Child Maintenance Service was founded in 2012 to provide a service for parents to use to keep financial payments up for their children. In theory, this sounded like a good idea but unfortunately, it was not a well thought out one. People have been abusing the system for decades as before it was CMS it was actually called Child Support Agency (CSA). People have been denied access to their children strictly for financial gain and CMS are happy to facilitate this by accepting those applications. Why does CMS do this because they can then themselves add fees on top to rack up ridiculous fees and yet no one in the government wants to address this problem and just bury their heads in the sand.
Why does MP’s not want a fairer CMS service for all involved? Well, this would not help rake in profits of approximately 1 million+ per month that is why! Unfortunately, this is left to the fathers to pick up the slack financially and more than likely will result in them having arrears and liability orders slapped on them. Which in turn does not allow them to pay for their own children they are not allowed to even see. You’re probably thinking that cannot be right it sounds counterproductive, you would be right it is. The problem is if you have a “service” that actually does not know what it is doing and clearly has not learnt a thing from its previous setup as CSA then clearly nothing will change.
This service has become a national disgrace more so than universal credit and needs to be heavily regulated.
So, I wrote an open letter to Tom McCormack (The Child Maintenance Group Director)
The myth of “In the Best Interest of the Child” #TotalReform
When you enter the realm of Family Court and Parental Alienation you will be met by a plethora of people and services using the phrase “In the Best Interest of the Child” which is a myth. Why is it a myth because nothing the court or associated services do is 2in the best interest of the child”. In my eyes it should be replaced with “in the best interest of an easy exit route” should be the new phrase.
Like many of us who have gone through the secret family court and let me tell you it is very secret! Don’t be under any illusion that justice will be served for you and your child as the non-resident parent. You’re probably sitting there thinking you have loads of evidence to prove why you should be in your child’s life and that once it has been produced to the court they will see what you have been through. Yes, that is how it should work but unfortunately, in reality, it does not work like that.
You will be lied to and will meet Social Services and CAFCASS on your journey to seeing your children (or not). Most, not all will be very polite and seem very supportive at the beginning which will give you a false sense of security. Then they will submit their reports to the court which you could say is a knife your back is at the entrance of the court. In order for them to get that report into the court, they need to go through you, with your back in the way. This is the polite way of my saying what will happen when you read your reports.
What I have experienced myself and what I have seen with other members/clients the term “In the Best Interest of the Child” is a myth and a smoke screen to provide you with false security. I wish people would be honest about their assessments and just say as much as we would like to help you. We would rather listen and believe the lies we are told in order to have an easy life and wrap these court proceedings up as quick as possible.
I might not like what I hear but at least they would get my respect and not use the term “In the Best Interest of the Child” to smokescreen me. Parental Alienation is a real probably which most Social Service workers and CAFCASS officers can’t identify. Even when identified they are scared to act upon it which leaves you the loving parent without any options to see your child.
Did you know that Parental Alienation is now recognised by the ICD – 11
The World Health Organisation has included “Parental Alienation” in its new International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) which was released on June 18, 2018.
The index entry of parental alienation and estrangement means that the ICD-11 recognises the reality of Parental Alienation for Irish children and families.
Parental Alienation is characterised as occurring “when a child/ren allies himself or herself strongly with the caregiver (the alienating or aligned party) and rejects the relationship with the other parent or parents (the targeted or alienated parent or parents) without legitimate justification despite a previous warm and loving relationship. The primary behavioural symptom is the child’s refusal to have contact with the targeted parent or parents”
Parental alienation and estrangement is described as substantial and sustained dissatisfaction within a caregiver-child relationship associated with significant disturbance in functioning.
The literature suggests that parental alienation disproportionately affects young people whose parents are experiencing high conflict relationship breakdowns and predominantly children in state care or adoption. The effects and outcomes usually have a lifelong negative effect on the child. This is manifested in psychological and physical co-morbidities, including, but not limited to, addiction, crimes and suicide.
Neuroplasticity in children can occur with ongoing negative aspects when the child is taught to adopt a dichotomous (black and white thinking) thought process of one parent good one parent bad programming. The neurological effects can have consequences including psychological and cognitive deficits.
Systemic Family Psychotherapist, Brian O Sullivan agrees that Parental Alienation has been a significant psychological and emotional challenge for young people in Ireland affecting them across their life span and on into their families of creation in future generations for some time now, the inclusion of parental alienation in the ICD – 11 is the next appropriate step.
Parental Alienation Support Worker, Andries van Tonder of APS has said that he welcomed the inclusion in the DSM 5 under different terminology, but is now rejoicing in the knowledge that parental alienation has been officially included in the ICD -11 under the code QE52.
