Editor

I must applaud Calaveras County’s presiding Judge Sanders. He has demonstrated not only thorough and fair rulings, but has curbed the antiquated stigmas that are more commonly associated with family law and its blatant disregard for fathers and their importance in children’s lives.

Did you know that the most common visitation ordered by the courts is every other weekend for the father? Did you also know that that equates to an absence of a father for 15 years of children’s adolescent lives?

My hopes are that this country begins to understand that according to the U.S. Census Bureau, children from fatherless homes have substantially higher odds in regards to: psychological/ behavioral problems, drug abuse, dropping out of school, committing crimes, going to prison, teen pregnancy, abuse/ neglect, suicide, and running away.

Now I understand that some fathers choose to step away, but it is criminal to lump active fathers into that category.

This country needs to enforce and uphold family codes that grant both parents as much time as possible with their children. We need true shared parenting, unless there has been positive affirmation of abuse, neglect or drug abuse. Those allegations must also follow proper due process so that children are no longer ripped from their parents under false pretenses.

Parental alienation can no longer be a topic that is swept under the rug. It is currently the elephant in the room, even though it is defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. It also defines alienation as psychological abuse involving a dysfunctional parent-child interaction; abuse that should be identified and handled as any other form of abuse.

Publications from the American Bar Association have also stated that parental alienation is present to some degree in 80% of divorces. Are law and health professionals that are making life changing decisions for our children educated in this area? I have been told this topic is very controversial. May I ask why? Are we not familiar with the common signs of parental alienation? Here are a few: withholding visitation; gate-keeping access to children; repeated breaching of court orders; badmouthing other parent; pathological enmeshment with children; adultification; excessive scrutiny of other parent.

Law and healthcare professionals can no longer turn a blind eye. Parental alienation has lifelong negative affects and is in fact “abuse.”

Michael Slish,

The Fathers Rights Movement

Valley Springs

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