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Parental Alienation IS a Crime!

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Dr. Michelle Golland: A Nassau County Supreme Court justice has sentenced a mother to six weekends in jail for civil contempt. Per the judge, the guilty mom -- Lauren Lippe -- engaged in a pattern of "alienating" behavior wherein she made false allegations of sexual abuse against her children's father, Ted Rubin -- allegations that were calculated to interfere with her ex-husband's scheduled time and relationship with their children.

Ted Rubin with her daughters

"The extensive record is replete with instances of attempts to undermine the relationship between the children and their father and replace him with her new husband," Justice Robert Ross stated in his ruling. "[These instances included] manipulation of the defendant's parenting access, utter and unfettered vilification of the defendant to the children, false reporting of sexual misconduct without any semblance of 'good faith,' and her imposition upon the children to fear her tirades and punishment if they embrace the relationship they want to have with their father."

"Parental alienation" is the practice of mentally manipulating or bullying your own children with the express goal of damaging their relationship with their other parent. Both parental alienation and its related practice, "hostile aggressive parenting," deprive children of the stable and loving relationships they need when coping with divorce (and life in general).

Children who are emotionally bullied by one parent in order to hurt the other can develop a severe opposition to contact with and/or overt hatred for the target parent. Often, there seems to be no logical reason for the children's behavior. 

During the crisis of divorce, it is key to keep the peace between the parents so the children don't feel like they're in the middle of the conflict. Let's face it: The couple is divorcing each other, but they should not be divorcing their children. Healthy, reasonable parents want their children to feel emotionally safe with both parents; they desire to strengthen their children's bonds with both parents even through the divorce. Healthy parents encourage visits with their exes, never talk negatively about them in the presence of their children and honestly try to set aside their own hostile feelings in order to help their children feel less distress. Healthy parents are sensitive to their children's feelings and needs, and encourage positive feelings toward their exes because they know that's paramount to their kids' well-being now and in the future. 

Alienating parents, on the other hand, may seek emotional comfort from their children and attempt to validate their pain and anger against their ex-spouses by trying to get their children to align with them and them alone. They speak negatively of their exes and subtly communicate their anger in front of the children. Alienating parents often manipulate and use their children to hurt their exes on purpose -- and with a vengeance. They may tell their children that their other parent doesn't love them or doesn't want to see them. They may destroy or hide communication from the other parent. They may give in to their children's desire to avoid the parent, actually encouraging such behavior instead of encouraging their children to have a healthy relationship with their ex. 

Signs of Parental Alienation
  • Children perceive one parent as causing financial problems for the other parent.
  • Children have knowledge of the divorce details or legal procedures.
  • Children show a sudden hostile, negative change in attitude toward target parent.
  • Children are not delivered for court-ordered visitation and/or are not allowed to "choose" to visit the target parent. 
  • False allegations of abuse are made against the target parent.
  • Children are asked to choose one parent over the other. 
  • Anger and negativity toward target parent is reinforced.
  • Children are given the impression that if they have a good time with the target parent during a visit, it will hurt them.
  • Children are asked about the target parent's personal life. 
  • Children are "rescued" from the target parent when there is no danger.  
In regards to parental alienation, the judge in the New York decision stated, "... Interference with the non-custodial parent and child's relationship is an act so inconsistent with the best interests of a child, as to, per se, raise a strong probability that the offending party is unfit to act as a custodial parent." 

Judge Ross found Lauren Lippe in civil contempt of court and ordered her to spend every other weekend in the Nassau County Correctional Facility during June, July and August. My hope is that during this time, she receives psychotherapy and education regarding the pain and damage she has inflicted upon her children. 

What can we learn from this horrible situation? We can learn that it took years of inappropriate conduct on the part of the mother, $165,000 in attorneys' fees and an unquantifiable amount of damage to the relationship between her ex and his children before the court would punish this type of behavior. The father is now going to be asking for full custody of his children; however, the psychological damage done to the kids in this case may make it impossible for them to ever bond with their father -- which is the biggest tragedy in this case. Only time away from their mother's influence will make the idea of a healthy relationship with their father possible.

