How Does One Identify and Treat False Accusations of Sexual Abuse in Parental Alienation Situations?

Ludwig.F. Lowenstein Ph.D

Southern England Psychological Services



It is important to identify true versus false sex abuse allegations in the case of parental alienation cases. The paper which follows illustrates how false allegations may be used and identified by psychological investigation. An illustration of this is presented showing how sex abuse allegations are used and how they can be refuted. Sometimes this is done by noting the language or phrases used by the child that are essentially borrowed scenarios from the alienator. There will often be inconsistencies in a child’s reporting. With skill and determination the psychologist can reverse parental alienation unless the child is returned to the poisoning influence of the programmer.

How Does One Identify and Treat False Accusations of Sexual Abuse in Parental Alienation Situations?

What follows is part of a book on the subject of the psychological aspects of parental alienation. It will discuss:

  1. How and why parental alienation processes lead to sexual abuse accusations.
  2. Getting at the truth.
  3. What can be done to reverse false accusations of sexual abuse in parental alienation situations.

1. How and why do sexual abuse accusations occur in the process of parental alienation

It is vital to be certain in the first instance that no sexual abuse has occurred. If it has occurred parental alienation processes and its identification and treatment are very different than that which follows now. Hence it is vital that before seeking to break the deadlock of a child and alienator making such allegations against an alienated parent, that sexual abuse has not occurred. Parental alienation is usually preceded by an acrimonious relationship and the targeted member, usually the father, having left the home. It is most important to protect children from the trauma resulting from sexual abuse and this cannot be stressed too greatly. It is equally important however, that we protect children from an emotionally abusing adult programming them against a parent.

As is almost always the case false sexual abuse allegations originate from the alienator and are supported by the supposed victim and possibly other members of the family. Sometimes such abuse has been:

  1. Exaggerated, such as a the result of an inadvertent or innocent touch of a genital area.
  2. With no such basis whatsoever for the allegations having occurred.

The child supports the alienator, mainly the mother, because the child:

  1. Has identified with the parent and in so doing also the attitudes and allegations made against the alienated parent.
  2. Some of the signs that a child is lying or exaggerating may be noted as due to the brain washing and the programme of alienation the child has received.

A number of ways to identify whether the child is telling the truth or not will be gone into the next section in connection with this:

  1. The phrases and words used by, especially a very young child, which have been borrowed from the indoctrinator: “He sexually abused me…..He seduced me……He sodomised me……He molested me…..He had penile intercourse etc, etc.” “He makes me watch pornographic films.” Sometimes such statements are known to be suspect such as when the father does not even have a video player.
  2. Sometimes the child will inadvertently reveal that the very source of the allegations made come from the mother. “I don’t feel safe with my father……He could hit me…..Mummy told me”.
  3. Frequently, the alienator will reveal a precise “litany” on what has allegedly occurred, this being repeated word for word by the child. Often the child does not understand the meaning of the words used such as the father being “controlling”, “authoritarian”, “permissive” and other statements already noted in No. 1. He/she merely “parrots” what is heard from the alienator, such as: “My father did not cuddle me until I was 2 years old.” One could well ask how the child could know this unless he/she had been told by someone, possibly the mother.
  4. Some children will write directly to the Court and Judges with sexual abuse complaints instigated by the alienator who addresses the very envelopes and posts the letter. Frequently the mother actively writes letters and then attributes them to the child. They are dictated by the mother as to what the child should say, such as father being: “a paedophile…..not sufficiently protective……being too much of a disciplinarian…….or lacking in providing discipline.”
  5. The children asked to define the terms used are likely not to be able to do so. They are merely repeating what they have heard from the alienator. Sometimes they will even admit that the alienator used such words to them about their father/mother who is being vilified.

While these signs do not directly discount the possibility that some form of sex abuse has occurred, they demonstrate the general tendency which results when a child is programmed against an absent parent in order to discredit him/her. It can also lead, in the case of sexual abuse allegations to the prosecution of an innocent parent and if found guilty the imprisonment of that parent. Court and Law unfortunately do not always get it right. Such injustices can never be rectified, even when the child later recants the accusations made.

2. How to get at the truth

It is the task of the psychologist to get at the truth as to whether sexual abuse has occurred in the first instance. It must be understood that sex abuse allegations are often a spin off of the parental alienation process. This is not to say that parents do not commit acts of sexual abuse against their children but one must be suspicious, however, when such allegations are made once parents are separated, when the separation is acrimonious, and when no such allegations have ever been made while both parents lived together.

