• Petitioned The President of The United States

This petition was delivered to:

The President of The United States
The U.S. Senate
The U.S. House of Representatives

Family Courts to Mandate Whole Child Assessment in High Conflict Divorce

    1. Petition by

      Kathy Turetzky

      MI, MI

In many cases, a child of high conflict divorce attends therapy/counseling whereby a thorough assessment is not completed and that therapist/counselor testifies in court or makes recommendations without interviewing each parent. It should be mandated that any therapist/counselor who makes recommendations to the court interview each parent for a minimum of 4 sessions or at least 4 hours unless a parent refuses. The therapist must attempt to contact each parent to determine if the parent wants to attend the therapy sessions.
Without interviewing both parents, an accurate assessment is unlikely since each parent contributes important information concerning the child’s level of functioning. It does happen where one parent presents a negative perception of the other parent which the therapist may then also have a negative perception and thus without interviewing the other parent, an accurate assessment is not determined. The therapist should negate neither the importance of the family from the perspective of the child nor each family member's ability to contribute important information concerning the child's well being.

Update:

Concerning information as to changes needed in the family court system from a lawyer in Washington with 40 plus years of experience running for Supreme Court Judge:

 

I am also very concerned about how decisions are being made by the family courts of this state and the country when it deals with child custody and visitation rights. I don't see that the courts are "pushing off" making decisions but that the decisions they make are not in the best interest of the child. The fact is that the law requires a family court judge to make any decision concerning custody or visitation of a parent with a child "for the best interest of the child." In my legal career I have been directed involved as an advocate for parents where the judges made decisions concerning custody/visitation that I believed were not well reasoned and definitely not "for the best interest of the child." Rather the decision was "for the best interest" of the other parent. Many judges are simply not qualified to make such decisions and from what I have seen are often swayed by their own personal ideas, prejudices, or bias based on their own experience

with children. What most concerns me is the prejudice that most judges believe custody is almost always best with the biological mother, regardless of the mother's skill or abilities to properly care for and raise the child. And father's are often denied either custody or adequate visitation time with the child.

In this state, judges often rely on the opinions of case-workers for the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). In my opinion, these government case-workers are not well qualified to make such decisions. They simply do not have the background or training required to make such opinions and are too often overworked and careless in drawing conclusions. What is needed is more qualified and skilled social workers and psychologists from the private sector with strong background and training in evaluating family dynamics and parent-child relations to assist the courts by making independent expert reports to the judges before any judge makes such an important decision on what is "for the best interest of the child." I would support more funding for the courts to hire outside experts to make independent recommendations and reports to the judges and require that judges rely very heavily on those reports in making any ultimate decisions on

custody/visitation. The system is broken because of the use of the second-rate, almost incompetent, recommendations of government employees from the DSHS and judges who make decisions on family matters based on their own personal prejudices. Family court judges should be required to regularly attend a required yearly number of hours of schooling and education taught by experts at colleges or universities in family social work and family psychology. I believe there is some optional schooling and education the judges do receive but it provided by the state DSHS which I believe is not adequately educated and trained in modern family psychology and social dynamics.

In short, I agree significant changes need to be made in the training, education, and skill of family court judges who must make the final decisions on these very important family matters affecting our children.

 

 

 

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    • Susan Ardigo TEMECULA, CA
      • 11 months ago

      Parental Alienation can happen to women too. It's very abusive to a child's development. The courts are not equipped to address these issues when they are not staying current with family issues of our times.

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    • Eleanor Martinear WILLIAMSVILLE, NY
      • 11 months ago

      I am a victim of parent alienation by an abuser who is reliving his past experience of a single parent household. He used his influence to divide and conquer and it did not have to be that way - he already had a mistress but in a twisted way sought to take everything from me- my only son.

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    • LeAnn Warren DUBLIN, OH
      • about 1 year ago

      Children have the RIGHT to have equal involvement with each of their parents; they should be allowed to love and be loved by both parents equally, without fear of rejection by anyone. This is a basic need of life.

      Further, these cases are not restricted to only divorce situations, there are many instances where parents were never married therefore custody and visitation are all there is to discuss between parents. This issue needs to be open to divorcing parents and those who have never been married...

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    • Consuela Mosley MADISON HEIGHTS, VA
      • about 1 year ago

      I have been a c=victim of Parental Alienation ging on four years now.We had two untherapeuitic counselors,malicious social workers,two macious gals, and two bias judges.The father was not in my daughter's life for 13 years.the gave my daughter to one of his ex-girlfriend who is non-blod relative.There was no proper investigation.All becasue she drives a head start bus.She reported false information ion me and that's aklll they believed and ran with it.She has an assault $ batttery on her record that no one even bother to investigate and now she is tryng to stop me from attending my daughter's graduation!Please help stop these abusers.the only person who gets hurt are the children1

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    • Alexandra Edwards LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM
      • about 1 year ago

      I am in this precise situation.

      The so called court appointed expert not only has written a report based on paperwork having written it 3 months after the event - instead of interviews - her report is shamefully inaccurate (proving she can't even get reading the papers correct) - she did not interview one of my 3 children, or observe my fmily together in my home as instructed -and has made a totally erroneous and stupid decision that could result in my youngest child being asbued - based on a 15 minute interview with her - because strangely enough my 8 year old daughter chose not to confide in this total stranger

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