In fact, when I discussed the Detroit ‘throw the kids in juvy’ case recently, I was surprised to read the judge’s comments alleging parental alienation. In retrospect I probably shouldn’t have been surprised that a seasoned professional would believe in junk science – upon further investigation I learned that the parentectomy diagnosis is alive and well in family courts throughout the land.
A typical family court parentectomy diagnosis goes like this: One parent, typically the non-custodial child-support paying one, claims that the other parent, typically the custodial child-support receiving one, has alienated the children against him or her. An official diagnosis usually involves a divorce lawyer and a so-called “mental health professional” or two working for the aggrieved and allegedly alienated parent.
Of course in reality this is a misdiagnosis and the parent claiming to be the victim of a parentectomy is almost always suffering from an entirely different malady – let’s call it the ‘walletectomy’. This syndrome occurs when a litigant becomes estranged and alienated from his wallet due to child support payments. Is this all-too- common misdiagnosis a mistake? Do the lawyers and judges involved really believe the parent is suffering from a parentectomy and not the much more obvious and far less serious walletectomy?
Is family court a corrupt money-driven system?
You be the judge.