Posts Tagged ‘Parental Alienation’

An eighth September 10 has passed this year since I saw my  girls for the last time. I have already told the story of my last

Le grand phare, Ile de Sein.

Le grand phare, Ile de Sein.

supervised visitation on this blog. I have just this piece of news after eight years without seeing my girls: You don’t get used to it, ever. The pain grows with the moments that you don’t share with them.

At the time of this sad anniversary this year,  I was lucky to get distracted  by a story about what ex-partners or spouses can do to interfere with the custody of their ex. The story takes place in France, and it has a funny twist. No WMD (None of the tricks of parental alienation involved);  just creative “custodial interference.”

In this story told by Justine Salvestroni for Le Monde, the father threw a curveball. His ex wanted to relocate, with the three children, to Sein Island, off the coast of Brittany, far from Montpellier where the father lived. In family court, the father’s lawyer made a description of the Island as a secluded and backward place, inhospitable to kids. That worked: the family court judge denied the request of the mother to relocate to Sein Island.

The mayor of Sein ( also the  name of the only town of the Island) , Jean-Pierre Kerloc’h, happened to learn about the story, and he was pissed. He wrote a letter to  Montpellier family court’s president, asking if all the children had to be removed from all the islands of Brittany…

I have been to other islands in Brittany and never to Sein Island,  but I am sure the mayor of Sein is right. This Island must be on of these breathtaking places that evoke the Opposing Shore (Julien Gracq). And let’s bet that crime must be consistently zero. One could find worst for children.

Hat Tip: Véronique Rouquier

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8:50 pm on October 29, 2012. I just saw the pictures of Lower East Side under water
because of Sandy.  I decided to get news from my girls who live in Soho.  As I have told the readers of this blog many times, I do not have their personal cell numbers nor their email addresses. Nothing. I had to call my ex-wife.

- Hello. This is Pierre. How are you?

- Great. Speak to you later.

- Can you tell me how are the girls?

She had already hung up.

Camille and Chloé, hope you are fine. Feel free to call or write anytime.

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“There are no big coincidences or small coincidences, there are just coincidences” says Rava to Elaine Benes in an episode of Seinfeld. True.  I just mailed today a letter to my oldest girl (a letter from the French Consulate sent to my address) wondering if it would ever be given to her, if she was not the one picking up the mail. And forget about any acknowledgement of reception. Coming back home, I saw a friend had sent me a link to a 2008 Daily Mail article about Einstein being an early fathers’ rights campaigner.

That’s quite interesting, indeed.  One learns that in a 1914 letter to his soon-to-be ex-wife, Mileva Maric,  Albert Einstein was reproaching her not to pass on his greetings to his children, Lieserl, Hans Albert and Eduard. If she had, he would have received an acknowledgement from them.  In other words, Einstein had to deal with the alienation of his children by his ex-wife, well before the concept of parental alienation was even coined.

I confess, there are days when it’s almost a consolation to know that what I am going through is not reserved to regular Joes like me. Folks like Einstein have experienced it too. Lucky Einstein however had only to handle Mileva Maric, not a New-York- State-type family court.

Hat tip: Diego Olivé

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A few days ago, Charles, a reader of this blog, posted a comment where he asked me if I


knew of any support group for fathers in New York.

I don’t know any and I think it is a super idea. We need to be helped in dealing with issues of parental alienation and ruthless  family court justice. If you know of any support group for fathers in New York, please let this blog know.

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You don’t know what parental alienation and parental alienation syndrom are? Take a look at what follows:

On December 19, on Camille’s birthday, I sent my girls two watches – one for Camille, one for Chloé- and a card. On Tuesday January 24, I received – in the very envelope I had used- the two watches – unwrapped- and my card with the following line on the lower right corner:

We want nothing from you except the return of our privacy, starting with the removal of your disgusting website.

What’s the intention of these words?  To hurt, to rubb hate to my face. Touché.

This line is not signed. Camille? Chloé? Mom?  A “we” wrote to me. At this stage, the alienating parent has won. The brainwashing has been completed. Mom does not need anymore to tell her victims their father is to be hated, for mom’s hate  has been appropriated by the victims. At this stage, why would mom feel she is doing anything wrong, if she has ever?  Two seemingly rational girls reflect back her own hate. The privacy my girls say they want back?  Although they live in New York City, it is as if they were living in a bunker to me. I have no contact with them except through mom’s email, through mom’s phone, under mom’s control. But mom wants the removal of “my website,” which is the only thing that keeps her from evicting me in peace from the universe of the girls. The victims take side with the executioner, that’s the beauty of parental alienation.  The request to remove my blog is a starting point without any end. In fact, I am deep fried in eternal hate: Mom’s.

Girls, I love you no matter what.

But this blog will go on. For a long time now, it ‘s not just been about you. It has been about preserving the privacy of other children like you with their dads; And to try to keep the irresponsible amateurs of Manhattan Family Court -the Sturms, the Octobres, the Spitzers, the Berrils – to give a free pass to parental alienation.

