What is Narcissistic Parental Alienation Syndrome

Parental alienation
Alienation from children

A good year after their divorce, Julia and Tom are on trial again. The custody of their daughter is to be rescheduled at Julia's request. When questioned, eight-year-old Anni panics - she would rather be dead than deal with her father. What led to this vehement rejection?

A year ago it looks different. Julia and Tom share custody and Anni spends every second weekend with her father, whom she loves dearly. Unlike Julia, Tom has a new partner. Anni gets along well with Jenny and her little daughter Mia, something like a new family is growing together. Only Julia cannot cope with the new situation. In her pain she begins to manipulate Anni and turn her against her father. Julia prevents Tom's meeting with his daughter and tells Anni that her father forgot her because of his work or his new family. It takes Tom a long time to grasp what's going on. When Julia hires a lawyer and fights for the lifting of joint custody by all means, it becomes clear that she wants to throw Tom out of Annis' life. In doing so, she sets a process in motion that escalates more and more and increasingly disturbs the girl.

They failed as a couple, but as parents, Julia and Tom, played by Julia Koschitz and Felix Klare, share custody of their daughter Anni after the divorce. Driven by her hurt feelings, Julia begins to systematically alienate the girl from her father.

The film received the SAT3 Audience Award.

Custody drama "Because you belong to me" - XL preview talk about the film "Because you belong to me" in the ARD media library

Exemplary: OLG Frankfurt a.M. from April 19, 2005 - 6 UF 155/04

Alienated child comes to the father,
even foster care is better than manipulative mother
The Senate has no doubt that the mother's statements that she only wanted to take account of the daughter's fears are pretext and that she is ultimately - consciously or unconsciously - trying to prevent the father from contacting the child.
A further failure of the child to have unbiased contact with the father, which must have the opportunity to be alone to a sufficient extent with the father without the mother or third party being present, would lead to long-term harm to the child. Nothing needs to be added to the comments made by the experts in this regard.

The best way to counter this danger is to take the daughter out of the mother's household. If this does not happen, there would only be the following two perspectives:

Either the father would at some point give up his concern with the child. The child would grow up without contact with the father, with the resulting adverse consequences.

The other possibility would be that, as has been the experience of the Senate in such cases, a long-term battle over how to deal would break out, with ever new judicial proceedings and attempts to enforce such dealings through to compulsory detention (OLG Frankfurt / Main, 1. Senate for Family Matters, FamRZ 2002, p. 1585 ff.). This would probably expose the child to psychological stress for several years. In contrast, a quick cut by removing the child from the maternal household is the more beneficial solution for the child's welfare. With the expert and in agreement with the youth welfare office and the guardian ad litem, the Senate considers the father to be perfectly suitable to take on parental care. It is obvious that after taking the child out of the maternal household he will not be able to cope with the problems on his own and he will need professional help. The father is aware of this and is ready to work with the youth welfare office. Against this background, it is expected that the child will gradually become accustomed to the father's household through temporary placement in a foster home.

If the expert and the youth welfare office have different ideas about the length of such a stay, the Senate does not have to make a decision. The father will be able to clarify this question in cooperation with the youth welfare office for the best interests of the child. Due to the father's willingness to cooperate, there was no question of withdrawing parental care or parts of the same two parents and transferring it to the youth welfare office. Even if the father recently expressed the opinion that the child could transfer to him immediately, he also signaled that he would not oppose the professional advice from the youth welfare office.

The Senate considers the psychological problems initially associated with leaving the maternal household for the child to be the lesser evil compared to progressive alienation from the father. In this respect, too, the Senate supports the opinion of the experts.

The fact that A said at her hearing by the judge that she wanted to stay with her mother in the household does not justify any other decision. After the alienation from the father has progressed through the mother's prevention of visiting contacts, the child cannot express anything else. For the reasons given, it would not be in the child's long-term interest to give in to this wish now.

A surrender of the child to the father was not to be ordered as part of the complaint procedure. It can be left open whether the appellate court can nevertheless make such a decision in general, since the subject of the first instance father was solely the regulation of parental custody and not the surrender of the child. In the present case, the district court has priority since the father submitted an application to the district court after the district court decision had been issued, which was suspended there because the father initially wanted to await the decision of the senate (54 F 1159/04 Darmstadt district court) . Even if one generally affirms the authority of the appeal court to regulate in such cases, the district court, as the court initially seized in this respect, takes precedence according to the legal concept of ยง 4 FGG. As a result, a faster clarification of the legal situation with regard to custody has been taken into account, since the custody procedure can be concluded with this decision and no deadline has to be set for the father's request for surrender, which was received on April 1, 2005.

As a precaution, the Senate advises the mother that, based on this custody regulation, she must hand over the child to the father or, on his instructions, to a third party.

As a penalty for delaying proceedings: costs

If a parent contributes to a considerable delay in the contact procedure by culpably violating his duty to cooperate, he can be charged the costs of the procedure in full in accordance with Section 81 (II) No. 4 FamFG.

OLG Celle, decision of 12.12.2019 - 10 UF 266/19
After the separation in 2015, the contact between daughter and father became increasingly rare and came to a complete standstill in 2018. In the judicial process, an expert opinion should clarify the reason for the daughter's reluctance.
The mother delayed the procedure with canceled appointments, refusal to participate in the expert opinion and application for bias.
Ultimately, she achieved her goal of permanently no contact taking place because the father gave up without an expert opinion after a child hearing. He withdrew the application in September 2019.
The FamG thereupon imposed the costs of the proceedings on the respondent and justified this by stating that the respondent had violated her obligation to cooperate in the proceedings by not participating in the preparation of the report, although she was obliged to do so in accordance with Section 27 (I) of the FamFG. The complaint against this was unsuccessful.

Publication of Dr. med. Wilfrid v. Boch-Galhau, specialist in psychotherapeutic medicine and neurology, on the subject of PAS (Parental Alienation Syndrome) for institutions accompanying a divorce