Should sexual abuse actually have taken place, as established via an “independent investigator” then it is necessary:

  1. To treat the child for its effects.
  2. To treat the perpetrator within or outside the prison system.
  3. To allow only supervised contact between the child and the sex abuse offender at some point in time, usually after therapy has been completed and been successful.
  4. An attempt must be made to rehabilitate the family if at all possible.

False allegations of sexual abuse frequently occur in cases of parental alienation and for these there is often no foundation. They are attributable to the implacable hostility of the alienator towards the targeted parent. Here the alienator will use all and any strategy to keep the other parent from having contact with the child. This is done from hostility and instils in the child the notion that the absent parent is of evil intent, dangerous or otherwise unworthy of playing any role in their lives.

False accusations of sexual abuse are strewn with signs which are easy to ignore. This occurs when one has already preconceived notions that if a parent and child state that it has occurred it must have happened. This is why it is so important that the investigator be totally independent, impartial, skilled and dedicated in getting at the truth of such dangerous allegations. These allegations include in summary:

  1. The language used by the child when speaking of the abuse.
  2. Inconsistencies in the stories of the child.
  3. Borrowed scenarios from the alienator.
  4. Elaboration of the abuse that does not make sense.
  5. Individual interviews with the alienator, alienated parent and the child, and also in various combinations. The objective is to note both the consistencies and inconsistencies in the information obtained.

It must be emphasised that interviewing and gathering information concerning whether sexual abuse took place is both an art and a science. Those who are likely to be sexual abusers usually have from an early age shown signs or histories of abusing. They may themselves have been sexually abused as children.

The author of this paper has written a book which contains a test and interviewing procedure which is still being revised. It is important never to depend on one or even several pieces of evidence before making any decisions. Decisions must be based on past research in the personality and history of sexual abusers, interviews with a variety of individuals and using a variety of personality tests.

While sex abusers are devious and deniers, so are those who make false allegations as a result of the parental alienation phenomenon. Furthermore there are, as already mentioned, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers and organisations who consider a child’s statement sacrosanct. They will then seek further evidence to corroborate the fact that sexual abuse has occurred according to what the child has said instead of impartially seeking for the truth. As has already been made abundantly clear, children do not always tell the truth . Here Gardner presents and actual clinical case of a young child making false sex abuse allegations.

3. What can be done to reverse false accusations of sexual abuse?

There are a number of ways in which children can be made to tell the truth and to reverse their very dangerous allegations that sexual abuse has been practised upon them due to the alienation of a hostile parent.

  1. Promoting shame and guilt felt towards the alienated parent for having made false accusations of sexual abuse. Children who are being alienated, or have been alienated are in a conflict situation. Here the promotion of guilt plays an important part as well as feelings of insecurity. Let me elaborate on this view. Chilren who have been programmed by a parent against the other non-resident parent fail to develop, what can only be termed, a balanced sense of guilt. They will make accusations even of having been sexually abused at the instigation of a hostile programmer.
  2. They develop by reason of programming a feeling of responsibility of duty towards the parent with whom they currently reside, usually the mother. The parent who is no longer there by reason of an acrimonious separation, receives comparatively little concern. The longer the separation, the less positive the child feels towards the absent parent, often blaming that parent for the absence. This is even when there have been in the past a close loving relationship with that parent and that parent’s family. This is because absent parents lose their capacity for influencing events. This is not the case for the custodial parent who has the capacity and often does use that capacity to influence the thinking and emotions of a child towards the absent parent. This is especially the case when the absent parent has developed a new relationship. There is much jealousy here by the alienating parent towards the new relationship. This feeling is passed on to the child by the alienator.
    There are many reasons why parents separate. It is usually because all is not well with the relationship as experienced by one or both parents. A good, healthy and otherwise positive relationship results in both parents seeking to support the child. Both parents and the child have a balanced memory of good time together. Thereby parental alienation is prevented. Such parents do not need the help of the psychologist. They are demonstrating their love for the child and providing that child with what is in his/her best interest, to feel loved by both parents.
  3. It is the programmed child against a parent who needs to be helped to view the situation realistically, that is, the one parent is absent but still loves the child. The child should continue to feel the same towards the absent parent and this can only be done by encouragement by the potentially alienating parent. Such children are fortunate as they will have the chance for a good start in life and therefore a good future.
    Only alienating by the programming parent can prevent such positive results. When the alienation process occurs, the child is initially in a conflict as to who should be rewarded for his/her continual love and affection . This situation does not last long when the ‘brain-washing’ is effective combined with the absence of the targeted parent. Hence the conscience and loyalty easily becomes one sided in the direction of the custodial and programming parent. This is partly due to the need for security by the child, the programming, and the absence of the targeted parent having any influence on the child. One might well say that in this situation “absence does not make the heart grow fonder”. Instead the absence towards the vilified parent leads in time to partial or eventual total rejection.

