False allegations may be used as a defence against parental alienation in Australian Family law. False allegations may include family violence, child sexual abuse, mental illness, and parental neglect. Targeted parents may need to allow the parents making false allegations to implicate themselves.
Targeted parents are in danger from false claims for as long as they try to stay in their children’s lives. In comparison, victims of family violence are often in the most danger when they try to leave.
A Modern-Day Scourge: Parental Alienation as Cancel Culture
Parental alienation is a type of cancel culture. Considering parental alienation as a form of cancel culture adds a 21st-century social dimension to the presentation formulated as a psychological problem since the 1980s. Parental alienation behaviours and narratives make family relationships conditional on cancelling a parent’s identity. It is a social process of vilification and identity cancellation structured into family narratives and relationships.
Social commentators and researchers first formulated parental alienation in the 1980s, at the same time that social commentators and researchers observed structural changes in society, especially in work and family. The timing is no coincidence!
Parental alienation is a socially deviant presentation. It violates parents’ and society’s expectations about families. It is a form of family violence and a public health issue. Parental alienation also affects same-sex and transgender families.
The family in the second decade of the 21st Century has become a flexible, fluid configuration organised around family narratives instead of a solid social institution. Narratives construct the family and its relationships. They can also deconstruct it.
How False Allegations Lose Their Credibility
Alienating parents often implicate themselves when making false allegations. The legal and protective response is frightening, resulting in years of investigation and the targeted parent’s exclusion. Nonetheless, these allegations often fail if they run their course. The legal family violence interventions backfire on the alleging parent. They lack credibility and authenticity when the alleging parent:
- is inconsistent when trying to present as a protective parent,
- lacks empathy, shows no regard for their children’s welfare and manipulates legal and child protective systems,
- fabricates events,
- sticks to a false narrative even when demonstrably impossible,
- uses parental alienation evidence in their favour; and,
- corrupts the parent-child attachment (parentification, adultification and infantilisation) when coercing their children to repeat false allegations.
A Way Forward With an Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove
Family Law in Australia is increasingly moving toward child protective measures when it finds a parent has induced or coerced a child to believe something dangerous and false about a parent that is disproportionate and inconsistent with their historical loving relationship.
Family Law work and social science work together as the iron fist in a velvet glove. There is now a precedent for addressing the harm parental alienation, and false allegations cause with a structural change to the family by reversal of parental care and responsibility and an educational and experiential process to undo alienation processes (MILTON & MILTON FCWA 152 20 September 2020).
- Family Violence Orders: Should You Really Apply For Them?
- Parental Alienation: A Violent and Potentially Lethal Social and Psychological Phenomenon
- Parental Alienation Awareness Day: Be Aware of the Social Pandemic!
- False Allegations in Parental Alienation Cases: Misleading Family Law
- Is there an Epidemic of False Allegations of Child Sexual Abuse and Family Violence?