There are thousands of Irish families experiencing parental alienation and asking for help. Formal recognition of parental alienation by the ICD – 11 will encourage further research and resources being committed to combating the problem.
Several other conditions that can be associated with parental alienation are listed in ICD-11. Hereunder are some other applicable codes:
QD5Y Other specified problems associated with finances. (Situation caused by exorbitant legal, court reports and therapeutic fees the parent have to pay)
QD71 Problems associated with housing. (Situation after separation or otherwise caused)
QD82 Problem associated with threat of job loss. (Court attendances, stress related illnesses)
QE03 Social exclusion or rejection. (by community or family)
QE60 Absence of family member. (child or parent)
QE61 Disappearance or death of family member (child or parent)
QE62 Uncomplicated bereavement (due to loss of child or parent)
Why do people alienate? (just a few examples)
Clawar (2014) suggests that the following are some of the most common reasons why parents engage in alienation –
• Fear of losing the child
• Proprietary perspective (ownership)
• Child support
• Loss of identity
• Out of sight, out of mind
• Maintaining the marital/adult relationship through conflict
• Power, influence, control, and domination
• Learned Behaviour
• Personality disorder (borderline, narcissistic, paranoid, obsessive-compulsive)
• Parental omnipotence and malleability of the child
• The Asch and Milgram studies
So, the World Health Organisation can recognise it but the people you rely on in court can’t! I know it’s a really bizarre situation but it is the truth most people don’t want to recognise it as it will add to their workloads and ultimately could end up with the removal of a child/ren due to emotional abuse.
My advice is to keep it consistent when talking to the court and associated services and don’t back down as they will try to tell you that your ex-partner is just being difficult and not PA. You can request in court for a psychological evaluation when allegations of mental illness or personality disorder need to be investigated.
The other key phrases you might also come across is “high conflict” and “complex” which will be used a lot when someone does not know what to do or scared to make a real decision.
IMPORTANT NEWS PEOPLE
We have been approached by a documentary film maker. We have been whizzing emails back and forth to him. We are now at the stage of asking if people would be interested in being interviewed in front of a camera that would make up this documentary. We are only asking those within the CCA community/family. We would love a broad spectrum of stories, circumstances etc. The film maker comes across as very compassionate about what we are all going through. Attached is a form. If you are interested please complete the form and it will give us an idea of everyone’s location, so we can start thinking about the logistics of getting a camera crew and us together. Any questions please do ask, either openly or via PM. Completing the form, is not a commitment to be involved. The forms are simply to help us plan the logistics. Unfortunately this is at the present moment only open to UK residents.
A storm is coming and it’s going to get bumpy! #TotalReform
As a parent, the worst thing you could ever do is stop another parent from seeing their child/ren. This also goes for anyone else that is attached to it or facilitates it. People power is one of the strongest powers in the world it does matter who you are or what position you hold do not go against the people.
I deal with parental alienation and false allegation cases on a daily basis and I would say around 85%-90% are identical. That is a very high percentage on the balance of things and how do they all start with parental alienation. The angry bitter parent with care decides that they don’t want the other parent around because they are hurt and angry (yes in most cases that is it) nothing more.
This can cause an awful amount of anxiety and stress for the non-resident parent to deal with after having a close loving relationship with their child/ren. So, in order for the non-resident parent to see their kids, they have to apply to the courts for a c100 or equivalent for a child arrangements order to be able to see their kids.
In the majority of cases two things happen next which all of them have similar patterns, the police will be contacted with false allegations of harassment, domestic violence or child abuse. I know right how sick is that the person you decided to have a child with has now called the police and made these horrendous allegations about you.
Then comes Child Support/Maintenance, yes it comes in as soon as or just before you submit that c100 form for access. You’re probably reading this and thinking but why if you are the birth parent of the child/ren do you have to go to court to see your own child! I am still trying to figure that out myself but unfortunately the so-called “system” supports it. So not only do you have the stress of not seeing your child/ren but you now have court and child support on your back for a child you are not allowed to see.
The alienator knows if they stop the other parent from seeing the child/ren their payments increase and so does the fees child support/maintenance collect. So that is why child support/maintenance actively encourage parents with care not to speak or communicate with the other parent. Again you might think this can’t be right, unfortunately, it is and has been challenged on open letters and freedom of information requests.
All the cases I deal with are all following suit and this is where people power have come into play. You are now forcing people to come together to discuss their cases and share information which is a very very big mistake. You are now handing the power back to the people and sure enough, they will act upon it and combat the injustice you have created.