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Assurancetourix (Asterix' comics)

Assurancetourix (Asterix's comics)

A few weeks ago, I received a letter from Mark E. Brossman, from Schulte Roth& Zabel LLP, counsel of the Brearley School. Check it out:

Schulte Roth&Zabel

Although I have a Judge Sturm’s court order allowing me to attend parent-teacher conferences, the Brearley School, where my girls are students, has denied me access to the parent-teacher conferences. In the three postings of this blog about my “quest” to be part of the scholarly life of my girls, I relate the steps of my dialogue with the direction of the School.  Contrary to what Mark E. Brossman says, there is nothing defamatory vis-a-vis the school, Dr. Hull or Ms Elsbach, Head of the School and Head of the Middle School, respectively. I believe I have respected one of the basic blogging rules of conduct: don’t say anything online that you would not say in person.

People start being aware that family courts are biased against fathers and don’t even enforce their own ruling when custodial mothers violate them.  Adding to the aggravation, there are institutions, such as the Brearley School in my case, that choose to side with alienating mothers and then close the already-limited windows that fathers might have into the lives of their children. Donald Tenn, president of Fathers for Justice, in 2008, climbed a crane to protest the unfair treatment he received from the Sacramento county family court. I will not climb a crane: I have vertigo. Instead, I have this blog, and I intend to write what I please, without being disrespectful or defamatory. If the Brearley School wants to reply, I will gladly publish their comments.

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For several years, I have been considered by the Brearley School (New York City), where my girls are students, as a plagued-cla256cstricken fellow: My ex-wife had told the school that I was a child abuser, and when the trial that she initiated was over, she forgot to tell them that the court had refuted her accusation. The School did not try to know more and I was not allowed on its premisses. At the beginning of last year, I informed by phone the Head of the Middle School, Ms Elsbach, that the trial was over -and bogus- and that the order of protection against me had been lifted. From then on, things seemed to be moving finally in the right direction. First, a February 18 letter to me and my ex-wife acknowledges I am the father of my girls. Second, in the same letter Ms Elsbach and Ms Hull, Head of the School, express their understanding that both my ex-wife and I have the right to information concerning our daughters’ progress and that we will both be invited to events at the school. Folks, at this stage, I felt like Mandela at the first signs of collapse of the apartheid. What ex-wife and I needed to do is to provide the legal documents that clarify our situation. I then sent March 27 2008 Judge Sturm’s order, stating that “both parents are entitled to the children school… but not limited to report cards, parent-teacher conferences, information regarding extra-curricular activities” and Judge Sturm’s ruling ending the trial. In a subsequent phone conversation, Ms Elsbach confirmed that I will be invited to parent-teacher conferences – next year, the 2009’s has taken place already. Extra-curricular activities like a dance performance where my little one would be? My girl has to invite me. It’s not perfect, I am not exactly persona grata, but I have finally  a chance to have some involvement in the academic life of my girls. As many non-custodial fathers cut off from the lives of their children, I get satisfied with just a breach in the wall that separates me from them.

The breach would not stay open very long. Alienation is indeed a totalitarian project: for  the alienating parent, there is no possible presence of the targeted parent in the life of her children. On April 22, I receive a new letter from Ms Hull and Elsbach, reverting their previous decision : I will not be invited to the school.  Why?  Cheryl Solomon, my ex-wife’s lawyer, had sold them the grossest  illegal interpretation of Judge Sturm’s ruling. What is amazing is that the Brearley School swallowed them without blinking. Admire Solomon’s glorious shortcuts quoted in Brearley’s letter to me: …all contact between Mr. Lacour and the children must be supervised and in a therapeutic setting…Under no circumstances is he be alone with the children (I am supposed to be during parent-teacher conferences?). This would necessitate the following procedure: Mr Lacour should have no access to the school when the children may be present.  

Family court law is no constitutional law. Is there a Brearley alumnus – preferably but not necessarily a pre-law student- that would be kind enough to help  the Brearley School interpret Judge Sturm’s ruling for them?   

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Bridget Marks

Bridget Marks

If there is something which is not needed in Manhattan, this is more protection for alienating parents.  It usually just takes an accusation of child abuse -which will lead to an order of protection- and  Manhattan family court delivers: sole custody for the alienator – typically mummy- and all the pain in the world for the non-custodial parent – the father- to have a normal and regular relation with his children. 

For former Playboy model Bridget Marks, it was a bit more complicated. She first lost custody of her daughters to her former husband for having made up false accusations of sexual abuse (very innovative); the judge was certainly  a roocky unfamiliar  with Manhattan family court mores. Appelate court Judge Friedman though brought things back to order: Marks got her kids back, thanks partly to an intense media campaign.

