Press one of the expand buttons to see the full text of an article. Later press collapse to revert to the original form. The buttons below expand or collapse all articles.
April 26, 2012 permalink
Parents drawing attention to the problem of parental alienation rallied outside the courthouse yesterday in Barrie.
Parental alienation rises to surface
‘Children deserve to chose the right to be loved by both parents’
With more than 43% of the Canadian population divorcing, it’s likely you know someone who’s gone through a messy split.
When more than half of those divorces involving families with children, the messy factor ratchets up a notch to a painful custody battle where defeated parents will tell you nobody wins.
A dozen parents decked out with signs in their hands, and their hearts on their sleeves, met at Centennial Park after holding a small demonstration at the Barrie courthouse demanding change in family law.
The real weapons of mass destruction are the family court system, read a placard placed against the climbing equipment at the beach.
The dozen parents, equal parts men and women, stood unified in their pain as all admitted they’d lost custody of their children through long, messy court battles.
“The status quo has got to go,” said Sharon Neary, using her maiden name.
Neary says she has three children, but doesn’t see two of them due to a poor relationship with her ex-husband.
“It’s a form of mental and emotional abuse. Everybody knows about it, but now it’s got a name — parental alienation.
“Children deserve to chose the right to be loved by both parents.”
Paulette MacDonald, a former volunteer with the Parental Alienation group, and now a co-director with the Canadian Equal Parenting Council, said there are 42 organizations across the county pushing for family law reform for equal parenting.
“It removes the incentive for single custody in the legal system,” MacDonald said.
Once joint custody becomes mandatory, parents won’t use children as weapons against their former spouse and joint custody will ensure both parents play a part in their children’s life, she said.
Perched on the children’s playground equipment at the beach, MacDonald read a statement about forgiveness by Dr. Anita Vestal, who offered a free e-book entitled Making Friends with the “F” Word: 20 Practical Ways to Forgive to those in attendance.
At the end of the meeting, and perhaps as a metaphor for a child’s fragility, the assembled group blew bubbles into the cold, strong wind before leaving.
As the rainbow bubbles floated away, a set of twins in matching toques and coats chased them giggling, to the water’s edge.
Source: Barrie Examiner