In the end, blocking access will hurt child

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In the end, blocking access will hurt child
CASES of fathers being alienated from their children is not uncommon.
06 July 2009

CASES of fathers being alienated from their children is not uncommon.

Ms Tan Siew Kim, a senior matrimonial lawyer at Wong, Tan & Molly Lim LLC, who has 15 years of experience, said she has come across many similar cases.

Ms Tan, who also represents many male clients, said in the majority of these cases, they have been granted legal rights to see their child.

But they are prevented from doing so by the parent who has care and control of the child.

According to Ms Tan, parental alienation occurs when one parent brainwashes the child to become fearful of the other parent who has access.

Alternatively, even if the parent is not successful in brainwashing the child, he or she will put up so many obstacles like illness and study schedule to prevent the other parent from accessing the child during the time given by the court.

Ms Tan said: ‘Every child should have the love of both parents. The parent with care and control should let go and put aside his or her own feelings of acrimony and facilitate the access properly.

‘Obstruction of access is unhealthy for the child’s development especially if the child had previously enjoyed a close relationship with the spouse that is no longer living with them.’

Ms Tan said the person being prevented access to the child can enforce the access order and take the ex-spouse to court each time he or she prevents access.

Give up

But the sad reality is that many of her clients give up after years of fighting.

‘It is a question of endurance, time and money, but there is no guarantee of success if the other party remains stubborn and difficult,’ she said.

And even for the clients who finally do win their cases after several years, it is often too late.

‘By then, the child would be too alienated and too conditioned to not wanting to see the other parent,’ said Ms Tan.

Mr Charles Lee, a senior counsellor with the Tanjong Pagar Family Service Centre, said parental alienation often occurs when a divorced couple are still emotionally entangled.

Mr Lee, who has 14 years of experience handling matrimonial cases, said: ‘One party may hold deep-seated anguish and vent his anger through the child by denying or blocking the other parent from accessing the child,’ he explained.

‘Divorce is between the two parents, not with the child. It should not affect the relationship of the child with either parent.’

However, Mr Lee said the reality is that in most cases, parental alienation does occur between father and child.

One reason is that the mother usually gets care and control of the child. Another is that fathers often lack good parenting skills.

‘The child may suffer from loyalty conflict,’ he explained.

Mr Daniel Koh, a psychologist from Insights Mind Centre, said when a parent tries to change the child’s perspective and create false beliefs, the child may feel confused, lost and angry.

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One Response to “In the end, blocking access will hurt child”

  1. Linda25 Says:

    Nice site! Very professional looking. Thanks!

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