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Parental alienation is defined as a mental condition in which a child—usually one whose parents are engaged in a contentious separation or divorce—allies themself strongly with the preferred (alienating) parent and rejects a relationship with the other (targeted) parent without legitimate justification.

– The mental component of this condition is a false belief that the rejected parent is evil, dangerous, or not worthy of love.
– The behavioral component of parental alienation is the firm, persistent rejection of a relationship with the targeted parent.

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The Borderline Personality Disordered Parent: A Challenge for Courts, Professionals, the Target Parent, and the Child

Mary Alvarez, PhD, Psychologist

WHY WOULD A PARENT weaponize a child in order to hurt or destroy the other parent’s relationship with that child? Which also leaves the child with significant negative psychological effects? There are several different psychological “culprits” that can help explain a parent’s extreme behavior (engaging in parental alienation) and borderline personality disorder is one such high conflict personality disorder that is not an uncommon diagnosis for the alienating parent. Not understanding nor including some sort of plan to deal with a borderline parent in the mix can have unintended consequences to the success of both judiciary orders and treatment plans. What is borderline personality disorder? It is a disorder in which the individual:

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Children 4 Tomorrow
5th Annual PA Symposium

What We Need to Know about Psychological Child Abuse a.k.a. “Parental Alienation.”

Raising Awareness – Increasing Knowledge of Parental Alienation

WHEN: April 26, 2024
TIME: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Central U.S. Standard Time)
WHERE: via Zoom

8 CLE’s – Legal (Judges & Attorneys)
8 CEU’s – Mental Health (LMSW, LSCW, LPC, LMFT
8 CPE’s – Teachers & Schools Administrators (TEA Accredited)

For more information, go to or call 713-660-0760.

• Shawn Wygant (keynote speaker) Who Needs to Be Trained in PA & Why?
• Rod McCall – Death, Depression & Drugs: Results of high conflict divorce in children
• Stephen Morrison – A solution for the Family Courts for Seeing the Unseen PA issues
• Dana Laquidara – The Inside Struggle of an Alienated Child
• Jayna Haney – Understanding Grief in Divorces and Consequences in Disordered Mourning
• Ben Rodgers – Child Psychological Abuse Awareness & Preventions
• Suzanne Radcliffe – Unraveling “Parental Alienation” as a Judge, Attorney & an Advocate for Children
• Ryan Blue – How to Defend a PA Case
• John Brownlee – Yes, Betrayal and Grief
• Sheanea Carrington – Unlocking Opportunities: The Significance of an Internship
• Alan Blotcky – Understanding PA: Diagnosis and Treatment

Please Register here:

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Custodial Interference is a form of child maltreatment and a crime under family violence. Raising awareness about this issue can help reduce alienating behaviors, such as withholding and manipulating children.

Your help would be appreciated in sharing and promoting this campaign throughout the month of April.

The goal is to urge parents to contact their governmental representatives (state legislators in the U.S.) to ask them to take a stand against custodial interference in all its forms.

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Chief Justice Mary Jane Theis and the Illinois Supreme Court announced the adoption of new Rule 909 which establishes a statewide framework for courts to utilize “parenting coordinators” to resolve minor issues causing conflict in family law cases. The new Rule is effective immediately.

New Rule 909 and the Illinois Supreme Court Rules can be found here.

New Rule 909, first proposed by the Illinois State Bar Association and approved unanimously by the Supreme Court Rules Committee, allows for each Illinois judicial circuit, if it chooses, to establish a parenting coordination program via local rule. Several judicial circuits, including Cook County, already have parenting coordination programs in place.

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Opinion Date: March 12, 2024

Areas of Law: Family Law, Mental Health Law

This case involves an appeal against a judgment from the Montana Eighteenth Judicial District Court, Gallatin County, which committed the appellant, G.M., into the custody and care of the Montana State Hospital (MSH) for involuntary mental health treatment. The key issue at hand is whether the District Court erroneously found that G.M. was unable to adequately care for her own basic needs and safety based on hearsay statements made by her husband through the testimony of a court-appointed professional.

G.M., aged 66 at the time of the petition for involuntary mental health commitment in 2021, was alleged to be suffering from a diagnosed psychotic mental disorder. G.M.’s husband’s statements, along with her own behavior and assessments from mental health professionals, were the basis for the court’s decision. G.M.’s counsel repeatedly objected to the court-appointed professional’s testimony regarding her husband’s out-of-court statements, but these objections were overruled.

G.M. testified on her own behalf, denying having a mental disorder or requiring treatment. Despite this, the District Court found that due to her diagnosed schizophrenic and delusional mental disorder, G.M. was “substantially unable to provide for her own basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, health, or safety.”

On appeal, the Supreme Court of the State of Montana affirmed the judgment of the lower court. The court found that the lower court’s decision was not clearly erroneous and was supported by substantial admissible evidence. The court stated that the hearsay statements of G.M.’s husband were admissible under the rules of evidence to explain the underlying rationale for the court-appointed professional person’s expert opinion. The court also noted that the judgment was independently supported by the professional person’s personal observations and opinions on G.M.’s condition and ability to care for her own needs and safety.

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Source: One Mom’s Battle

” The High Conflict Person’s actions are driven by revenge and anger. This person is unable to act in the best interest of their child and is unable to move forward in a healthy direction. They use every opportunity to berate, chastise or make digs at the healthy parent. They undermine the healthy parent by disrupting the child’s sleep schedule, diet and routines. They contradict established rules and withhold information. Ignoring school responsibilities, projects and homework to create chaos for the healthy parent. It’s also using the parenting time schedule as a weapon and, forcing custody schedules that are not in the best interest of the child. The abuser is so focused on hurting and controlling the other parent that their actions directly affect the children.

DV by Proxy: When the unhealthy parent continues to exert control and is intent on tormenting the other parent post-separation by weaponizing the children and using them as pawns, or as “spies.”This person is known to manipulate the children to choose sides, or to feel responsible for the unhealthy parent’s emotions. The unhealthy parent will often accuse the healthy parent of transferring their own anxiety or fears onto the children. Often, it’s the abuser’s own actions and behaviors that is affecting their bond and relationship with the children and, causing the children to feel anxious and afraid. They strategically attempt to turn the children against the healthy parent and if their attempts are unsuccessful, they will often claim enmeshment, alienation or gate keeping. Sadly, their attempts to turn the children against the healthy parent are sometimes successful.

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In my practice, much of the emphasis on this blog is placed on complex child custody litigation, and how to manage these difficult issues with child custody litigation.  Yet, in some of my cases along with child custody issues there can be significant financial issues and division of property issues. One issue that sometimes arises is the valuation of a family owned business, or the valuation of a percentage share in a corporation our group of companies.

With certain exceptions  all property acquired during marriage through the time, skill and efforts of either spouse is considered marital property. The disposition of property is governed by Section 503 of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). Under Illinois law, all property acquired by either spouse during a marriage is presumed to be marital property.

A business begun by one spouse after the date of marriage and before physical separation will need to be divided in a dissolution proceeding, and if you and your spouse cannot agree on its value it may need to be evaluated by an expert.  Under the IMDMA the Court can appoint its own expert to advise it about financial issues in a case, but more typically each arty will retain a CPA-level expert to determine values in the business and property interests, and then be available to testify at trial (if necessary) regarding the values that the Court should determine in a marital estate.

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In  my practice, I have the privilege of working with parents who are the targeted end of a toxic  alienation campaign.  The above video highlights the importance of the reintegration therapist, with the reminded that there are very few clinicians that actually have the training and experience to work with “brainwashed” children.

“A therapist that’s going to be helpful to an alienated parent and their damaged children here should have clinical and research experience, at least to know the research completely, and be able to differentiate the weak studies from the strong studies. They also should have a lot of grassroots experience in working with families in high-conflict divorces and forensics. They should be able to have expertise, whether it’s forensic sociology or forensic psychology.

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