People are fed up of this cycle continuing which is having a massive impact on people’s mental health, finances and general well-being. The storm is coming, watch this space!
We have entered 2019 and I have been monitoring our newspapers and media sources and the story seems to still be the same. All men and fathers are perpetrators and abusers they seem to be focusing on the few and branding all men with the same brush. This narrative is a very dangerous one as the majority of men/fathers are very good and law abiding. Now if you look at demographics if there are more men than women, of course, it would seem like men are to blame for everything!
So, if the tables were turned and there were more women than men it would be exactly the same thing. What if we flipped the script and the media focused on all the bad mums, paedophile women and the women that caused domestic violence? How would the general public, courts and government agencies respond to them? Would it be unbiased or would this form of brainwashing produced by the media influence peoples decisions!
I would think the latter personally and I don’t blame women for behaving the way they do towards men as they can’t get away from it. It is literally forced down your throat as a woman on a daily basis and there is no escape from the DV and DA narrative. I am not taking anything away from the genuine cases at all but not EVERY single man is the same. Even as a woman you are not immune from it as if you have any boys within your family they will be tarnished with the same brush. It might be fine while they are babies and early teens but as soon as they come of age the rules will change.
As a mother you can say all day long I will bring up my son to be different he will not get involved with all the things that the media print. Unfortunately, it does not work like that as you have a son that is all that is needed for him to be tarnished with the same brush. He could be an excellent child and a very good man but at the end of the day, he is still a man. If you don’t believe me read the stories of fathers in family court, monitor the media and see how many stories are focused on men causing DV/DA and how many stories are on women causing DV/DA.
You will see practically none on women and this is for many reasons there is a myth around men not being capable of being in a relationship with DV/DA committed by a woman. If it is a man he will be embarrassed to come forward because of the stigma surrounding it and 9 times out of 10 he will probably be arrested himself for reporting. As it is not the norm for a man to report DV/DA to the police so it is easier to arrest him as the perpetrator and deal with the consequences later. The lack of support and safe havens for men is practically non-existent, so it will, in turn, be under-reported.
Trying to be a father over the last 10 years has gone from bad to worse and if you are a dad in a happy relationship you are still not immune to it. If anything should happen and hopefully it will never happen to you, but if it did you will see how the society you believed to be equal is far from it and your world will be turned upside down. It will be financially, emotionally and mentally put you in a place which you never thought would have been possible.
You will look back at that conversation you had with your partner/ex-partner when she said to you let’s try for a baby and build a family unit. That conversation where you thought it was all equal and you both chose to have that child means absolutely nothing if you should split up. We need to encourage fatherhood and equality to bring our society into the 21st century and remove us from this biased dark ages whereby men as only seen as breadwinners and not caregivers. If we don’t change the script fatherhood will become extinct and there will be kids running around the streets without role models and father figures to balance them out. Being a parent should consist of two loving people wanting the best and doing the best for their children whether they are together or not!
This is not a sob story or for attention, this is my reality and is the reality of many parents who are alienated or part-time. I use the term part-time because we live in a system/society that supports it and even encourages it. I can’t remember a time I was ever offered to have my child on Christmas Day, why because it’s not in the best interest of the other parent!
As long as I pay child support, pay for birthdays and Christmas its win-win for the other parent. I don’t need to be a real part of my child’s life as long as I keep the money rolling in and presents brought that is my sole purpose. Would the other parent think about my being alone at Xmas, hell no as long as they are not alone that is all that matters!
To be honest I have desensitised myself when it comes to Xmas as it is less painful and stressful. It is easier to pretend it is not happening and to rush through it to be over than to get caught up in it. Friends and family know how difficult this time of year is for me but they just don’t get it they just get upset with you because you are not as reliable or as sociable as you used to be.
When your child refers to you as him or he and not dad or daddy it is hard to hear. Then you get photos and videos of what the other parent is doing with your child and you can only sit by on the sideline and watch. It’s hard and very painful to experience and I hope and pray this never happens to you as it really does change you as a person.
I have never ever the night before Xmas prepared milk, cookies/mince pie and a carrot for Santa! I know it sounds very small but to a parent, it’s those small things that really matter. I don’t get to sit and watch Xmas movies and play games with my children. I don’t get to watch panto’s or nativity play’s of my children nor do I get invited too.
What I do look forward to is a cold empty house with no decorations, no children and watching everyone on social media and TV enjoying or pretending to enjoy Xmas. This is my reality every single year and to be honest it probably won’t change. So, excuse me if I don’t feel sociable or