It's important to recognize the negative emotional consequences of parental alienation on children in high-conflict divorce, and that's why I advocate for divorce therapy for all of my divorcing clients who have children. My goal is to avoid this type of harmful behavior and educate my clients about ways to create a peaceful and less stressful experience for their mutual children.

next: Poll Results: Men Want Sex for Father's Day
59 comments so far | Post a comment now
Kristen June 16, 2010, 3:38 AM

She should be required to PAY all of his attorney’s fees PLUS those children should receive therapy WITH their father AND she should lose custody. I hate women like this, put your damn grudges aside and do what is best for the children.

anonymous June 16, 2010, 5:50 AM

The problem with this is that a) kids do notice what their parents do and judge them all on their own. Parents shouldn’t be blamed for that. and b) so many of the signs of parental alienation could be other things. what if one parent really is hurting the other financially? what if the parent is not paying child support? why should the other parent have to lie about it? what if the accusations of abuse are real? what if the children need to be rescued from the parent?

Devil-Dan June 16, 2010, 7:26 AM

This can be a double-edged sword. My step-son’s sire truly is about 1/2 step above worthless, his track record of disappointing my son supports this conclusion, and my son HAS been hurt on his watch. However, ours is a legal system that works on precedents set. Morally and ethically wrong or not, he’s just the type of donkey-wipe to use this one, maliciously, to his own advantage. Divorced and step-parents beware! Watch how you speak of the estranged in the presence of your kids.

Pamala June 16, 2010, 11:15 AM

It’s pretty easy. Never talk crap about the other parent. It’s called self control.

mike jeffries June 16, 2010, 2:04 PM

Thank you for highlighting this case on your site. Parental alienation is a huge problem affecting countless parents, children and extended family members every year.

However, the solution to parental alienation is education — not jail. We must educate parents, legal and mental health professionals to identify and address parental alienation before parents and children lose time they will never get back.

For more information on this topic you can visit


mike jeffries
Author, A Family’s Heartbreak: A Parent’s Introduction to Parental Alienation

Real Mom June 17, 2010, 5:13 AM

The writer of this article should be a man. Any woman accused of Alienation is the same as a woman accused of witchcraft. Being accused of this fake mental disorder of Parental Alienation Syndrome is very similar to when the slaves where accused of having Drapetomania for wanting to be free. Even if the women did the things that the guy claims (and who knows if it is true as it is a moral panic/mass hysteria now for divorced men to claimed they are “alienated” against so that they can take the kids away from the mom and “make her pay”. This Michelle Golland’s writings exalting women’s punishment should be taken over to news sites likes Glenn Sacks and Men’s Daily news where the misogyny would fit right in. It is disgusting for any website that claims to be pro mother to be publishing this garbage.

Jenny lyn June 17, 2010, 5:17 AM

Check out that picture! The guys hands are all over his kids and the older girl is trying to stop his hand going lower. looks to me like those allegations could be substantiated!

Concerned about photo June 17, 2010, 5:27 AM

The writer of this story claims the mom’s concerns over possible sexually innapropriate behavior were without good faith. When I look at thsi photo I see a man who does not recognize normal boundaries with little girls. His hands are all over the 2 girls and on the breast area of the younger child. when I look at the photo my stomach turns. it looks like he is quite cozy with the 2 of them. If you think that familoy sex is OK like Warren Farrell and other Father’s Rights supporters then you probably don’t care if Dad is overly physical with little girls, especially if he owns the little girls like in this photo. They are his to do whatever he wants with.

The proper mother according to Richard Gardner is one who promotes this Father-Daughter bond. Anyone supporting the Parental Alienation theories of Riohard Gardner supports the cover up of father-child incest. Not only do they support incest, but they support punishing mothers for being concerned over possible innappropriate behavior.

