Dr Richard Gardner, Professor of Child Psychiatry, Columbia University, testified for law firm client, physician and father of three young girls, that mother’s tactics to deny father custody constituted a mild form of parental alienation. Rather than excuse mother, Dr Gardener testified that her persistent and pressured tactics to remove the children from their father — including her having feigned a trip to Disneyland for a flight to New York to secretly relocate — had actually failed to break the bonds of attachment between father and daughters explaining that father’s resistance and legal challenges to mother’s relentless campaign to estrange his children from him had provided antidotal relief to what otherwise would likely have estranged the children from him completely.
Dr. Gardener’s seminal work first published in his book, False Claims Of Abuse And Parental Alienation, has continued to attract derisive criticism and outright character assignation by supporters of women’s rights groups to relocate freely with children after divorce even when depriving fathers of access to meaningful roles in their relocated children’s new lives. Dr Gardener likened the phenomena to converting the left behind father to little more than a distant uncle for his estranged children.
Dr Gardener explained that the research data showed that the offending mother’s motivation to distance her children was often rooted in anxiety following the paradigm shift in the legal doctrine formerly presumptively favoring mother’s custody to the modern best interests and welfare standard that places great emphasis in mutual parenting partnerships following separation and divorce, based on established data supporting better emotional and psychological outcomes for children of divorce raised by two biological parents sharing jointly in decisions relating to the children’s health, education and welfare.
Although great strides towards promoting parenting joint custody partnerships have evolved in the law, resistance and bias against Dr Gardener’s work and the PAS Disorder persists even in progressive communities in Southern California where as recently as August 2011 in Costa Mesa, California, judicial (active and retired) presenters to lawyers preparing for certification as specialists in family law promoted in seminar trial tactics to mother’s advocates in custody trials emphasizing disparaging ad homonym critiques challenging Dr Gardener’s credibility based on his life style (ridiculing him for his unfortunate suicide following his debilitatingly painful illness) rather than in the content of his studies and the reliability of the data supporting his findings supporting parental alienation as a syndrome or spectrum disorder.
Fathers Rights Law Center promotes the parenting partnership paradigm by aggressively and thoroughly pinning down the evidence for alienation while introducing through professional expert testimony — psychologists and psychiatrists — the parental alienation spectrum and the consequent effects of anxiety and developmental delays including autism spectrum disorders, regression and disease in affected children. PAS is, as Dr Gardener testified, a modern form of child abuse, both physically and emotionally for the children impacted. And as Dr Gardener taught as well as testified, the best antidote for the alienated children is an abundance of joint custodial time with the alienated father to dispel for them their alienating and brainwashing mother’s distortions and corrupting assignations.