The mother of a boy, 12, who has been refusing to meet his father for the past three years, was recently ordered to compensate the father in the amount of about 180,000 shekel ($51,410.50), Psak Din reported this week.
According to the report, the mother became dedicated to removing her ex-husband from her son’s life by making serious false allegations about sexual abuse his father had committed. She fed the child with false information that made him think his father was dangerous.
In a very important ruling, Judge Erez Shani of the Tel Aviv Family Court stressed that judges must use all the tools at their disposal, including levying significant fines and reducing visitation time, to prevent parents from falsely reporting violence and sexual abuse with the aim of causing parental alienation.
Parental alienation is considered a form of child abuse, whereby a child becomes estranged from a parent as the result of the psychological manipulation of another parent. The child’s estrangement may manifest itself as fear, disrespect or hostility toward the parent, and may extend to additional relatives or parties. The child’s estrangement is disproportionate to any acts or conduct attributable to the alienated parent. Parental alienation can occur in any family unit, but is believed to occur most often within the context of family separation, particularly when legal proceedings are involved, although the participation of professionals such as lawyers, judges and psychologists may also contribute to conflict.
For the past eight years, the father in the Tel Aviv Family Court case has been fighting the mother’s serious false allegations against him, which include portraying him to his son as an alcoholic and a dangerous pedophile. Finally, after realizing that he had lost the war, because his brainwashed son had been refusing to see him for 3 years and there was no chance of a renewed relationship in the near future, the father filed a lawsuit demanding 300,000 shekel ($85,000) from his ex-wife in compensation for smearing his reputation and robbing him of his relationship with his son.
The father claimed that the mother schemed to remove him from his child’s life by spreading terrible lies about him in court and with the welfare services. She also filed false complaints with the police, all of which were eventually closed.
The mother, for her part, argued that closing the police files did not indicate that her complaints were false. And she testified that the father showered with his son on one occasion, and got drunk one time.
Judge Erez Shani called the mother’s behavior outrageous. “When one parent strives to sever the relationship between the minor and the other parent without justification is not only contrary to the minor’s well-being, it is illegal,” he said.
The judge noted that the phenomenon of parents who accuse each other of sexual abuse and violence to cause parental alienation has become commonplace and is dubbed by legal professionals the “pedophile doctrine.” He called on the courts to use all the tools at their disposal, includes significant fines and reduced visitations for the offending parent, to eliminate this form of child abuse.
In her actions, the judge ruled, the mother committed a series of tortious wrongs, including abuse, defamation, negligence and breach of the law. Moreover, her actions are also considered a fundamental breach of a family contract that exists between parents and requires them to show good faith and fairness.