There will be no protection for children if this theory of Parental Alienation continues to be promoted.

Gardner’s International Handbook on Parental Alienation Syndrome and Warshak’s Divorce Poison are the new versions of the Malleus Mallificarium which put misogyny into words and condemn women for having normal reactions. Calling a woman crazy, mentally ill, or a liar when speaking out against a man is an age old tradition. One tradtion that should NOT have a forum on MomLogic.

Nancy Carroll June 17, 2010, 5:46 AM

Sometimes you don’t have to say “crap” to kids, they aren’t that stupid. If children see one parent beating the other parent then kids will not be particularly fond of the abusing parent. If one parent is inappropriately “touching” or outright raping a child, that child has a right to be afraid of that parent. Why is this so hard for people to understand (at least the people that make their money off of so-called “PAS)? The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges understand this, and have WARNED family court judges not to accept claims of PAS or parental alienation in custody cases because of it’s well known use by abusers to get custody of children. Other professional organizations have debunked this claim too, such as the National District Attorney’s Association, the American Judges Association, and the American Bar Association realizes this is used by abusers. The American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association do not recognize it. Just a couple of weeks ago, the Court of Appeals in New York State made an anti-PAS ruling, dismissing claims by the paid-for experts that a child was “alienated” and realizing that a child should be listened to. Human rights: 1, Court Whores: 0.

The people that push this so-called claim are people that make money off of it. What a scam!

anonymous June 17, 2010, 7:28 AM

I can’t believe this list of parental alienation has this on it:

“Children perceive one parent as causing financial problems for the other parent.”

Where did you get your degree? Cracker Jacks? It doesn’t take too much to see when one parent makes the other parent homeless by constantly litigating with them in court and draining the lifeblood from them.

Do you think kids are that stupid? Wow, this is a very bad article!

silverside June 17, 2010, 8:28 AM

Check out the photo and Dad’s body language with the girls. Why his he holding them so close to him? Notice that the girl’s smiles are awkward and looked forced. And why his he basically cupping the breast of the younger daughter that way. Come on folks. Use your instincts instead of trying to talk your away around them. This dad is giving off major creeper vibes.

Nancy Carroll June 17, 2010, 9:03 AM

Here is the New York Court of Appeals ruling on this, just weeks ago. Seems any lower court judge should be found guilty of a crime for using “PAS” as an excuse to jail or take away kids from a parent:

Matter of Schick v Schick

2010 NY Slip Op 03456

Decided on April 27, 2010

Appellate Division, Second Department

Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law 431.

Nancy Carroll June 17, 2010, 9:04 AM

Here is the New York Court of Appeals ruling on this, just weeks ago. Seems any lower court judge should be found guilty of a crime for using “PAS” as an excuse to jail or take away kids from a parent:

Matter of Schick v Schick

2010 NY Slip Op 03456

Decided on April 27, 2010

Appellate Division, Second Department

Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law 431.

Gaia June 17, 2010, 1:25 PM

PAS is a debunked pseudo scientific theory invented by pro-pedophile Dr. Richard Gardner who killed himself in 2003 by stabbing himself in the heart…probably due to the guilt over the children lives he ruined…especially Nathan Grieco who committed suicide after Gardner was hired by Nathans abusive father where he was being forced into visitation with his abusive father. Gardner is rotting in hell and someday so will this dangerous tool used against Mothers. Watch this and you will know the TRUTH about PAS!

David June 17, 2010, 2:32 PM

That photo is very telling. My god! This site should be changed to MOM ILLOGICAL! I don’t touch my children like that!

Jennifer June 17, 2010, 3:29 PM

Thank you David! Finally a man (father) with some logic. I am constantly disappointed by this web site and it looks like I will be disappointed again. In fact this looks like an article I was sent from the infamous Glenn Sacks. Did you juts copy and paste what he wrote mom logic?

I am again sorely saddened by your lack of true brains and education.

