Parental Alienation Syndrome in Court

by Richard A. Warshak

This is an excellent monograph.

It is not a book and it is only available from the author. It is written for lawyers and other professionals that deal with custody and access issues in court. In fact, this article is, in slightly different form, included in Expert Witness Manual, published in 1999 by the State Bar of Texas Family Law Section with the catchy section title "Psychological Syndromes: Parental Alienation Syndrome." Because of its target audience (lawyers), it is quite clear, concise and easy to read.

The monograph summarises and deals with many of the unjustified criticisms of Parental Alienation Syndrome, while recognising that our knowledge of PAS is still developing. It presents an excellent summary of the diverse literature on PAS and deals excellently with the diagnosic etiology, the treatment, and to a degree the problems generated by PAS. Much of this material is copiously referenced by material on this site and, nicely enough, includes the URLs to the articles on, or linked to from, this website -- one of the best sources of electronic PAS information.

Finally the monograph presents an excellent section on the testimony, legal sanctions, legal opinions and arguments for and against admissability of PAS. It also deals with diagnostic errors! While this material was obviously written for the US legal system, there is much useful information here no matter what country you are in.

If you are going before a judge, or an assessor, to talk about PAS, I would strongly recommend reading this monograph. It is an expensive item, especially to ship to Canada, but it costs much, much less than your children are worth, or even an hour of lawyer time.

There is some free information as well on Dr. Warshak's site at http://www.richardwarshak.com.