Saturday, March 07, 2009

My discussion about the "best interests of the child"

Referring back to a previous post where I copied and pasted the TN law about child custody. I would like to post some of my contradictions about the "best interests of the child" concerning child custody when parental alienation is present. My opinions will follow each section.

36-6-106. Child custody. —

(a) In a suit for annulment, divorce, separate maintenance, or in any other proceeding requiring the court to make a custody determination regarding a minor child, the determination shall be made on the basis of the best interest of the child. The court shall consider all relevant factors, including the following, where applicable:
(1) The love, affection and emotional ties existing between the parents or caregivers and the child;

Children do not hate parents, they want to love both of them. In custody cases where a child does not have a dislike or hatred for a parent, then I believe the judge must make an informed decision. If a child or parent states that the child is afraid of the parent, hates the parent or does not need the other parent, then the courts must look at this further.
(2) The disposition of the parents or caregivers to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, education and other necessary care and the degree to which a parent or caregiver has been the primary caregiver;

In my case, I was the primary caregiver even while married. Our son had regular medical checkups including doctor, specialists, dental and eye appointments. He was given the best education that money could afford, including tutors when needed. He was provided with clothing, toys, and other things children want and do not need and encouraged to participate in extra curricular activities, as long as it did not interfere with his father's visitation. After he went to live with his father, he did not continue regular medical or dental visits, and was encouraged to participate in extra curricular activities that did interfere with my visitation.
(3) The importance of continuity in the child's life and the length of time the child has lived in a stable, satisfactory environment; provided, that, where there is a finding, under subdivision (a)(8), of child abuse, as defined in §
39-15-401 or § 39-15-402, or child sexual abuse, as defined in § 37-1-602, by one (1) parent, and that a nonperpetrating parent or caregiver has relocated in order to flee the perpetrating parent, that the relocation shall not weigh against an award of custody;
My son lived with me for 14 years in a clean home that provided all the necessities of life. He was given more as I was able to afford. He attended a church weekly and was encouraged to give back to the community as well. My relocation's have been in the same town that our son was born in. Moves have been to better areas of town or bigger apartments until I purchased my home. My ex husband has moved from the area. I do not have any criminal records. I do not have any violations for my driving record. I have not been fired from a job or lapses in employment. My ex husband has those, including domestic violence arrests. I have not remarried since our divorce, my ex husband has remarried at least twice.
(4) The stability of the family unit of the parents or caregivers;

In my case, I have not remarried, my ex has at least twice. I think family courts should investigate the backgrounds of partners as well. Enough said!
(5) The mental and physical health of the parents or caregivers;

Parents who alienate their children DO have some mental health issues.
(6) The home, school and community record of the child;
In my case, our son attended the best schools that I could afford and was on the course of college prep. If and when he needed extra, I paid for tutors as well. The schooling was not included in the child support order. He did community service and attended church as well with me. When he had extra curricular activities that required parental attendance his father was always invited. I can not even get school pictures. Our son's absences from school were minimal to non existent when he lived with me. His record since he lives with his father could border on truancy.
(7) (A) The reasonable preference of the child, if twelve (12) years of age or older;
(B) The court may hear the preference of a younger child on request. The preferences of older children should normally be given greater weight than those of younger children;

This needs to be stricken from this law. A parent that is alienating a child will brainwash a child and the child will state they want to live with the other parent. My experience has been that the judges will listen to this and state they can not make a child live where they do not want to be. Let me ask, when the child says they do not want to go to school, do you allow this as well? Judges must find out why a child requests to live with another parent. Is it true abuse, is it brainwashing, is it because one parent is more lenient than the other, is it because one parent buys more than the other?
(8) Evidence of physical or emotional abuse to the child, to the other parent or to any other person; provided, that, where there are allegations that one (1) parent has committed child abuse, as defined in §
39-15-401 or § 39-15-402, or child sexual abuse, as defined in § 37-1-602, against a family member, the court shall consider all evidence relevant to the physical and emotional safety of the child, and determine, by a clear preponderance of the evidence, whether such abuse has occurred. The court shall include in its decision a written finding of all evidence, and all findings of facts connected to the evidence. In addition, the court shall, where appropriate, refer any issues of abuse to the juvenile court for further proceedings;
Parental alienation is emotional abuse!
(9) The character and behavior of any other person who resides in or frequents the home of a parent or caregiver and the person's interactions with the child; and

Background checks could be helpful...enough said!
(10) Each parent or caregiver's past and potential for future performance of parenting responsibilities, including the willingness and ability of each of the parents and caregivers to facilitate and encourage a close and continuing parent-child relationship between the child and both of the child's parents, consistent with the best interest of the child.

Alienating parents will not encourage a relationship between the children and other parent. They will do everything they can to terminate the relationship.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of any law to the contrary, the court has jurisdiction to make an initial custody determination regarding a minor child or may modify a prior order of child custody upon finding that the custodial parent has been convicted of or found civilly liable for the intentional and wrongful death of the child's other parent or legal guardian.
(c) As used in this section, “caregiver” has the meaning ascribed to that term in §
(d) Nothing in subsections (a) and (c) shall be construed to affect or diminish the constitutional rights of parents that may arise during and are inherent in custody proceedings.

[Acts 1995, ch. 428, § 2; 1998, ch. 1003, § 1; 1998, ch. 1095, §§ 2, 3; 2000, ch. 683, § 2; 2007, ch. 245, §§ 1-3.]

Unfortunately the judges do not want to investigate the reasons behind many custody cases. They request that mediation take place as they believe this sets a better tone. Mediation can work, but not in cases of parental alienation. The alienator is a bully, a liar, a manipulator and a con artist who is the master at their game. The laws must change and parental alienation must be recognized as the abuse it is. Until then, children will be living with abusers and the courts will do nothing to stop it.

Parental alienation is abuse! Stop the abuse!


  1. PAS is fake syndrome made up by Richard gardner, a man who claimed pedophilia is good and that the only problem was when the non pedo parents complained. One should get the facts and not be taken in by a few statements which make untrue claims.

    Check out Richard gardner and get the truth.

    CHILD ABUSE is beating a child, raping a child and killing a child. Forcing a child to live with an abusive parent is abuse.

    A child knows the truth and a child love is not destroyed by another but when a parent is abusive than it is natural the child might not want to be with that parent but even than many children will still lave the abuser.

    Courts should look in all the evidence and not make assumptions and when the court has the evidence that one parent is lying than to consider that very seriously.

    No child should be forced to live with abuse and no parent should be prevented from protection the child.

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