There appears to be, at least on the surface, no involvement of the conscience in the child about the alienated parent. As already mentioned, and it will continue to be mentioned, the alienator becomes “all good” while the alienated parent is “totally evil”. The child identifies therefore totally with the custodial parent and their views relative to the vilified absent parent.

One might say that the child has destroyed, or put to sleep any conscience in regard to the alienated parent, for the reasons already mentioned of identifying with the alienator totally. There is therefore no room for ambivalence of feelings. This term is constantly referred to by Gardner (2001). Such parents inculcate a lack of empathy and sympathy for the victim of parental alienation. As a psychologist one is often asked by the court: “How will this affect the child now and in the future?” Such experiences are likely to influence children all their lives unless they can be deprogrammed as quickly as possible. It will also influence the future adult in the manner in which they conduct themselves with other people. Empathy, conscience and morality are learned early in life by positive contact with caring, loving and firm parents.

Because children have been alienated against a parent they could well develop psychopathic personalities, demanding but never giving. They will lie and cheat and take what they want when they want it irrespective of the feelings of others. This is very much in the way that the programmer has behaved towards the targeted parent and children learn from this. Such individuals who programme children against others never appear to give but always seek to take and always provide the vilification of the absent parent. The child having not contact with the absent parent is directly or subtly discouraged from thinking for him/herself and for adopting ethical and moral ways of living. An alienated parent will often fight for years to have contact with a child. They fight for this in Court at great expense. Courts however, do not always see or want to see what the alienation process has done. Courts and the minions who help to make decisions make several mistakes. They are nevertheless understandable but legally and morally reprehensible:

  1. They believe what the child says and wants, instead of looking beneath the reasons for the child’s assertions of not wishing contact with the targeted parent. They fail to see what was done to promote these reasons.
  2. Courts therefore often inevitably side with the custodial parent as this is the easier way out of a tangled and complex situation, instead of punishing those responsible for the alienation.

Such decisions do little to prevent the negative short and long-term effects on the child, by depriving the child of contact with the loving non-custodial parent and others. It does not even in the end benefit the programming parent when the child grows up and often understands what has been done to prevent another loving parent being involved with his/her life, ht child often turns against the alienator.

The estranged parent after often years of attempts to seek a relationship with the child finally gives up. The reason is that the courts have not listened to the vilified parent or the true views of the child. Such alienated parents then start, if they have not done so already, to seek a new partner and further children. The result is that the child has been deprived of the valuable relationship with the father or mother. Such contact could have helped the child in future to promote relationships with others and become socialised. It also teaches the child, ultimately, that the courts are both unfair and unjust but they are powerful. What legacy is that for the new generation!?

4. Clinical case illustration

What follows is based on an actual case considerably disguised so as not to reveal the individuals who actually participated. The case concerns a child who has made a sexual abuse and other allegation against her father. The dialogue between the child and the psychologist, as well as the mother and the psychologist, are both to identify whether sexual abuse has occurred and also to seek to treat it by deprogramming the child who has been alienated in this case against the father over a long period of time. It should be made absolutely clear that this is a clinical example not an actual case. It is however, typical of many of the cases that this psychologist and others have dealt with in the past and will continue to do so. It will also be made clear the dangers that psychologists are facing when attempting to get at the truth and to deal with that truth following it having been revealed. The first part deals with the interview with the alienating mother, the second then interview with the child, and the third the interview with the psychologist, the father and the child together.

Interview with the mother

As she enters the room it is with a bearing of authority.

    1. Psych: “Would you tell me again what your 8 year old daughter told you about getting into bed with the father.”

      Mother: “He touched her in an inappropriate way between her legs.

