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  • Writer's picturePAPA

More opportunities for parents will create better outcomes for children.

Why it's important to support parents in order to safeguard children and to prevent parental alienation from occurring.

If you're reading this and from the United Kingdom, then by now you'll know that there is 'some' support available for parents but that support nearly always only extends as far as one parent and not both.

It's almost as if by design, the whole system is built around pitting one parent against another with the goal being to profit from the fallout.

Even from birth it's still possible for a mother to register the birth of her child without the father present and knowingly stating she does not know the father (when she does) in order to alienate the father from the outset.

If a father is not named on a child's birth certificate then he is seen to not have parental responsibility and therefore in UK law; does not have any rights to see their child and therefore has to go through family court to prove paternity.

I have hundreds of fathers join PAPA who are having this very problem, having to fight to prove they are their child's father, an extra hurdle to overcome before they can then 'fight' for a child arrangement order.

So if any would-be fathers in the UK are reading this then it's extremely important that you make sure you are on your child's birth certificate, do everything you can to be there to register the birth.

I've fought for years for this to change and for there to be severe punishments for mothers who choose to lie on a legal document because in any other legal instance; lying on a legal document would come with a severe punishment, often a prison sentence.

I've had some MP's give me the time of day and others not interested at all, how can anyone turn a blind eye to this knowing countless children are growing up without a parent who loves them along with aunties, uncles, grandparents as well as possibly brothers, sisters and cousins.

Now, I know a lot of mothers reading this may feel I'm being biased in this article but the reality is that this alienation tactic only applies to fathers because a father cannot register his child's birth without the mother present, he cannot say he does not know who the mother is (for obvious reasons) so this particular instance can and does put fathers at an immediate disadvantage if their child's mother chooses to be malicious.

Some of you mothers I know will say that there are certain situations where alienation is justified and this may be true in some instances but in my experience, those situations are few and far between.

In well over 90% of cases I've dealt with I can say that a mother has intentionally omitted the father from the birth certificate in a deliberate attempt to alienate, with no safeguarding issues present at all.

There are cases where a man can be abusive and I can understand why a mother would want to protect herself and her child. I take no issue with that but if that's proven to be false then something needs to be done about it.

It can't be left to take months and years going through family court with no punishment for the alienator while the child and other parent has to endure such abuse.

Unfortunately a child's birth certificate can be a major factor in disputes regarding custody and parental responsibility so we definitely need to encourage severe punishments for those who choose to lie and deceive on their child's birth certificate.

There are of course many more alienating tactics and policies in place that can affect both mothers and fathers.

It's now becoming more and more common for fathers to engage in alienating behaviour, either as a retaliation measure or purely out of malice.

Latest figures from the MOJ suggest that it could be up to 10% of alienating parents are now fathers. Some studies suggest it could be higher than that.

One common alienating tactic which affects both mothers and fathers involves the child benefit system and how the government are only willing to acknowledge a child has only one home despite nearly 60% of children's parents living separately in the UK.

I've found this particularly frustrating when trying to take care of my son's education, as you can read in my last article here.

I think it shows how outdated this policy is when we are now living in a society where a child is more likely to have two homes than one.

If both parents are actively involved in a child's life then the child benefit should be equally distributed to both parents as an equal parenting arrangement needs to be the presumption, in the best interests of the child.

For me personally, I've never been too bothered about the child benefit from a financial perspective and I've always been fortunate enough to be able to support my son without the help of the government however there are a lot of parents and families struggling financially.

Children from low income families are most at risk from this tactic as the parent receiving the child benefit can withhold access knowing that they will be paid all of the child benefit and the other parent won't receive any support and in some cases will not be able to afford to go to court to fight for their child.

I have lost count of how many parents have joined PAPA due to struggling financially due to the strain put on them by parental alienation and the policies in place that support and encourage such behaviour.

There has been a lot of parents who have sadly taken their own lives due to the fight becoming too much to deal with.

The government's ignorance towards children having two homes also caused me issues when I tried to get my son's passport renewed 5 years ago. I had already bought him his first passport so thought nothing of it to renew his passport.

As he lived with me and has my last name and I bought his first passport I put myself down as parent 1. His passport application was rejected because I put myself as parent 1 and they explicitly told me that the mother should be parent 1 (why, I don't know, they couldn't tell me) so I had to pay for the express service with a written letter from my son's mother saying I can buy his passport, it only just came in time for our holiday.

I wrote to the passport office asking for a refund as my application was done correctly (aside from assuming as my son's father I could be parent 1) however they refused.

Luckily by this point my son's mother and I were on a better footing but had it been a few years prior there's a possibility she could have refused to give permission and that would have ruined our holiday.

I may have had equal custody for many years on paper but when I've needed that 'paper' it's counted for nothing.

Giving both parents equal support, encouraging equal parenting and making both parents accountable is the only way to safeguard children from these alienation tactics.

It's been proven time and again that children need the involvement of both parents wherever possible.

Both parents deserve the opportunity to be there for their children so it's vital that the government do more to update their policies to reflect our modern society.

Parental Alienation is the only form of abuse that comes with financial rewards and incentives from the government.

These of course, are not problems unique to the UK. PAPA has thousands of members worldwide with similar stories and experiences to what is described above.

If you have a story you'd like to share with us then please get in touch.

Looking for support?

If you are currently going through parental alienation or know someone who is and are in need of support then you can join PAPA today for free by signing up here on our website.

All members have free access to our community support forum, which is growing every day as well as access to our upcoming resource centre, which will have a number of useful downloadable guides.

You can also sign up to our Facebook support group, which has over 22,000 active members worldwide as well as number of chat rooms including UK, US chat rooms and spaces for both alienated fathers and mothers.

No matter where you are or what your problem is PAPA is here to help you through so please sign up, get in touch and let's fight this battle together.

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