for fathers at the receiving end of this is to stay the course. Stay in your child’s life. Keep the phone calls, emails, and texts coming. Document, document, and document again the abuse, and contact a lawyer if you have evidence of your ex mentally abusing your child.

Never give up!

Evidence from afar that your child is being brainwashed against you

When you’re the noncustodial parent, days and weeks go by without you being around your child or children. During this time the custodial parent– your ex– who’s hell-bent on sabotaging your relationship with your child has ample opportunity to do so.

There are some strong signs that appear in most brainwashing households. You can’t be there in person to observe all the things said, the lies told, or the subtle put-downs, so you will have to look elsewhere– to the telephone, cellphone, text messages, and emails.

The openness and normalcy of the electronic communications with your child is in most cases directly related to the level of mental abuse taking place in the other house. Evidence that your child is being coached and lied to include:

  • Your child is flat, monotoned, or sad when he or she gets your phone call
  • Your ex is often heard speaking to your child in the background (and your child will frequently cover up the phone with his or  her hand)
  • Your phone calls or texts are not returned
  • Cellphones you buy for your kid are rarely used to call you, but used routinely by your ex to contact your child when he or she is with you
  • No calls on your birthday or Father’s/Mother’s Day, and rarely or never a card or e-card
  • Your child asks you questions inappropriate for their age
  • Your child is used as a messenger by your ex
  • Your child complains about his or her last visit (usually of trivial things)
  • You rarely get a call, email, or text out of the blue from your child
  • Your child claims out of the blue that “I don’t want to see you”
  • Your child seems unable to echo any “I love you’s”
  • Your child echoes the words of your ex (words a child of that age would never use)
  • Your child refers to you by your first name, either to you directly or at home while away from you
  • Your ex refers to you when speaking to your child in the background by your first name
  • Your child will say “Why haven’t you called me” when in fact you’ve tried
  • You rarely get an acknowledgement of any cards of presents sent

How to fight this? The short answer is to call your child on a regular basis (once a week, twice a week, etc), and stick to it. Also send texts and emails, even super short ones, when you think of your child. If you’ve been unable to get through to speak to him or her, make sure you let them know that you’re excited to finally reach them. If you’ve left a voicemail, ask them “So did you get my voicemail?” That way, if they didn’t (as is likely), they’ll realize that you did reach out to connect with them. Older kids will even figure out on their own that a parent is withholding messages from them.

The big picture, of course, is to get the child into counseling. Even call Child Protective Services if your child’s emotionally wrecked. Make sure you document everything– to include tape recording phone calls (if legal in your state), logging all the times you’ve tried to reach your child, etc.

If your child custody decree doesn’t mention anything about telephonic or electronic access, then consider hiring an attorney who can make a “motion to modify” the decree. Some decrees include specific hours whereby your ex must make your child contactable. That way if your ex doesn’t comply, he or she could face the wrath of a judge.

It’s a very difficult thing to have to suffer through month after month after month, with the only let-off being when  you have possession of your child. But hang in there. Keep a steady flow of calls, emails, and texts to your brainwashed child. One day your child will see the “unhappy” parent for who she is, and your consistent actions at reaching out will be rewarded in 95% of cases.