Ira June 20, 2010, 9:41 AM

“I” took the photo with Ted and his two daughters! The comments accusing Ted of fondling his kids is completely baseless. I have known Ted for 40 years and coached him for 6 years in junior and senior high school and he has been a part of our life throughout the years. Ted spent a number of days with us in Arizona. We went swimming in Sliding Rock State Park in Sedona, took photos in front of Bell Rock as the photo depicts and traveled to the Grand Canyon. It was beautiful to see the love and respect the girls had for Ted on that trip.
As a high school teacher and coach I have been involved with parents and students on many levels. Ted has always loved his girls in the most proper way as a parent.
It is unfortunate that some people look at a photo and take away such a negative view and form a completely erroneous conclusion. It is also quite possible that the negative comments are coming from people who do not believe in hugging their kids in a loving way. The kids slept in one room and Ted in another. They stayed in our home for a number of days and my wife and I NEVER observed any behavior which might be interpreted as inappropriate.
Sincerely, Ira - HS Health Education teacher for 32 years - retired

Tracey June 20, 2010, 11:46 AM

I have known Ted since childhood and was with them for many days in Scottsdale before they were with Ira in Northern Arizona. I can assure you he is a wonderful Dad who would do anything to keep his girls happy and I NEVER witnessed him being inappropriate with them. I personally witnessed their love for him and how they would change when their mother would call. They would totally withdraw and get quiet. My observation was that they were relieved to be with Ted and were actually very fearful of their mom and how she would react if they told her they were having fun. She went nuts on the phone one day because we were out on a houseboat for the afternoon and there was not cell reception there. She was told in advance that this would be the case and yet she called all day and was furious when she got through even though she knew where they were and when we would be back. The girls have been taught not to share with others and were shocked when my son gave up his room for them to stay in. (Ted was in our guest room). They personally told me their mom would never allow them to share like that with anyone. I found that strange to teach children not to share. They were also fearful of any sand being in their bathing suits because that would also get them in trouble. I felt that they lived in constant fear of getting in trouble with their Mom. I can assure you that Ted has a huge heart and all he wanted was to be involved in his daughters lives. Personally I believe we would have a better generation of kids if more Dads were like Ted and wanted desperately to be involved in their kids lives. I am glad she is getting jail time because that might be the only thing that will get through to her, but more than that she needs a long visit to a psych ward because although she has harmed Ted, those girls are the ones who will pay in the end. I agree with the article where it states “Only time away from their mother’s influence will make the idea of a healthy relationship with their father possible.” I pray this happens.

Alan R. June 20, 2010, 6:31 PM

“I can assure you that Ted has a huge heart and all he wanted was to be involved in his daughters lives. Personally I believe we would have a better generation of kids if more Dads were like Ted and wanted desperately to be involved in their kids lives. I am glad she is getting jail time because that might be the only thing that will get through to her…”

Yeah, you and Ted should probably hook up then, because you are some of the evilest people I’ve ever heard of.

Say the kids were parental alienated, or whatever, what man in their right mind would want his DAUGHTERS’ MOTHER in jail????? How do you explain that to these girls? How does this promote any loving relationships? How will the GIRLS view themselves in relation to their mother as they become women?

This is akin to jailing men for child support. Ludicrous! If men are in jail, they definitely aren’t earning any income. Jailing the mother doesn’t change her feelings about the father, it only solidifies his monstrosity.

For this man to be called an honorable father is an insult to men like me and men worldwide, especially on father’s day. What kind of website is this?

Cold North Wind June 20, 2010, 7:57 PM

Anyone who uses the blatantly false idea of pas or pa or any dangerous idea like that, is using an idea fermented by a pro-pedophile man.As soon as this pa theory is raised, those using it are tainted.This article is most bizarre. Why align yourselves to a theory put forward by a pro- pedophile ? What does that make you ? And yes- the photo is creepy.It resembles photos I’ve seen of men who caught some fish-

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