The late Richard Gardner developed the theory of parental alienation syndrome (PAS) after claiming that one parent alienated the children from the other parent in 90% of his divorcing patients. Though claiming that the “disorder” was not sex specific, he used it almost exclusively against mothers, maintaining that mothers falsely raise domestic violence and incest during custody disputes for tactical gain. Even Gardner admitted PAS was not an actual syndrome; some call it parental alienation (PA), but the concept is identical.
Gardner claimed to have testified in 400 custody cases in 25 states. Although no state has codified PAS, at least 31 states have adopted Gardner’s friendly parent concept (FPC) in which courts are encouraged to give custody to the parent who will foster a better relationship between the children and the other parent. Even where not codified, many judges and custody evaluators base decisions or recommendations on PAS…
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