Home    l    Services

Services for Lawyers

Jacqui has worked as a consultant on many of the most challenging and litigious cases of parental alienation, learning the strategies to ensure the court fully understands the family's history and can determine responsibility for the child's alienation.

Parental alienation cases are complex and multifaceted. Jacqui will help counsel understand parental alienation and fully and debunk the misinformation surrounding the science and literature. The court must have the information required to determine if the alienation is mild, moderate, or severe and demonstrate who is responsible for the child's alienated state. 

Lawyers identify that the families they work with have a long history of interface with community agencies, including the judiciary, therapists, child protection workers, medical professionals and the police. Frequently a false allegation about the target parent, repeated and reiterated to community agencies, finds its way into court records as the truth. Insidiously, parenting time and parenting responsibility will have been eroded or eliminated altogether based on these unproven allegations. Sometimes parents have agreed to unreasonable stipulations for seeing their children to maintain a minimal amount of contact. Jacqui will work with counsel to help to course-correct before the case takes on a life of its own and alienation becomes further entrenched.

The views of the child have become paramount to the court and may be used to support minimal contact between the target parent and their children. Jacqui will help counsel to understand the limitations and benefits of these reports. Misinformed or inexperienced therapists/assessors or even child protection workers may support the children's views, naïve to the insidious methods parents may employ to influence the child's allegations and concerns. Many professionals are ill-equipped to determine if the child's beliefs have been independently ascertained and do not follow an appropriate process in which the child's wishes have been reasonably ascertained. Some therapists may not be informed regarding the questioning of children and how to discern if the child's report of the allegations against the target parent has been influenced.  Knowing what information is necessary to collect to refute the allegation gives light to the fundamental family dynamic that may occur, including understanding the relationship between the child and target parent before the child's alienation.

close-up-workers-with-briefcases Resized

With counsel, Jacqui will assist in reviewing assessments and other reports to determine the procedures, findings, and conclusions that flowed reasonably from the data and analysis and met the minimum guidelines for conducting such work.

Counsel may assist the court in understanding the specific behavioural indicators of the alienating parent and the psychological and emotional impact on the child.  They may educate the court regarding how to intervene. Lawyers who take on these challenging cases and are working with the alienating parent need to ask themselves if they are encouraging that parent to support the child’s relationship with the other parent. Are they encouraging their client to facilitate time with the target parent? Can they help reframe their client’s skewed perception of the other parent? Can they redirect their client to the needs of the child?  Counsel for the target parent must understand their client's response to the alienation and if their response perpetuates the child’s resistance to parenting time. If counsel for both parents are not part of the solution, the options available to the target parent need to be fully considered.

Counsel for the target parent may be challenged in determining whether or not their client is experiencing alienation or justified estrangement. They may question if their client is alienating the child or if it is a mixed case of alienation/estrangement. Their client’s emotional responses may be related to an unfamiliar and hopeless situation.  As a consultant, Jacqui’s task is to identify pertinent information to be gathered or reviewed and link the available evidence to the presenting issues, including a complete history of the target parent’s pre-alienation role with their child. Many alienation cases may be mistakenly identified as estrangement or seen as a mixed case of both alienation and justified estrangement. Alienation must be differentiated from estrangement.

A complete and comprehensive case formulation with counsel will assist in the development of the legal and clinical strategies that may be appropriate to formulating the case and its presentation to the court.

Jacqui will assist in reviewing assessments and other reports to determine the procedures, findings and conclusions flow reasonably from the data and analysis and meet the minimum procedural guidelines for conducting such work.  If the validity of the findings and the analysis of the data fall short and are incongruent with the recommendations, Jacqui may identify the challenges or flaws of the assessment/report that bring into question the recommendations. She is experienced in recognizing subtle bias or questionable theoretical underpinnings that may weaken the basis of the findings.  Alternative suggestions for comprehensive hypotheses and findings can be offered when preparing for trial.  

Trial demands experiential and clinical questions for joint litigation experts, litigation experts, and participant experts. Jacqui will work collaboratively to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a report and demonstrate how to impart the challenges of the report when cross-examining witnesses.  It is important to assess the report regarding compliance with standards of practice and other professional guidelines that may be operational and any methodological challenges and hidden biases. 

Case/Trial Consultant

 
judge-holding-pen-checking-document-wood

Jacqui will help with the development of experiential and clinical questions for joint litigation experts, litigation experts and participant experts. She will work collaboratively to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a report/assessment to be put in the proper context for the court.  It is important to assess the report regarding compliance with standards of practice and other professional guidelines that may be operational and any methodological challenges and hidden biases. 

As a consultant in these cases Jacqui will assist counsel to: 

  • Challenge the campaign of degradation of your client;

  • Differentiate between suboptimal and inadequate parenting;

  • Assist to develop a full history and presentation of the client’s pre-separation parenting relationship with the children;

  • Engage supportive professionals that understand the complexities of parental alienation and are familiar with the particulars of parental alienation; 

  • Assist in the development of case strategy and treatment options;

  • Consolidate information in a way that captures the children’s experience of alienation;

  • Identify the deficiencies of the voice of the child reports;

  • Review materials/reports to understand how to expose deficiencies;

  • Critique professional reports to determine compliance with professional standards, procedures and guidelines;

  • Assist counsel to challenge the recommendations that do not flow from the findings;

  • Prioritize mental health evidence that must be presented;

  • Consider the evidence in determining if the alienating parent is truly motivated and those whose behaviours will remain intransigent;

  • Assist to determine the clinical and legal strategies for remedies that will likely be most appropriate. 

  • Provide support and education to your client;

  • Help your client to deal more effectively with their hostile and alienated children;