India: Parental Alienation Syndrome In The Light Of Vivek Singh vs. Romani Singh Case


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“Hatred is not an emotion that comes naturally to a child. It has to be taught, a parent who would teach a child to hate the other parent represents a grave and persistent danger to the mental and emotional health of that child.”~The Honorable Judge, Gomery of Canada

Parental Alienation Syndrome is the unhealthy coalition between a narcissistic parent and his or her children against the targeted, non-narcissistic, nonabusive parent. In such a scenario, the innocent or targeted parent receives hostility and rejection from his or her children in this system. The psychological health of the children is used as arsenal in the narcissist’s twisted world. This syndrome is destroying the child in many manners like the relationship of the children’s are getting destroyed with the targeted parents; mentally and physically also the child is getting disturbed.1

The term “Parental Alienation Syndrome” (hereinafter referred as PAS) is coined by Richard A. Gardner a very popular American Psychiatrist in 1980’s. According to him this is a sort of disorder in which child impedances and insults targeted parent without having any justification.2

The Indian Courts are very familiar to such situations and in most of such cases the custody of the minor child normally granted to the mother. In several cases stronger and wilier parent usurps the child’s custody in defiance of the court orders. The ones having faith in the justice machinery knock the doors of the Courts without any positive developments foe several years. And when the case reaches the higher courts, the custodial parent is denied the right because the usurper parent by would have had the custody of the child for several years. The law’s logic, therefore, is not to disturb the settled, though it being an illegal custody.

Another practice followed in such situations is that after a lengthy legal battle against the usurper parent, the child is finally interviewed by the Court who naturally opts for the usurper parent. That is what psychologists called Parental Alienation Syndrome. It is said that a child’s mind is like a colorless bottle hat assumes the color of the liquid which is poured into it. Similarly the parent in custody creates hate and animosity in the child against the non- custodial parent

The judgment of Justice Jasti Chalameshwar and Justice A.K. Sikri has recognized PAS in India. It is the most relevant jurisprudence for improving a remediable psychological condition in children.

In the Case before the abovementioned bench of the Hon’ble Apex Court namely Vivek Singh vs. Romani Singh [(13.02.2017 – SC): (2017) 3 SCC 231] the Appellant Vivek Singh was married to the Respondent Romani Singh. There was fight between the Appellant and the Respondent forcing the Respondent to leave the matrimonial house and unwillingly leave the barely two year child behind as the Appellant did not allow her to do so. The Respondent filed petition Under Section 25 read with Sections 10 and 12 of the Guardians and Wards Act, 1980 (Act) for the custody and appointment of the Guardian of the minor daughter before the Principal Judge of the Family Court. The Principal Judge, Family Court was of the opinion that the Appellant was fit person to retain the custody of the child and, therefore, dismissed the petition filed by the Respondent.

The order of the Family Court was challenged by an appeal in the High Court which found it appropriate to handover the custody of the child to the Respondent mother. In the opinion of the High Court, the Respondent, being mother of a girl child of less than five years’ of age at the relevant time, was better suited to take care of the child. And that the visitation rights were granted to the father the Appellant, by the Court.

The Father challenged the decision of the High Court in the Apex Court and the Apex Court dealt the following issues while deriving the final standing on the law relation to the PAS.

Firstly, the report of the Principal Counselor stated that the child did not want to change her present environment and that she was more interested in staying with the father. Further, it was also observed in the report that the child was in a very sensitive phase of mental and physical growth.

Secondly, for the best interest of the child though the parents aim to ensure that the child is least affected by the outcome, the inevitability of the uncertainty that follows regarding the child’s growth lingers on till the new routine sinks in. The effect of separation of spouses, on children, psychologically, emotionally and even to some extent physically, spans from negligible to serious, which could be insignificant to noticeably critical. Second justification behind the ‘welfare’ principle is the public interest that stand served with the optimal growth of the children and that the childcentric human rights jurisprudence that has evolved over a period of time is founded on the principle that public good demands proper growth of the child, who are the future of the nation.

Thirdly, the factors in favor of the Father were that child was living with him from tender age of 21 months and that she was happy in his company with the desire was to continue to live with him. However, from the events various factors in favor of Respondent emerged. For first 21 months when the parties were living together, it was the Respondent who had nursed the child. And that the Respondent mother was forcibly deprived by the custody of the child when she was forced to leave the matrimonial house. The Respondent, therefore, could not be blamed at all for the Appellant’s custody of the child.

Lastly, the continuous company of the mother with child, for some time, was absolutely essential. It was a fit case where Respondent deserved a chance to have the custody of child for the time being, i.e., at least for one year, and not merely visitation rights.

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, PAS is destructive irrespective of the gender of the alienating parent. Every year, thousands of children and parents are experiencing this phenomenon of PAS and the resulting devastation it causes. The financial and emotional cost of PAS is excessive to the target parent. Government has a crucial role in helping those innocent children who are pitted into custody. They should see the horrifying conditions of family courts as there is a shortage of judges and trained counselors. The sheer volume of cases has overwhelmed the system from the past few years. The governments must understand that equipping the Family Courts is for the benefit of the next generation of Indians who have to be nurtured and eventually grown from their broken marriages.

