November 22, 2015 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
It’s not often that we see an article as bad as this one (Communities Digital News, 11/17/15). But, amazingly enough, it’s yet another one in a series of mostly fact-free efforts to get readers to believe that any mother found to have been a parental alienator is the innocent victim of a hateful family court system that finds any excuse to deprive mothers of their children. That there is almost no evidence of family court bias against mothers and much evidence of bias against fathers bothers these people not a bit.
And of course there’s my post from Friday that refers to a British survey in which 32% of separated mothers frankly said that their children’s father should play no role in their upbringing. That of course is a strong vote for parental alienation, but just one of many facts the writer, Mike Volpe, saw fit to overlook.
No, this is the “believe the woman” crowd and, pretty much irrespective of facts, they’ve got their story and they’re stickin’ to it. We know that the writer of the linked-to piece must be part of that scurrilous group because — surprise, surprise — he relies solely on the mere allegations of the mother to make his point. Yes, if you refuse to acknowledge facts cited by the other side, it’s pretty easy to make a case.
The case in question is the one of Maya Tsimhoni vs. Omer Tsimhoni. It’s made quite a few ripples around Oakland County, MI where trial Judge Lisa Gorcyca at one point threatened to order the children to jail if they didn’t start obeying the judge’s orders to see their father.
Now, one thing Volpe neglects to mention is that this case has dragged on for five years and Judge Gorcyca is obviously at the end of her tether. That seems to stem mostly from the fact that Maya has routinely refused to allow Omer to see his children. So, after years of same, the judge ordered the kids to be with their father for 90 days. He’s subsequently moved for another ninety, a motion that’s pending.
The trial court’s file now runs to almost 700 pages, a tome I’ve not read, but, having read some of the court filings plus what Volpe links to, I’d put good money on Mom’s being a parental alienator. Her behavior and the children’s look to me to fill that bill. In addition to refusing Omer visitation, Maya’s burned through numerous lawyers, one of the reliable signs of alienation. And when the kids were brought to court one day recently, their behavior shocked everyone present, including sheriff’s deputies and Judge Gorcyca.
Put simply, the children refused to obey anyone and took an hour and the judge’s direct intervention to get them to do so. Meanwhile, the Guardian ad Litem pointed out things like this:
The GAL further described that, over the course of four years, they have tried “every conceivable machination of parenting time for Father” all to no avail. The GAL further explained that there was no point in trying to impress upon Plaintiff that the children were being psychologically damaged…
If the behaviors of these children — putting aside how they treat their Father — is what was demonstrated with Sheriff’s, the prosecutor and even a judge — do not signal a red flag that something is terribly wrong, nothing ever will. Those behaviors witnessed over the two (2) days at the courthouse, is reason enough to reject any further compromises, appeasement of mother and further suggestions by her. The behaviors of these children toward their Father over the years is neither normal nor acceptable.
Strong words, particularly given that they were written by the attorney, appointed by the court, to impartially safeguard the interests of the children.
But of course, they’re words Mike Volpe elected to utterly ignore, doubtless because they interfered with his narrative that Judge Gorcyca’s finding that Mom has alienated the children is — I suppose — part of a larger scheme to wrest child custody from “protective mothers” and turn the little tykes over to brutal and abusive fathers. I say “I suppose” because in truth, it’s a little hard to figure out what Volpe’s theory is. Again, all he does is quote court filings by Maya and her lawyers and take them as true. If that’s not a slipshod approach to the truth, I don’t know what is.
Let me be clear. While I strongly suspect Maya to have alienated the children from Omer, I haven’t read enough of the court’s file to say for certain. But, as I said, I’d put money on the proposition.
Meanwhile. Volpe’s case is so weak — even without the evidence that obviously contradicts it — that he falls back on the time-honored strategy of defeated debaters everywhere. He changes the subject. He changes it from parental alienation, which Judge Gorcyca apparently has found to have occurred, to Parental Alienation Syndrome. To my knowledge, no one has raised the issue of PAS in the case. Certainly there’s been no judicial finding of same.
But Volpe’s desperate, so he does what he has to.
And, also in time-honored fashion, he obliquely first attacks Richard Gardner in a vain attempt to undermine the concept of PAS, you know, the one that plays no part in the Tsimhoni case. I suppose there’s a pre-printed form somewhere that these people use. They always attack Gardner. But whatever may or may not have been the truth about the man, PAS exists or not on its own merits. As I’ve said before, I’m not qualified to state an opinion on that, but simple logic tells us that just because a bad person makes an assertion doesn’t make the assertion incorrect.
Simple logic of course evades Volpe.
Undaunted, he tries again. This time it’s to cite a single case in which, sure enough, a judge might have gotten it wrong. She seems to have wrongly given children to a father who abused them. Assuming that to be true, it’s a painful reminder that judges are fallible and that sometimes children suffer in the process.
But the very notion that, because one case or even dozens of cases fall into that category, judges should ignore evidence of PA is absurd. It’s not only that Volpe presents a case in which PAS was alleged to attack one in which it’s not. It’s again a matter of simple logic. For every case in which a judge got it wrong on PA, I can name ten in which judges got it right. Those are cases in which one parent or the other was in fact alienating the children, the other complained, the judge took evidence and did something to correct matters.
Naturally Volpe ignores that matter of simple logic. He prefers to believe that a single case (or a few cases) require us to believe that PAS or PA is a “debunked” theory, but that the overwhelming weight of evidence in favor of the theory in some way means nothing. It’s tough to be a PA/PAS denier.
Astonishing as Volpe’s losing battle with logic, is what else he — and every other of the “believe the woman” crowd — are willing to overlook. Does he know that mothers commit the vast majority of child abuse and neglect in this country? The U.S. Administration for Children and Families routinely finds mothers doing twice the abuser or neglect that fathers commit. And of course many of those mothers have the children as a result of a divorce or separation decree.
So where’s Volpe’s outrage over the countless injuries done to countless children every year in cases in which a family court judge favored a mother over a father? Nowhere to be found. Fact-free and illogical; it’s as if these people don’t really care about children, but only that fathers be marginalized in their lives.
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