Family court systems are overburdened, according to recent research. High caseloads (over 600,000 cases in New York State family courts in 2012 alone) result in hearings that must wait over a year to enforce violations of visitation ordered by the court. If any sanctions are applied, it takes even longer. The net result of these delays is that the behavior of parental alienators often goes unchecked. This is the reason so many of the children in reunification programs may not have seen their target parent for years.
As I discovered in my survey of target parents, one problem with the court system is that many target parents believe that legal professionals do not fully understand parental alienation. They do not seem to recognize that the parental rejection does not stop just because the child gets older, or that the court has a responsibility to intervene.
Most parents interviewed by researchers investigating the court system have lost their faith in finding justice through the family court. They also found that courts often do not seem to use scientific information about child development to make their determinations.
In summary, parental alienation is a frequently unrecognized trauma to both children and target parents that negatively impacts most of us through extended family, friends, school systems, and other social structures. This raises the question:
Why do we, as a society, stand by while an epidemic of child abuse rages on?
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