USA / Kentucky: Shared-parenting law goes into effect


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FRANKFORT — On July 1, Kentucky law began to support joint custody with equal parenting time when families separate.

Lawmakers unanimously approved the new law, which research shows is best for children after divorce or separation.

The new law amends KRS 403.280, allowing a court to adopt a prior parental temporary custody agreement as the court’s temporary custody order. The new law also creates a temporary joint custody and equal parenting time presumption, provided each parent files an affidavit requesting his or her portion.

The equal parenting time presumption applies even if parents do not agree on a parenting schedule. The presumption does not apply if it creates a likelihood of abuse or neglect.

Existing child custody arrangements are not affected by the law change.

House Bill 492 was initiated by National Parents Organization and sponsored by Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne, R-Prospect, and Representatives Jason Petrie, R-Elkton, and Robby Mills, R-Henderson.

Gov. Matt Bevin signed the bill and mailed the pen, along with a hand-signed copy of the law, to Matt Hale of the National Parents Organization of Kentucky. Hale worked for four years to make shared parenting the law in Kentucky.

Sen. John Schickel praised Hale during the Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, calling him a fighter for Kentucky’s children. Bevin ceremonially re-signed the bill earlier this month to highlight the landmark nature of the new law.

“Children are now more likely to see both parents regularly after a divorce, which is a huge win for the children of Kentucky, considering research consistently shows shared parenting is in the best interest of children when their parents divorce,” Hale said.

“Plus, parents are no longer in the high-conflict winner-win-all and loser-lose-all situation.”

In celebrating the new law, Petrie called the law “landmark custody legislation.” He testified at House and Senate meetings on behalf of the bill. He was joined by Dr. Ryan Schroeder, chairman of the University of Louisville Sociology Department, and Hale.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding child abduction please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at contact@abpworld.com or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)

Philippines: BI nabs American fugitive wanted for kidnapping her children


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THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) agents have apprehended an American woman wanted by the United States federal authorities for kidnapping her two children and bringing them to the Philippines.

BI Commissioner Jaime Morente identified the fugitive arrested in Subic, Zambales last Friday as Ana Centillas Lorrigan, 57. She is facing trial before a US district court in southern California for the crime of international parental kidnapping, a US federal law that makes it a crime to remove a child from the US or retain a child outside the US with the intent to obstruct a parent’s custodial rights, or to attempt to do so.

BI spokesperson Ma. Antonette Mangrobang said Lorrigan and her children, a girl and a boy, whom she failed to identify, entered the country on April 15, 2011. Mangrobang said the BI board of commissioners is set to issue a summary deportation order against Lorrigan, whose passport was already expired, for “posing risk to public safety and security and being a fugitive from justice.”

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a child abducted to, or from the Philippines please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at contact@abpworld.com or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)

Philippines – American woman wanted for kidnapping own kids nabbed by BI


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An American woman wanted for kidnapping her own children and fleeing to the Philippines was arrested by Immigration agents late last week in Subic, Zambales.

Immigration commissioner Jaime Morente said Ana Centillas Lorrigan, 57, was arrested by the agency’s fugitive search unit in Barangay Calapacuan Friday.

She will be deported to the US for being an undocumented alien as her passport and those of her two children have already expired.

“Lorrigan left her children with her sister,” Morente said.

The US embassy in Manila informed the BI that Lorrigan is wanted to stand trial before a district court in southern California where she was indicted for the crime of “international parental kidnapping.”

The 1993 International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act, a federal law, makes it a crime to remove a child from the US or retain a child outside the US with the intent to obstruct a parent’s custodial rights, or to attempt to do so, a BI statement explained.

Those found guilty of violating this law face up to three years in jail.

BI spokesperson Antonette Mangrobang said Lorrigan and her children, a girl and a boy, arrived in the county April 15, 2011 and had not left since then.

Lorrigan will be placed on the BI’s blacklist and prevented from returning to the country.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a child abducted to, or from the Philippines please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at contact@abpworld.com or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)

Philippines : BI set to deport American mom accused of abducting her 2 kids


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The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Tuesday said it is already preparing the deportation of an American national wanted in the US for kidnapping her two children and escaping with them to the Philippines.

Ana Centillas Lorrigan, 57, was arrested on Friday in Barangay Calapacuan, Subic, Zambales by the BI’s Fugitive Search Unit (FSU). She is carrying an expired US passport.

“Lorrigan left her children with her sister,” BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said in a statement. “She has become undocumented and as a consequence she lost her privilege to stay here.”

BI Spokesperson Ma. Antonette Mangrobang said in a statement that Lorrigan and her two children, a boy and a girl, lived in the Philippines since arriving in the country last April 15, 2011.

“The BI board of commissioners is expected to issue a summary deportation order against Lorrigan for posing risk to public safety and security and being a fugitive from justice,” Mangrobang said.

