amy alkon, syndicated advice columnist, journalist and blogger

Advice Goddess Blog

Amy Alkon

Amy on Twitter
June 15, 2010
The One Kind Of Kidnapping That Isn’t Punished By Law
That’s Parental Alienation — keeping a parent away from (usually) his or her children. Finally, a judge is sending a Long Island woman to jail for it. Kieran Crowley and Leonard Greene write in the New York Post:

Lauren Lippe is a vengeful roadblock, the barbed wire standing in the way of her two daughters and their desperate dad, Judge Robert Ross said.Lippe often went nuclear, launching foul-mouthed tirades at Ted Rubin in front of the girls — calling him a “deadbeat,” “loser,” “scumbag” and “f – – – ing asshole.”

Ross said Lippe, 47, was a scheming manipulator who deliberately planned last-minute trips and events when her ex was scheduled to visit the girls.

“He was compelled to consent or risk disappointing the girls,” Ross wrote in his ruling, which found Lippe in contempt for violating the couple’s joint custody agreement.

If Rubin protested, Lippe berated him mercilessly.

“We all hope you die from cancer,” she once blared at him, the court papers said, with both daughters in her arms.

Lippe even had the nerve to smirk in court when an emotional Rubin described the agony of missing out on Hanukkah with his children. Ross said Rubin was relegated to visit at the end of his ex’s driveway, where he lit a menorah with his daughters in his truck and watched them open presents from their grandparents.

But the worst, Ross wrote, was “the crescendo of the plaintiff’s conduct” involving false accusations of sexual abuse.

Lippe charged in 2008 that Rubin had fondled the breasts of one of his daughters. Lippe later conceded that she knew nothing sexual had occurred.

“The evidence before me demonstrates a pattern of willful and calculated violations of the clear and express dictates of the parties’ Stipulation of Settlement,” Ross wrote in a decision handed down last week.

The judge was also annoyed, the story reports, that Lippe had punished the children for wanting to spend time with their dad.

Further details here.

And some thoughts on Parental Alienation on a posting about this case by Robert Franklin, Esq., at GlennSacks.com:

It’s worthwhile to look closely at what parental alienation really means, and this case, and Judge Ross’ findings allow us to do just that. Above all, parental alienation is an attack on children. It is an attack on their relationship with the other parent. It is a sustained effort to deprive children of the love, affection, security, guidance and protection of the other parent. If it succeeds, the child will not only miss those things, he/she will be afraid of the other parent who can provide them. Beyond that, the child loses the many benefits of the extended family of the alienated parent. Thus, paternal grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. will also be denied to the child.That’s what Judge Ross meant by saying Lippe placed “her own interests above those of the child.” What long-term damage has been done to the two girls by their mother’s campaign against their father won’t be known for some time. With luck, Ted Rubin nipped that in the bud by virtue of his refusal to give up in the face of the most humiliating tactics employed by his ex-wife.

*

Comments

Well, rock on, Judge Ross!

Seriously, what the hell is wrong with people? I mean, there’s acrimonious divorce and then there’s just demented. How could a mother say such horrible things in front of her children? Horrible things directed at anyone, but especially at the girls’ father? I’m not one to throw diagnoses around, but I feel the need to mention the words “disorder,” “narcissistic,” and “personality,” not necessarily in that order. This is the kind of thing that happens to some women who have kids for the sole purpose of having someone that has to love them back. Kind of like that woman we discussed a while back who was trying to berate her husband into having children.

Punishing the girls for wanting to see their father definitely seems to speak to the fact that she thinks it’s all about her, no matter what she or her lawyer say. Speaking of her lawyer, I know they have to say that their clients are in the right, but this (from the link above) is pretty ludicrous:

Ms. R.’s attorney, Kieth I. Rieger of Barrocas & Rieger in Garden City, N.Y., praised Ross, but criticized the decision, likening it to last week’s missed umpire call that cost a Detroit Tigers pitcher a perfect game.