    2. Psych: “Would you show me exactly what your daughter said he did”.

      Mother: (She demonstrated by running both her hands along the side and then between her inner thighs close to, but not actually touching the private parts)

    3. Psych: “Did he touch her private parts at any time?”

      Mother: “It looks that way to me……doesn’t it to you?”

    4. Psych: “You demonstrated and you showed that he was near but not actually at the exact area of her private parts.”

      Mother: “You will have to ask my daughter. She will show you exactly what he did do. Anyway do you think it’s right for a grown up man to have a little girl in bed with him, touching her the way he did?”

    5. Psych: “She is his daughter, Isn’t she? Have you never been in bed with your daughter?”

      Mother: “Of course I have. We are both of the same sex. I was only giving her a cuddle. Anyway he’s not living with us now. He’s with some slut who already has three children.”

    6. Psych: “Why did your relationship break up?”

      Mother: “What has that got to do with his molesting my daughter by asking her to come into bed with him?”

    7. Psych: “I would still like to know why you and your husband decided your relationship was over between you.”

      Mother: “If you want to know. I told him to go. He was an overbearing man and I told him one day that the marriage was over.”

    8. Psych: “Was there any other reason, remember you created a child between the two of you.”

      Mother: “And that’s the only good thing to come out of our relationship. It’s all I ever wanted.”

    9. Psych: “You wanted the child, but no longer did you want your husband……..the man who incidentally gave you that child.”

      Mother: “I had enough of him and his ways…….yes one day I just told him it was over.”

    10. Psych: “When he came back home I believe you had changed the lock of the front door.”

      Mother: “Yes, I didn’t want any more to do with him.”

    11. Psych: “I understand, but you did want to have your daughter, but you didn’t want your husband to have anything to do with your mutual daughter that you created together, is that right?”

      Mother: “It’s my daughter and not I who stopped him seeing him anyway. You will have to ask her why she doesn’t want to see him. She has a mind of her own you know. I can’t do anything about the way she feels.”

    12. Psych: “You have of course said you tried to get her to visit her father and to be with him and to answer telephone calls from him?”

      Mother: “Of course, I said you should see your father, and she refused. What do you expect me to do, force her to see her father? I can’t do that, nobody can do that. And anyway he shouldn’t have asked her to go into bed with him. She told me everything. My daughter and I are very close. You saw how she clings to me in the waiting room. She didn’t want to go in to see you, you know? But I insisted, I had to: why couldn’t you have me in the room when you were talking to her? That’s what she wanted. Remember you are a stranger to her.

    13. Psych: “You know very well that I need to see her on her own, and I will be seeing her again later to discuss the points you made about her father sexually abusing her while in bed with her.”

      Mother: “I don’t know whether he was doing that, but that’s what my daughter told me. You will have to ask her yourself. No-one should be calling a little girl into bed with him to do with her what he did. If that isn’t sexually abusing a child then I don’t know what is. That’s why she doesn’t want anything to do with him. She won’t even talk to him on the telephone now.”

    14. Psych: “You and your daughter have made a very strong allegation against her father. You realise that if what you are insinuating is true, he could be prosecuted and if found guilty he could he imprisoned. He could be in prison for a very long time. It will also affect his career as a medical doctor. He could easily be struck off by the British Medical Association. He would therefore be unable to practise medicine. This means that he would have no income and no financial support for you and for your daughter. It would mean that you would have to rely totally on your own job. Fortunately, you are in a fairly powerful position, you are I believe a Director of an IT firm which has over one thousand employees?

      Mother: (Mother thinks deeply for some time). “I hadn’t imagined how it would affect him or us in the way you have described it. Well, I just have to provide for everything and I would be willing to do this just to get rid of him for good.

    15. Psych: “I suppose you don’t really need your husband’s income to support your way of life. You are the Director of your own firm and you are therefore in a powerful position yourself.

      Mother: “And I hope you realise I did it all by myself. It is still not easy for a woman to do what I did in a man’s world (here it is clear her resentment against the ‘male’ is very powerful as she considers the male to be in a more powerful position compared with women).

    16. Psych: “Now that is about as far as we can go and I now need to see your daughter”.

Interview with the child

The protagonists are the psychologist (psych) and the child (child).

    1. Psych: “I hear you are an intelligent girl getting high marks in school. Is that right?”

      Child: “I suppose so.” (Very much on the defensive).

    2. Psych: “You know why you are here with me, don’t you?”

      Child: “It’s about my father……I don’t want to see him. I don’t want to speak to him. Nobody can make me.”

