Forty three French family mediators agreed to answer a questionnaire concerning the families with whom they had had at least one interview. The level of conflict of these families was assessed in relation to other variables including shared parenting. 175 families were observed from this questionnaire. There were up to four children per family, but families with only one child represented 45% of the sample. The statistical data were interpreted using the chi2 test. Very significant links were observed between the level of conflict and the child's residence. 54% of the parents had higher education whereas this percentage is only 42% in the general population. This result shows that the clients of family mediators have a significantly higher intellectual level than the average. 34.5% of families practiced shared residence for the child, which is also above the average in France. Shared residence was more common in families with moderate conflict. Physical violence between parents was more frequent, however, in families with high conflict. The variables related to the level of parental conflict experienced by the parents were: the child's residence, the contact impediments made by the other parent, the disparagement exercised with the child, using the child as a message carrier for the other parent who is not spoken to, etc. The variables related to the level of parental conflict assessed by professionals were: the ability to listen to the other parent, the ability of the parent to put the child's needs before their own, the non-compliance with the arrangements made for the child's residence, unilateral decisions to change the child's place of residence, etc. The feeling of being looked down upon by the other parent was among the most frequent complaints encountered in this study. The main cause of disputes with the other parent for the fathers was disagreement on the child's main place of residence while for mothers the main cause of disputes concerned the unfolding of the father's visiting rights. This study was made possible thanks to the cooperation of the AIFI (International Francophone Association of Interveners with separated families).
In 2014, National Parents Organization undertook the first comprehensive evaluation of the child custody laws of the 50 states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia, which resulted in the 2014 NPO Shared Parenting Report Card. This report graded the states on the degree to which their child custody statutes facilitated and promoted equal shared parenting. Last year, NPO issued the 2019 NPO Shared Parenting Report Card, which employed updated methodology to evaluate the then current statutes in the U.S. While the updated methodology prevents exact comparisons between the results of the two reports at the individual state level, NPO did find signs of significant improvement in the five years between these two studies. While no states received ‘A’s in the 2014 report, two did in 2019. And there was a significant upward shift at the lower level: the number of states receiving ‘C’s increased from 18 to 26 and the number receiving ‘D’s decreased from 23 to 14. The NPO Report Cards have received a positive response from the media. Results of the 2019 Report Card were covered by both national and local media. NPO believes that the tools developed for the NPO Report Cards can be useful instruments for shared parenting organizations in other countries and regions to clearly illustrate disparities within their country or between their country and others, and to highlight deficiencies in their country’s child custody laws. The most significant improvement in the methodology of the report was the transition to an algorithmic scoring of the state statutes, which decreased the potential for inconsistency in the scoring of the state statutes. The factors used to evaluate and score the states’ custody statutes and the weightings they were given in the algorithm will be discussed. NPO will share these tools with our sister shared parenting organizations in other countries.
The “parental alienation” phenomenon is defined as a situation in which a child refuses or breaks off a good parenting relationship due to the divorce process and unjustified or natural reasons. An estranged child will be in complete disdain for the deferred parent's actions, the use of aliases from the adult world, and the rejection of the extended family, friends, and even the pet associated with that parent This extreme behavior will be accompanied by a lack of ambivalence, guilt or remorse. In contrast, toward the preferred parent, the child will express complete feelings of identification and trust. This is different from the behaviors of children who have been subject to neglect or physical violence, which often express mixed feelings and attempts to maintain contact with the abusive parent. International studies from the past decade indicate that parental alienation has long-term effects on the mental health of children. The poisonous emotional dynamics produce programming and extinction of authentic memories and experiences that were shared by the children before. The result is graduates with low self-esteem, self-hatred, a lack of confidence, a tendency to depression and loss. Also, the phenomenon has a worrying social aspect, since in many cases it is also restored to the next generation. Hence the reference to this phenomenon emerges as a violent phenomenon towards children When addressing the phenomenon is examined through the parents' prism, we are all deprived of the ability and obligation to put the affected child at the center and find the solution for him, which will ensure that his covert wish, a secure and stable relationship with his two parents. Worldwide, there is a growing realization that in the absence of targeted system care, parental alienation has become a pandemic, affecting 10% to 15% of families of divorce, and has even recently been validated by the World Health Organization, beginning in January 2020 on ICD-11 The European as a phenomenon affecting children's psyche In recent years, Israeli Family Courts have begun to recognize parental alienation as a violent act of parenting against a child, and as of January 2019, a special project is running in the Family Court in Tel Aviv, which has expanded across Israel. As part of the project, a referee was appointed who is responsible for managing the cases related to parental alienation, and in all matters related to severing parent-child contact. Because the proceedings in the courts have been going on for months and no satisfactory solution has been provided for severing the relationship, which could result in widening the disconnect, it has been decided to shorten the proceedings - and today when the Family Court's assistance unit identifies a case of disconnection, the appeal form is forwarded to the referee, which is required to hold a hearing. 14 days to review the claim. If there is a cause, the referee will send the parents to a professional from the pre-prepared care pool to help provide a solution for severing and severe alienation. In extreme cases, where there is no cooperation on the part of the estranged or detached parent, the authority of the referee to transfer custody to the other parent. The reference to the treatment of parental alienation as a reference to the treatment of domestic violence, in terms of legal procedure. In recent months a number of rulings have been made, in which custody of the children has been transferred to the estranged or detached parent, after the abusive parent has not cooperated, the cities have difficulties and the professionals claimed that this was a violent act for all intents and purposes. In our time of chemistry, there can be little doubt that violence against children in divorce does not only exist as physical, verbal or economic violence. It is precisely the parental alienation, especially when the incitement of children is not done directly but indirectly and unconsciously, and then parents justify their behavior despite knowing that it is abusive and violent - there is a need to treat parental alienation as a violent phenomenon for all intents and purposes and to produce ways of treatment. Proper, like the way the family court in Tel Aviv created
Family violence is still mainly considered to be against women. However, official statistics in Switzerland show, that the share of male victims is about to reach 30%. Not talking about this, not supporting the respective institutions, not mentioning these victims in scientific papers causes negative impacts on the perception of domestic violence at all. We need to find a way to handle all domestic violence equal, meaning that there should be no difference in the treatment of offenders. Accusation of domestic violence has a high potential for abuse, which make's it even more important, to have open eyes on the situations. Shared, or parallel parenting can be established if the domestic violence was clearly a result of pre-separation-stress and not systematic. Establishing this needs a lot of work for the two parents, but it can lead to a better situation for the children. Experience of the author: - 15 years of work for an NGO, helping people to find good solutions after separations. - 10 years of experience with the only shelter for beaten men in Switzerland. - 8 years of experience with shared parenting concepts