The US Embassy in Manila earlier informed the BI that Lorrigan had been wanted in trial for international parental kidnapping before a local district court in southern California.

Lorrigan may be sentenced to a three-year maximum jail term for fleeing the US with her children, as stated in the US International Parental Kidnapping Crime Act enacted in 1993.

 “She [will be] placed in our immigration blacklist to prevent her from returning to the Philippines,” Mangrobang said.

Jamaica now party to convention that allows registration of parental child abductions


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JAMAICA is now better placed to register cases of parental child abductions each year, as the country is now party to the 1980 Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

“I have heard from the authorities that they know about cases, [but] as far as I know there are no statistics. The Child Development Agency (CDA) will start registering the cases from now on, so by the end of the year you’ll have the first data of cases tried under the convention,” said Ignacio Goicoechea, representative for the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, Permanent Bureau of Hague Conference on Private International Law.

He was speaking last week in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.

According to Goicoechea, there are cases in existence but it will take a while for people to realise that they have a place to go now in order to resolve their cases in a swift and efficient manner.

“In a population like Jamaica, it can be estimated that you’ll have a couple of tens every year (including both incoming and outgoing), but most probably less than 100. The tendency in the world is that these cases will be increasing slowly. However, the mere awareness that the convention is in place should also have a deterrent effect for many cases,” he added.

Regionally, Goicoechea said the parental child abductions are quite common but as it relates to numbers, they are not massive.

“The Latin American and Caribbean region is characterised because many of the nationals here move to other jurisdictions to work or study. It is quite common that the region would have cases, mostly ongoing cases, to get these children back from other jurisdictions. These are not massive cases in terms of number, but are very delicate and difficult cases to address.

“They are delicate because the left behind parent is often in a deep crisis seeking for his or her child, and demands immediate attention. That’s what the convention provides — an urgent mechanism to get children back to allow the jurisdiction of the habitual residence of this child to address the case, and to decide in the best interest of the child whether he or she should stay with the mother or father or [be] brought up in Jamaica or the other country. It is very important to distinguish the custody case from the child abduction case, which is the situation which the convention addresses,” Goicoechea explained.

The convention, he said, is expected to ease the often long, expensive, and limited success process in Jamaica and elsewhere of seeking the return of these children.

“Jamaica in joining this convention on International Child Abduction, provides a powerful tool for those individuals that are dealing with child abduction situations and would have an easy way of getting their children back to Jamaica if they are taken out of the country — in breach of custody rights of the other parent,” he said.

Goicoechea added that individuals can go directly to the central authority — which in Jamaica’s case is the CDA — which would manage the case, provide the individual with a form to fill in, and send the application to the foreign central authority where the Jamaican resident has been taken, in order to have the case duly addressed.

He also pointed out that the Convention works both ways as it helps foreign residents whose children have been taken to Jamaica to file before the Jamaican court, through the CDA, after which a decision on the return of this child to residence in the foreign country would be determined.

The Hague Convention aims to protect children from the harmful effects of abduction and retention across international borders by providing a procedure to bring about their prompt return.

India: Kids’ custody battles transcend boundaries, law is needed


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NEW DELHI: Intense custody battles in courts between estranged spouses transcending national boundaries cause children “immense mental stress”, necessitating a law on inter-country child custody cases, Chief Justice of India J S Khehar said today.

“The only question is to give custody to which parent. It’s not simple. It’s a cultural question involving the ways of life, which custom the child is accustomed to. It is also the question of sovereignty of two countries,” he said.

Inaugurating the ‘All India Seminar’ organised by the International Law Association here, Justice Khehar called upon the government to make a comprehensive law as children are the future of the nation and protection of their physical, mental and moral health cannot be compromised due to matrimonial disputes.

“Parental clash in families are bound to hit children. When matrimonial disputes change to child-custody battle, the child concerned is in a serious stress.

“When it transcends national boundaries, the welfare of the child suffers. The legal battle gets entangled in sovereign laws of the nations concerned,” he said.

Either there has to be a complete legislation to deal with such case or India should decide to be a signatory to the Hague Convention of 1980, “because child rights are vital and they are in a flux”, he said.

The Hague Convention of October 1980 on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is a multilateral treaty, which seeks to protect children from the harmful effects of abduction and retention across international boundaries by providing a procedure to bring about their prompt return.

Supreme Court judge A K Sikri, who spoke prior to the CJI, also highlighted the need of a law on the issue.

“It is not easy to decide the custody of a child. It becomes more difficult when we have to decide while granting custody and one of the parent is abroad. The visitation right granted to that parent abroad will be difficult,” Justice Sikri said.

He said that cross-border insolvency solutions must be there.

“There should be a synergy of laws. An MNC may go insolvent in one country and has jurisdiction in almost all other countries. It will be difficult if laws are not uniform,” Justice Sikri said.

f you have any questions or concerns regarding a child abducted to, or from India please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at contact@abpworld.com or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)