    3. Psych: “I would like to know what happened to make you feel that way. I believe you were once very close to your father.”

      Child: “What makes you think that? I was never close to him.”

    4. Psych: “He showed me some pictures when you were with him and you seemed to be very much enjoying yourself in his company.”

      Child: “I was only pretending to enjoy myself. I really hated being with him……and that woman she is nothing but a slut.”

    5. Psych: “Well I think you looked very happy in the picture your father showed me. By the way what do you mean by the word ‘slut’?”

      Child: “It’s someone who has (hesitating) sex with lots of men.”

    6. Psych: “How do you know if she has had sex with lots of men? Have you seen or heard of her sleeping with lots of men?”

      Child: “I don’t know, but she has three children and she and her husband are divorced.”

    7. Psych: “ Are they all his children and hers?”

      Child: “I suppose so……How do I know?”

    8. Psych: “I believe she and your father have been together for a few years. Has your father ever said she was a ‘slut’?”

      Child: “No, but how does he know what she gets up to when he’s at work?”

    9. Psych: “I believe she works as a social worker doesn’t she? That would appear to give her very little time to have sex with lots of men. By the way how did you hear about the word ‘slut’?”

      Child: “I don’t know. I just heard it.”

    10. Psych: “From whom?”

      Child: “I don’t…… I can’t remember. Why do you keep asking me such stupid questions?”

    11. Psych: “I need to get at the truth, the real truth why you said your father had touched you in an inappropriate place. That’s what you said isn’t it?”

      Child: “Yes I did and I’m not changing my mind. You won’t be able to talk me out of it. Mum said you would try.”

    12. Psych: “I’ll do nothing of the kind I want only to get at the truth of what actually happened. I need to know exactly what your father did do.”

      Child: “He wanted me to get into bed with him. Isn’t that enough? He is a grown up man and I’m only a little girl”, (a borrowed scenario).

    13. Psych:”Father said you were happy to get into bed with him.”

      Child: “That’s not true, he made me go into bed with him.”

    14. Psych: “How did he do that. Did he pull you or carry you into his bed?”

      Child: “No, not exactly. He just said come and get into bed with me.”

    15. Psych: “For a cuddle, yes?”

      Child: (She does not answer).

    16. Psych: “You are a pretty strong-willed young girl, very much like your father and mother, they are both strong adults. You could have said: No I don’t want to get into bed with you.”

      Child: “I could have, yes”.

    17. Psych: “But you didn’t did you?”

      Child: “No I didn’t, but he would have made me get into his bed!”

    18. Psych: “How do you know he would have made you do that? “

      Child: “That’s the kind of man he is he would have forced me, even hit me.”

    19. Psych: “Has he ever hit you for forced you?”

      Child: “No, but he could have…..For instance he forced me to eat fruit every day and he made me do my homework before I could watch TV.”

    20. Psych: “Isn’t that very much a sign of a good parent to want his child to be healthy in the food she eats and to do well in school by getting her to do her homework?”

      Child: “He still didn’t have to do that. Mum never forces me to do anything I don’t want to do.”

    21. Psych: “She doesn’t insist you see your father does she?”

      Child: “She says it is up to me and I don’t want to. How much longer do I have to sit here with you. I want to go back to my mother. This is all such a waste of time.”

    22. Psych: “We are not finished yet. We have a long time, maybe to get to the real truth about what your father is supposed to have done when you were in bed with him.”

      Child: Not again, I told you already that he touched me where he shouldn’t have and I told you, and I told my mum and she must have told you.”

    23. Psych: “Yes she told me but I want to know what happened exactly and not generally, but specifically what your father is supposed to have done while you were in bed with him.”

      Child: “I’ve already told you he touched me inappropriately.”

    24. Psych: “I want to know exactly where and how long for he touched you. Please show me exactly what he did.”

      Child: (She demonstrates being rubbed in the outer area of her waist, legs and thighs but nowhere near her private parts.)

    25. Psych: “Is that it?”

      Child: “He touched me very near my private parts.”

    26. Psych: “But you showed me he did not actually touch them did he?”

      Child: “No but he was very close. He could easily have done so he is that kind of man!”