“I think all of us make mistakes, and I think he’s just made a good-faith, honest mistake in his assessment of this case,” Rieger said. “That’s why there’s an Appellate Division. I think he just did not accurately assess my client.”

A bad call costing someone a perfect game? Not hardly. Her record was spotless until this judge made a bad call? The false accusations of sexual abuse would speak differently. Is he expecting a teary apology from the judge and a noble acceptance from Lippe? I would hope he’s not banking his license on that.

Posted by: NumberSix at June 14, 2010 11:59 PM

It’s really sad that men aren’t even encouraged to stand up for their children. I know of someone, whose ex-wife told their teenaged children that ‘they would have had an older sibling but she had an abortion’. He was stunned when his kids told him that!

She emotionally abuses the kids and he doesn’t think he can do anything about it. He’s worried that he will just look like a malicious parent.

Posted by: Kendra at June 15, 2010 12:54 AM

My dad is trying to tell the judge my mom is doing this to him b/c my sister and I refuse to talk to him, in order to get her punished somehow (no joke he’s using actual “parental alienation”).

Let’s all hope that he doesn’t actually think he’ll get to have custody of a 21 and 25 year old.

Anywho. Does this nutjob still have custody of her children?! I would think she is so mentally unsound, and such an unhealthy influence on their emotional development that the dad would get primary?

Also: this guy made babies with her WHY?

Posted by: Gretchen at June 15, 2010 4:25 AM

The sex abuse accusation alone should have her in a room with striped sunlight.

Just sayin’.

Posted by: brian at June 15, 2010 6:24 AM

“Also: this guy made babies with her WHY?”

Because when she was looking to get something from him and she had no leverage, she was all sweetness and light. Now she has leverage (his children, his Achille’s heel) and he’s getting corn-holed 24/7. Master manipulator. NumberSix is spot on with narcissistic personality disorder.

Not to go wearing my heart on my sleeve, but this was how my parent’s divorce played out. It started back in the early 80’s, and my mom still does this crap today. Says that my dad will molest my daughters and nieces, that he’ll leave venereal diseases on our toilet seats, that he’ll leave porn on our computers or show it to our kids. Tells the girls to not let grandpa touch them where they go pee-pee. Try explaining that to a 10 year old. She had the audacity to yell at me for going to my grandmother’s funeral (my father’s mother). Throws ultimatums around like rice at a wedding. Utterly bizarre stuff.

The good news is there’s a chance for the kids, that they do figure it out eventually. Sure, there’s a hell of a lot of scarring, but the manipulator will lose it all in the end. The kids will move as far away as possible, and PsychoMom will be left desperately alone, scratching her head, and crying to her friends about how hateful and ungrateful her children are.

(Shrugs).

Posted by: Juliana at June 15, 2010 6:24 AM

People who do this to their children are evil.

I do have to say, many of the relationship problems of people who write to me are caused by an unwillingness to really look at the other person early on.

Unfortunately, I can only recommend this book — The Art of Living Consciously: The Power of Awareness to Transform Everyday Life — after they write to me.

Posted by: Amy Alkon Author Profile Page at June 15, 2010 6:40 AM

Unfortunately, I have not been so lucky to find a Judge that is willing to call a spade a spade.

With the exception of the sexual allegations, this could be my case. I’ve filed countless motions to have my ex held in contempt, but the most Judges seem to want to do is scold a parent and get a promise not to do it again. I am in the process of filing an appeal on a ruling from last month that not only didn’t hold my ex in contempt, but then further reduced my time with my kids.

Posted by: Gary at June 15, 2010 7:02 AM

It happens in Canada as well. I got a similar story from a guy there very recently.

Posted by: Amy Alkon Author Profile Page at June 15, 2010 7:07 AM

“I do have to say, many of the relationship problems of people who write to me are caused by an unwillingness to really look at the other person early on.”

