How To Fight Back Against Parental Alienation,
Overcome Nasty Custody, Visitation Disputes
and Win With Very Limited Financial Resources
By Joseph Goldberg.
A million and one families drain all their financial
resources on custody and visitation disputes every
year and more than half these parents have hired a
bevy of lawyers to assist them, many that I talked
to have had at least two or three different lawyers
at one time or another.
Let me skip over for the moment all the reasons it
turns out this way and give you the spoiler alert to
this article You Need To Hire An Expert that has
bona fide credentials in understanding parent-child
Not every case involving custody and visitation dis-
pues is a case involving parental alienation, but let
me say with some emphasis that it's highly likely a
factor and if you didn't know that PA is also a child
abuse issue, do some research and read about it.
There is often times a solution for these cases that
not only can vary custody and visitation orders, it
can prevent and reverse the effects of this PA, and
according to the DSM-5 ( The Diagnostic and
Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ), PA has a
new diagnosis linked to the dynamic, the DSM- 5's
V Code refers to it as , Child Psychological Abuse.
Let me share my strategy with you as a consultant.
You can walk into a lawyers office and tell him the
long nightmare of your case and in the end he or,
she will offer to help you for a retainer at a rate of
$300 -$500+/hour at .02 of an hourly rate and that
is fairly standard. Under this scenario your bill has
a monthly stickler shock.
Under my formula, I select the lawyer for you and
discuss the issues we need the lawyer to handle. It
is this division of labor that not only works, but it
works at a fraction of the cost. This is called an Un-
bundled Legal Service Agreement. The legal fee is
reduced not only in scope but very often at a much
lower hourly rate, its all part of the service that you
get when you hire a consultant.
Another important point to understand is this:
Your lawyer is not an expert in parent-child
relational problems and your lawyer would not
know what is the right legal and therapeutic
intervention that has the best hope of repair-
ing this family crisis.
That is a fact. Lawyers are not reading or paying
attention to social science research on what works
and what is not working for mental health
professionals in a treatment plan for estrange-
ment, enmeshment, and alienation ( or, in hybrid
cases of these dynamcis. )
Only an expert can help you in the selection of the
right custody evaluator, the right therapist, how to
remove a less qualified professional that stands in
the way of repairing the parent-child relationships.
I know that right now, I am connecting with more
than just a few thousand parents that know exactly
what I'm talking about.
The cost of hiring a lawyer with the wrong strategy
to your case is just as bad as a therapist with the
wrong approach, and even more deadly if you
have a custody evaluator or an assessor appointed
to give a report to the judge , when they are under
qualified to make a differential diagnosis.
Dealing with ad litems, lawyers that represent your
children, ineffective parenting coordinators, well it
really adds up in costs and how do you get them to
step aside or at least neutralize their influence with
the court ? Only with the help of an expert and that
means hiring the right professional to be the leader
in the litigation and therapeutic strategies you need.
There are not a lot of qualified consultants that
are both experts in alienation cases and experts
in how to strategize with lawyers on the
litigation issues, I say this with all due respect
to lawyers that think in many ways they know
what such experts do, sadly lawyers have no
understanding what a PA consultant can do
and I say that because experts doing this work
have only entered into this field, in the last few
I don't have to ask you how much you would have
saved if you had hired an expert years ago, many
times prospective clients have said to me, “ I wish
I had known you years ago. I've already spent like
$20,000 ( $40,000 .$75,000 .$100,000. already ).
Still, many of these cases can be brought back
to life on a budget of a few thousand dollars
and there is more than just a possibility of get-
ting the right outcome. If not for the fact that
so many parents are burned out on the litigation
more children could be helped, and that's just
another reason to hire a consultant.
A consultant can restore the lost emotional energy
evaporated by the parental conflicts.
Many times cases are referred to me by new
spouses or significant others, by a grandmother,
a sibling or friend. That rejected parent may
have given up but the loss for extended family
members is just as significant and loving new
spouses and significant others feel the distress
in living with a parent that has lost a child and
they are determined to find a solution.
Cost can be measured in financial dollars but
harder to quantify in terms of emotional assets.
I refer to my efforts in helping these parents
as a Frankenstein approach. One has to scaffold
this parent to patch them up, but in a way that
presents them with education, and reassurance
about successful treatment outcomes.
As an expert you can take what often is a losing
case and revive them. In many other professions
the same principals are applied to their success.
However, in order to have that kind of success
an expert needs to do what nobody else is will-
ing to do; review all of the forensic facts in the
case, study the family dynamic, be available to
help that client day or night.
Nobody has any interest in working that
hard unless they're a consultant that really
cares about the child abuse and a belief
that their time is worth spending to rejoin
a child with a parent they rejected for an
There are parents at the starting gate of a
custody ( and ) or visitation dispute, others
in the middle of one, some are clinging to
a hope their lawyer will get the outcome
they're praying for, others have paid their
lawyer and checked out, they're leaving it
in the hands of the lawyer and whatever
happens next they feel that they've done
all that they can ( which is not true ) !!!
Approx. 95% of all litigants do not know
about consultants nor the logic of spend-
ing money on a consultant to audit the
possibility that they're on the wrong legal
track. This logic will never come to them
or if it does, it will come at a time that's to
late to reverse the damage.
There is no way to argue openly about this dy -
namic without a cacophony of parents saying
it's hopeless and that the courts are
impossible and that everyone just has their
hand out wanting to get a piece of the action.
I get that and I agree that many professionals
are exactly like this and yes there are judges
like that, but still, if you have a lawyer that
is not presenting the right approach to litigat-
ing your case ( because you did not hire an
expert consultant ) you have to “ own that.”
It is your choice to find the right professional
to help you and if you don't well ....
I can tell you it is not possible for the lawyers to
do it alone and when you tell them that you hired
an expert in parent-child relational problems to
assist you ... and to assist them, you will be the
one most surprised by the gratitude the
lawyer extends to you for that litigation support.
After all, do you really expect your lawyer to admit
to you their shortcomings ? If they did, what do you
think would happen ?
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Peter B. Gray, Ph.D., is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is the coauthor of Fatherhood.
Kermyt G. Anderson, Ph.D., is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Oklahoma. He is the co-author of Fatherhood.