By Matt Allen
Dr. Richard Warshak is widely known as one of the world’s leading parental alienation experts.
So when he says change is coming to an adversarial family law system that promotes child custody disputes, people listen.
In a column appearing on HuffingtonPost.com, Warshak wrote the American Bar Association Section on Family Law partnering with the University of Baltimore School of Law Center for Families, Children and the Courts has launched a massive initiative that is poised to bring family law into the 21st century.
Featuring 60 distinguished family law experts – including himself, judges, attorneys, professors and mental health professionals – Warshak said the goal is to propose “radical reform that rectify the destructive impact of the family law legal process.” The organization’s mission is under the banner “Families Matter.”
Other individuals involved, according to Warshak, will have extensive experience in mediation, parenting plans, education programs for divorcing parents, collaborative divorce, parental alienation, domestic violence, child custody evaluations, and other areas relevant to family law.
Though admitting that major overhauls are years away, Warshak said early indicators are positive, including one key reform: no more cookie cutter approaches to family law cases.
Instead, Warshak and his group of family law experts are proposing that family courts learn from how medical emergency rooms treat patients.
Those families most at risk for family violence or severed parent-child relationships should be identified early in the process and fast-tracked through the system since the sooner those cases are treated, the fewer tragedies there will be, according to Warshak.
“Fewer parents on the edge will take the law into their own hands,” Warshak writes. “Fewer children will languish unprotected against violence. Fewer children will succumb to manipulations aimed at drafting them into paying allegiance to one parent at the expense of their relationship with the other. Losing a parent is a price children should not have to pay for their parents’ breakup.”
For more information, read Warshak’s Huffington Post column.
Read Related Article: “How To Deal With Parental Alienation: Q&A With Richard Warshak“
Dr. Richard Warshak is the author of two books dealing with parental alienation, including the popular “Divorce Poison: How to Protect Your Family from Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing,” which gives parents powerful strategies to preserve and repair loving relationships with their children.
An internationally renowned lecturer and authority on divorce, custody, and the psychology of alienated children, Warshak is a clinical, research, and consulting psychologist and a clinical professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He also wrote the chapter on Parental Alienation Syndrome for the “Expert Witness Manual,” a guide for attorneys and judges dealing with expert testimony.