  After a career rather oblivious to feminist causes, Bridget Marks was touched by grace. In her case, never would have been better than later. Marks is not giving into the most sophisticated brand of feminism but rather the “tribal” one, that which uses child abuse as a tool against men. The problem is that in Manhattan, there are also many boneless politicians, who shamelessly would glean anything in the wind to secure their seat. Hence Marks got assemblyman Jonathan Bing and State senator Tom Duane to craft “Bridget’s law” that was signed into law by Governor Paterson last year.

What is in this jewel piece of legislation? Protecting parents in custody case who “made good faith efforts” to protect their kids from child abuse. Sicko ex-wife destroyed my relationship with my girls in a phony child abuse trial, but everything is fine: she was acting in good faith. Who does not? Nazis were “protecting” the aryan race in good faith; apartheid law makers and politicians believed hundred 100% that segregation was the best solution for both races. The only “good faith” that can be questioned is that of New York legislators, who are trying to sell us that “Bridget’s laws” are protecting children…

The irony is that Carolyn Maloney, New York Congresswoman, wants now to carry the torch of the “Bridget’s laws” across

Carolyn Maloney

Carolyn Maloney

 the country. She supposedly talked to women everywhere, even from Australia. Perhaps they did not tell her that parental alienation was taken seriously there.  Let’s hope that the rest of the country will reject the Bridget’s laws and be wiser than Manhattan. 


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Photo "Save the Children" Australia

Photo "Save the Children" Australia

Just read Caroline Overington’s article in the Australian and I can hardly believe it. Family Court Judge Benjamin (Melbourne,  Australia) granted custody of two children to their father. The mother originally had custody of the children after the couple divorced in 2005. The children were clearly harmed by the separation of their parents and were reported saying that they did not want to visit their father. Hold on folks: Judge Benjamin found that the mother did not discourage the children from expressing these statements and did not encourage them to see their father. Judge Benjamin’s ruling was based on the assessment that the girl was “estranged from her father” and was “at risk of psychological damage, if not psychiatric damage” if she was not allowed to have a relationship with her father. Judge Benjamin’s decision was made under new laws introduced by the Howard government that require the family court to adopt the presumption of “shared parenting” when dealing with children of divorce.

Roughly at the same time, in Manhattan, New York City: as evidence of alienation of my girls by my ex-wife was mounting, documented by both social workers and even by forensic evaluator, law-guardian Octobre and  judge Sturm did not even think of taking measures to keep the girls’ mother from discouraging them to see me. Psychological damage to my girls from continuous exposure to father’s demonizing? It has not even crossed Garline Octobre’s mind. Two weeks ago, as I was trying to find out what was happening with my motion to decrease child support, I met Garline Octobre in Manhattan family court. After civil greetings, I expressed to her my deep disappointment to Judge Sturm’s ruling about the child abuse trial: six more months of supervised visitation, which translate into six more month of a hopeless translation toward the resumption of a normal relationship between my girls and myself. Octobre’s answer: she agrees with me. My ex-wife is not helping. But what can she do ? My girls say they don’t want to see me. I have  a “practical” problem. Sorry, my problem is not practical. It lays with her total inability to understand parental alienation and do something about it.

I am an optimist. Nobody is hopeless, if  training is there. What law-guardians and family court judges in this country -or at least in Manhattan-  need, is a solid study trip to Australia to figure out what shared parenting laws are and how they work.

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Mazoltuv Borukhova

Mazoltuv Borukhova

Non-custodial parents victim of parental alienation have in common one problem: they cannot easily tell their story. It is difficult for the target parent (Baldwin uses this quite telling term in “A Promise to Ourselves” ) to explain why he is a target. When the nice folks of my building in Harlem asked me “how are the girls? (my daughters, who used to visit me at my place and were known by everybody), I felt that I could not inflict on them the phony child abuse trial, the ruling peppering more supervised visitations for six more months, etc… I go for the unsatisfactory shortcut: “My ex and I have horrendous relationship.”  But  people who are closer to me and whom I told my family court routine cannot but ask:”what did you do to her (my ex-wife)?” When I give them “nothing. I did not abuse her or beat her. I am no worst than the average asshole in the street,” I feel that this answer à la Jack Nicholson in Forman’s One Flew Over a Cuckoo’s Nest is met with incredulity. To be swamped in the same mess for that long, to be the object of such resilient  hate, you must have done something wrong.

Mazoltuv Borukhova’s murder of her ex-husband, Daniel Malatov, tragically proves that target parents are not these nut cases wandering loose in the streets. Malatov could only see his daughter, Michelle, during supervised visitations but the law guardian was pushing for unsupervised visitations. That was perhaps too much for Borukhova, but for Borukhova, it looks that anything between her daughter and her ex would be too much. Borukhova hired a hit man among her relatives to kill her husband and the job was expeditiously done in front of Michelle, the four-year old daughter in a playground in Forest Hills (Queens, New York). Borukhova’s way is perhaps extreme. It has the merit of being totally explicit about alienation.  Alienation is not about love or about over protection of the kid.  The kid is an excuse.  The “target” parent is to be E-LI-MI-NA-TED. From the life of the kid, for sure; financially if possible; from the face of the earth, even better.

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