This is pretty much what happened to me. I will say, somewhat in the defense of people who have had this happen to them, that narcissists can be pretty damn good at putting up a false front when they are in pursuit of something they want. But there are always little slips and things. If you’re in a relationship with something and you start to notice “odd” things that they say or do, you’ve got to pay attention. Don’t ignore it like I did.

I’m a bit afraid to go here, but what the hey, it’s early: in family court, behavior like Ms. Lippe’s usually goes unpunished. In fact, it is often rewarded. I do note that the sentence imposed on her amounts to a whopping 12 days in jail, servable in little bite-sized chunks. Maybe Mr. Rubin consented to this with the best interests of the children in mind. But I’m questioning the deterrent value here. Remember, if you reward a behavior, you get more of it.

Posted by: Cousin Dave at June 15, 2010 7:10 AM

Certain feminist organizations, who usually get government funds, claim Parental Alienation Syndrome, does not exist. That it is an invention of abusive and violent men who are trying to cause problems for sweet mommies.

>>It’s really sad that men aren’t even encouraged to stand up for their children.

>>She emotionally abuses the kids and he doesn’t think he can do anything about it. He’s worried that he will just look like a malicious parent.

He is right. I supplied counseling to divorced fathers between 1984 and 1993, and he is right.

No matter how much evidence he presents, she WILL end up with the kids, period. Unless there is a body. And, he will be the ogre who gave sweet mommy a hard time.

There is a mechanism in these cases, much akin to the Stockholm Syndrome.

And, worse, all she has to do is claim sexual abuse, with absolutely no evidence at all, and he is forked!

Women assume if men do something, the results will be the same as if a woman does them. Hee, hee.
>>The sex abuse accusation alone should have her in a room with striped sunlight.

B-b-but, this will discourage women with real sex abuse cases from coming forward. I know this because 50,000 insane feminists say it is so.

And, this is why exactly nothing is done about false sex abuse charges.

One of my favorite success stories came out several years ago. A high income man tired of constant insults and anger from his wife, and realized he wanted a divorce.

He went to a high powered attorney to ask what was involved. Of course, he was told of the financial consequences, but also was warned there WOULD be charges of sexual abuse.

So, he suggested to his wife they have the kids given a complete psychiatric work-up, to make sure they were not doing anything harmful or wrong. They did, it cost quite a bit.

Almost immediately after the work-up showed they were in perfect mental health, he dropped the papers.

Shortly thereafter, she claimed he had been sexually abusive. He presented the detailed work-up to the court, and that ended that. However, as is normal, nothing was done to her or to her lying, conniving attorney.

In one state I know of, before I retired, a fiend gets 4 false charges, before the state is ALLOWED to ignore them. Not forced to ignore them, allowed if they choose.

Posted by: irlandes at June 15, 2010 7:18 AM

I’m not for the pathologizing of everything, but this is clearly a horrible thing that happens too often — see the blog item above.

Posted by: Amy Alkon Author Profile Page at June 15, 2010 7:28 AM

Womens groups and feminists groups have been “educating” and “training” judges and law enforcement on domestic violence/abuse for years. And they not surprisingly have the upper hand in the “Family Court” systems.

One thing they don’t train them on and one thing they don’t want anyone to recognize is Parental Alienation. Why? Because it is almost always committed by women and women almost always have custody. They will do everything in their power to make sure this syndrome is NOT recognized ny the courts.

There are varying degrees of Parental Alienation.

My ex- moved 200 miles away and refused to use my last name for our daughter. Besides being hateful, vengeful, angry every chance she gets. However, I have managed to stay in my daughter’s life.

A friend of mine’s wife tried to kill herself and my friend was awarded temporary custody.
Before she even got out of the hospital she accused him of sexually abusing their daughters. He was hauled down to child protective offices and interrogated in front of 7 people including 2 uniformed police officers. They determined the alegations were baseless and apologized to him. The girls were thriving in his care and she took him back to court regain custody. Shockingly after her attempting to kill herself, falsely accusing him of sexually abusing their daughters, and the girls thriving in his care, she was awarded custody. They promptly were taken where they moved in with her and her boyfriend, the one she cheated with that broke up there marraige.

