It's not enough to make it difficult for alienators, we need to make parental alienation completely unrewarding.
What would you say if I told you I could take care of you financially and give you full autonomy over your child's life and all you have to do is deprive them of the love and support of their other parent and their family?
You'd be appalled, right?
The reality is though, that millions of parents are given this "opportunity" as soon as their child is born.
Most wouldn't dream of doing something so barbaric but there's still an alarming number of parents willing to harm their child and the child's parent (and wider family) in the name of self gratification. These parents are alienators.
Why would anyone do this to their child?
Often a parent who engages in parental alienation will choose not to recognise the impact their behaviour has on the child. An alienator will usually opt to victimise themselves in order to gain sympathy for their callous actions.
A parent will likely alienate when it appears more convenient and/or there are incentives in place.
Sometimes the incentive is merely control. An alienator will find it very appealing to be able to not only have sole control over their child's life but also being able to exert some control over the other parent. This can be as severe as controlling when/if the other parent sees the child as well as using the child as means to control the other parent financially, which leads me to another example.
Another major incentive is financial. An alienating parent, particularly in lower income areas will find it extremely easy to exert control and power over the other parent. The alienating parent will likely claim all benefits as well as free housing and childcare in order to be able to raise their child without any "help". In this scenario the alienated parent is at a considerable disadvantage as they will have to finance themselves (and the child) completely which can make it extremely difficult to start the court process and fight the alienator. In more general cases I have seen alienators using child support as a way to abuse their child and the other parent. An alienator will refuse or minimise contact and use their child as a way to extort more money from the parent. I have seen many parents driven to the point of financial ruin and in some tragic cases, suicide.
What can we do about it?
Firstly we absolutely need it to be recognised and assumed that both parents will be equally responsible for the child. Any negotiations on child contact and also child support should be started from a NEUTRAL standpoint, ALWAYS.
To do this we have to demand the government changes the way the benefit/welfare system is structured. The problem starts from the bottom and it works its way up.
As we need to assume both parents as equally responsible, we also need to give both parents equal opportunities in regards to financial support as well as access to childcare etc. Both parents should have access to the same resources in order to support their child's needs.
This is why PAPA started the 'Equal Parenting Campaign'; because still to this day we do not have a level playing field.
Every parent has the right to be there for their child and every child has the right to have a relationship with both parents.
What are your thoughts on the above? Do you agree that there are incentives in place that make it too easy or tempting for a parent to alienate? If not, let us know what you think.
Join us at PAPA by signing up to our website and being a part of our support forum as well as following our social media accounts. Help us fight for equal parenting and the rights of millions of children and their parents worldwide.
We are working on free legal resources to help alienated parents as well as some new future campaigns. Please check back soon.