Whilst going through a divorce it is difficult to ensure that your own personal views of your spouse are not reflected to your children.
Parental Alienation cases are increasing and it has been estimated that it is present in 11%- 15% of divorces involving children.
Cafcass are becoming increasingly concerned regarding the amount of children who are suffering because one parent will not allow them to see the other for no real reason other than their own opinions of them.
Cafcass are beginning to adopt a new approach involving intense therapy to highlight to parents how there behaviour is affecting the children. Parent's who do not respond to this, will be prevented from having their children living with them.
In addition to this, contact maybe suspended between the parent and the child for a fixed period or in extreme circumstances, banned from any contact at all.
Alongside the guidelines, Cafcass has developed a 12-week intense programme called positive parenting, designed to help the abusive parent put themselves in their child’s position, and give them skills to break their patterns of behaviour.
A trial of it will start shortly, with 50 high-conflict families being sought across the country. After an evaluation in spring, the programme will be rolled out nationwide.
It will be interesting to see how this new incentive will change parent's behaviour, knowing that they could be banned from seeing their children.
Watch this space....
Divorcing parents could be denied contact with their children if they try to turn them against their former partner, under a “groundbreaking” process being trialled by the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass). The phenomenon where one parent poisons their child against the other is known as parental alienation, the ultimate aim of which is to persuade the child to permanently exclude that parent from their life. Cafcass said it had recently realised parental alienation occured in significant numbers of the 125,000 cases it dealt with each year. Sarah Parsons, the assistant director of Cafcass, said: “We are increasingly recognising that parental alienation is a feature in many of our cases and have realised that it’s absolutely vital that we take the initiative. Our new approach is groundbreaking.”