I absolutely LOVE the “Family Court” system. They are my idols!

Posted by: David M. at June 15, 2010 7:40 AM

Ms. Lippe should not be allowed access to her children, she is a criminal who has mentally abused her own daughters.

Juliana, I cannot believe you allow your mother near your children. If anyone ever said to my daughter what your mother said to yours I would ensure that person was never allowed to see my daughter again. I know she is your mother but she is sick and her statements could really hurt your daughter.

Posted by: Ingrid at June 15, 2010 7:46 AM

I second that Ingrid…

I don’t want to jump all over you, Julianna, but I’m surprised you have a relationship with your mom! Sometimes, simply being biologically related to someone isn’t enough to justify their presence. You must have a good therapist to deal with her and a lot of patience.

Posted by: Gretchen at June 15, 2010 7:56 AM

I thought isolating behavior was one of the signs of an abusive relationship. I guess that doesn’t apply to kids. The irony is that NOW and similar organizations say that claims of PAS are a ploy by abusive parents, when in fact it is an attempt to get the kids away from an abusive parent.

The real issue is the legal system and gender bias in it. There are male narcissists as well as female narcissists, but far fewer alienating fathers because of the way custody awards go, and the way that even non-custodial mothers are favored in the system. (Although I certainly agree with favoring a non-custodial mother over an laienating father.) See Gretchen’s example above.

A big part of the problem with the legal system is the almost total lack of repercussions for false allegations, such as the sexual abuse allegations Gary has had to deal with. At a minimum no court should entertain any allegations without sworn statements, and perjury on these statements shoudl be rigourosly prosecuted.

Ingrid – co-sign. The lady is toxic.

Posted by: Jim at June 15, 2010 8:07 AM

It’s about time these “mothers” start getting slapped for their bad behavior.

I REALLY hope this is the start of a trend. No one should be allowed to do what she has done to her children, and she’ll never get me to believe she gives a rat’s ass about them, the way she is using them as a means to get back at her ex for whatever it is she thinks she needs to punish him for.

Posted by: Ann at June 15, 2010 8:18 AM

The family court system tends to favor the irresponsible party. Guys who want to be responsible fathers can get screwed by psychopathic spouses, but guys who just walk away from their kids often get away scot free.

Posted by: Cousin Dave at June 15, 2010 8:25 AM

The whole justice system is skewed towards men = bad women = innocent victim. It makes me wonder what a woman has to do to lose custody.
All in the name of best interest of the child.

Come-on M.K. Letourno was a convicted repeat offender child rapist. And some judge believed it was in the childs best interest to be raised in jail, surrounded by druggies, murderers and abusers, with Mom being a convicted felon than with the Dad and his intact parental family.

PAS happens all the time.

Posted by: Joe at June 15, 2010 8:32 AM

Stupid people and the expense they bring upon the rest of us. Who do you suppose pays for this “family courts” farce? WE do. And none of this would be necessary if people didn’t make such incredibly stupid decisions.

If the children of these divorces learn anything, I hope it’s how to choose partners better, and to do it later in life.

I mean these parents, the ones like Juliana’s mother or the woman described in the article. Does it not EVER occur to them that it is an incredible waste of a preciously short life to do nothing but marinate in bitterness? These people have no idea what is good for themselves or their children.

Posted by: Pirate Jo at June 15, 2010 8:46 AM

Why are you people like this? Why why why?
A problem is identified. It is felt that someone should do something about it. You turn to the most powerful forces you think of. And, pathetically, that force is government. You want government to make things better.

You want government to get in there and fuck with people’s family dramas. You somehow feel that they’ll give better handling to the most delicate feelings in the human heart than you get while in line at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, or the airport security checkpoint.

Perhaps you think government has already been paid for… No matter how desperately Obama raises your taxes.