    27. Psych: “You keep saying that phrase ‘he is that sort of man’. You say he could but he didn’t actually force you to go into bed with him; you said he could have hit you, but then you say he never did hit you; you say he touched you inappropriately, but he never did touch your private parts. Do you know that you have caused a lot of trouble for your father saying what you said about what he supposed to have done with you in bed.”

      Child: “It’s the truth. I didn’t lie.”

    28. Psych: “I don’t like to call anyone a liar, but you really stretched, bent, or otherwise gave an impression that your father is a sex abuser of his own daughter whom he loves very much and desperately wants to do everything for you. You make him sound like a paedophile, a pervert, who uses his own little girl for his own sexual gratification.”

      Child: “I never said he was all those things.”

    29. Psych: “Maybe not in so many words you didn’t say it, but you and your mother intimated that your father was a horrible man who took advantage of his own daughter and who used and abused his own daughter sexually. Your father could easily have been prosecuted and given a long prison sentence and lost his profession. Did he deserve that for what he did when he was only giving you affection and love?” You virtually threw your father in the rubbish.
      (This statement needs to be repeated a number of times with an increasing emotional aptitude.)

      Child: (She sits quietly. She is beginning to have tears in her eyes…) I didn’t mean to do all that you say……I didn’t.”

    30. Psych: “Your father has in all truth been a good father to you hasn’t he? He doesn’t deserve the treatment you have given him, such as hanging up when he calls you.”

      Child: (remains silent).

    31. Psych: “Now it’s time to get your father in the room so that you can tell him in your own words how you feel. Your mother won’t be here and once I see you talking to him, not pretending but really wanting to speak with him I will go and leave you with him. I know now for certain that your father never sexually abused you. You know it also.”

      Child: “I don’t want see and be with him on my own.”

    32. Psych: “Oh yes you do and you will.”

      Child: (When the father enters the room the child looks in the opposite direction). At this point a part of the previous dialogue, certainly from 37 onwards is repeated and emphasised especially number 43). Eventually the child began to look at the father first at the pictures he showed her when she was happy in his company with his family. At this point the psychologist left the room for several minutes returning only to observe and encourage for this positive contact to continue. By the end of several times leaving the room and noting the friendly and verbal intercourse with the father the psychologist called an end to the session. After poor or no contact for several years father and daughter were once again on friendly terms.

There could be one of two endings here. The first and hoped for ending would be that the daughter continued to have contact with the father and their relationship grew in time and that the father was allowed to have a valued relationship with his daughter. The court upheld his right to have contact and agreed the child should receive further treatment to undo the harm done to her by the alienating parent who was ordered not to interfere with the father/daughter relationship. The alienator would be under threat from the court if she tried to influence the daughter in any way against the father.

The ending here, however, was not as happy as it all appeared. The girl in question once again repeated her previous denunciation of her father and refused further contact with him once she returned to her mother. She was once more under the influence of the alienator who had custody and residence of the child. The mother and daughter made a verbal and written complaint to the Guardian ad Litem that the psychologist had ‘bullied’ the child into having contact with her father.

The mother’s solicitor took up the cause on her behalf suggesting that the evidence of father and daughter’s rehabilitated relationship be struck off as unacceptable. There was even a veiled threat made that the psychologist would be reported to his professional body the BPS for disciplinary action to be taken against him, for behaving in an unprofessional manner toward the child.

This kind of work is indeed a “poisoned chalice” for the mediator which should be recognised by the Court when appointing such mediation sessions between “warring” factions, especially when parental alienation of a severe nature has occurred. In the US there is court support for the mediator from the Judge and the hostility of the alienating parent recognised and curtailed. This does not happen as yet in the UK and needs to be taken into account as a matter of urgency if further mediation/treatment is to take place. Professional bodies should also be supportive to those carrying out a difficulty task of treating parental alienation. Only in this way can the position be changed and justice be done for the alienated parent and the mediator who undertakes such a case, not merely as a fact finder but as someone who makes a difference to the often stalemate position of the case, and entrenched position of the alienator who still continues to alienate from a powerful position.

Why go to court if there is to be no change? If the “wolf has not teeth” what can be done? Each solicitor maintains the “status quo” for their client whether or not they morally agree. There should be a meeting of all parties with the Judge, not in a court situation, but in chambers to seek a solution to the way forward without the protagonists or the child being present. Being child centred is not the solution when parent alienation has occurred. Being fair and just with all parties is what will move the case forward.

Which is the best solution? I know which one I would wish to happen.

This would also be in the BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD.