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Parental Conflict – Alienating a Child

Auckland Family Court judge Margaret Rogers said more than 1000 pages of evidence had been filed with the court.

“At this point in [the child’s] life, [its] future should lie ahead of [it] full of promise and potential. But I fear for [the child] and for [its] future,” she said in a decision issued last year.

“I fear for [the child] for one simple reason. [Its] parents … have one of the worst parental relationships I have seen in 22 years of experience in the field of family law.”

The father may not be perfect but the headline “Kiwi mum battles to keep child” substanially discounts the mothers contribution to the alienation of this child from the father. To me the headline shows a clear bais – man is evil, woman is victim menatlity of the reporter.

The court was told that the child maintained a consistently negative view of the father and continually told a lawyer and a court-appointed doctor that it did not want to visit the father.

“A common theme for [the child] is to describe [its] father as evil, and emphatically state that [it] hates [the father].”

Judge Rogers said she found that the child was “alienated”. The court-appointed child psychologist defined this as “a child who expresses, freely and persistently, unreasonable negative feelings and beliefs towards a parent that are significantly disproportionate to the child’s actual experience with that parent”.

The mother has denied she ever engaged in intentional or unintentional “alienating behaviour”.

Interesting denial by the mother, given the child has been in her care and is so young.

As to Mark Henaghan’s comments about money dragging out Family Court proceedings – surely the same logic must apply to one party (Mum) being granted endless legal aid compared to the father having to pay for his lawyer or self represent.

Letters to the Dompost please.