Whatever. I don’t get it. I don’t understand how the country with the most freedom the world has ever known, the one that taught the human soul what liberty can really mean, has suddenly come to believe that life is lived through (and FOR) government.

Posted by: Crid [CridComment at gmail] at June 15, 2010 8:53 AM

> Who do you suppose pays for this “family courts”
> farce? WE do.

PEE JAY… A ray of sunshine peeked through the clouds just as I was typing my own comment.

Luv you, Peejster.

Posted by: Crid [CridComment at gmail] at June 15, 2010 8:54 AM

Misandry

Fred: Three men robbed the bank.
Mike: Thankfully, eight police personnel caught them.

02/26/10 – Classical Values by Eric, (video 7:35)
[edited] “The word “misandry” was flagged in red, unknown to the spell-checker, even though it is hardly a new word. Misandry is the hatred of men.”

“Men do not exist unless they commit crimes or do bad things. Men are “people” or “personnel” when they do good things. They are “men” when they do bad things.

There is a connection between misandry and feminism. This has been slipped by me, over the years. I’m pissed off. I don’t take kindly to being manipulated.”

Posted by: Andrew_M_Garland at June 15, 2010 9:07 AM

More power to this guy, but he better know that she is going to nuke him later. Going to jail even for a few days is simply going to make the mom more psycho… with luck the kids will figure all this out later, but that doesn’t mean it will end well. When I asked my lawyer what the odds were of getting full custody, he chuckled mirthlessly and said “there isn’t enough money in the world, unless she’s a felon, and even then 50/50.”

This guy must be well financed, indeed. As for why’d he marry her? People can really change if you try and take certain things away from them that they regard as theirs… Like the cuddly lapdog that WILL bite you if you try and take their food.

Parents protecting their children can be viscious if the need arises. The question becomes what are you protecting them from? When you imagine that you’ve been betrayed by a spouse, regardless if you hate them anyway, regardless if you’re the one that threw them out of the house… once you hate them in that way, you have no problem rationalizing them into a threat to your children. There isn’t a lot of rational thought there.

I certainly count my blessings that my ex- is nowhere near that psycho… but it has become interesting recently, because she berates me in front of the kids… and they defend me, which makes it worse. So i have taken to telling them not to do that, even while I appreciate the effort. It isn’t good for them to be in the middle. Fortunately my ex generally avoids me anyway, so there are fewer chances.
What Crid says about family court is true… but just like civil courts for business dealing, we need an arbiter for when people refuse to be reasonable. I kept the whole divorce out of court, because my lawyer warned me about going there, so all they did was sign off on the decree. From that moment on, my ex has violated the decree constantly, because she knows the only way to enforce it is to take her to court. When you deal with someone like that, what is the best thing to do?

Posted by: SwissArmyD at June 15, 2010 10:13 AM

Back at ya, Crid! All this dithering about the court system is an example of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees that!

Posted by: Pirate Jo at June 15, 2010 10:22 AM

Can I ask a few legitimate questions without being attacked, please?

Is it not possible in some cases that there are reasons a custodial parent is rightfully angry or reluctant to hand a child over for visitation?

Is it not possible that the non-custodial parent consistently leaves the custodial parent to pick up the pieces after visitation because of lifestyle and other choices?

Is it not possible that the non-custodial parent who claims parental alienation is alienating his (or her) own children by withholding child support and refusing the children all extras in order to punish the ex?

Does anyone agree that if the tables were turned, and men were being awarded the majority of custody and women were being ordered to pay child support and had a strict visitation schedule, that the same behavior would occur in pretty much the same numbers, only with the roles reversed because divorce is rarely pretty?

I think there are a lot of paths to parental alienation, and that sometimes the person claiming it is occurring is actually the person whose behavior is causing it. But it’s easier to lay blame than look hard at yourself.

But let it be said that this woman sounds like a whack job and an extreme case and there’s no excuse for it.

Posted by: elementary at June 15, 2010 10:22 AM

Comments

comments

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
%d bloggers like this: