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Thyden Gross and Callahan LLPCounselors and Attorneys at Law




This is about fathers' rights law, and protecting the best interests of your children. It provides information, news and comments on laws, cases and strategies for life as a single father and winning your custody, access or child support case.

Stay Away from this Lawyer (Me!)

My blood was boiling when I read an article by Elizabeth (“ Liz”) J. Kates, of Pompano Beach, Florida, who calls herself a “holistic lawyer”. In her article railing against Parental Alienation as a theory, there is a list of names she says to stay away from in your child custody case. And my name is smack there in the middle of the list!

Now I don’t know Liz. I have never spoken to her. I never had a case against her. I couldn’t pick her out of a line up of two.

But the source of her animosity towards me is that I am listed on the Parental Alienation Awareness website (along with many PhD’s and other professionals) as a lawyer who handles these types of cases. Liz seems to think that Parental Alienation is a big fraud and that Reunification Theory is a lot of nonsense.

Well, I don’t think it takes a lot of common sense to know that some parents alienate their children against the other parent. Alienation can involve words or conduct and it may be done consciously and unconsciously. It can be covert or direct. But if you have been the victim of it, whether as a mother or a father, you know it is real.

So Liz can rant all she wants, and tell you to stay away from me, but I am still going to be handling these cases and standing up for good parents and children everywhere against those who would advocate parental alienation and hostile parenting.

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8 Responses to “Stay Away from this Lawyer (Me!)”

  1. Reena Sommer, Ph.D. Says:

    Since we share spots on the same list, I thought I would also share some of my views on Liz Kates’ article which provides an interesting take on parental alienation issues.

    It’s clear that Ms. Kates has not taken the time to research the individuals whom she has publically cautioned others to avoid and in doing so, disparaged them enmass. Instead, she admittedly states that all of those professionals on the list came from the website.

    This conduct in itself is quite interesting since the tactics of denegrating without specific cause and generalizing negative attributes to others are two indicators of parental alienation. Perhaps Ms. Kates should take a hard look in the mirror and examine the underpinnings of her thought processes and behavior.

    In the meantime, it would be helpful if Ms. Kates would provide evidence on why each and everyone individual she names as being an “unhealthy mix of professionals” should be avoided.

  2. Chrissy Chrzanowski Says:

    My mind is still blown away by the fact the denial of the obvious is happening. I would like to share with Ms. Kates that I’m a child survivor of Parental Alienation and yes all the signs of the “Syndrome” I have had. Our case was severe and I live with the life long effects.
    I would wish that people that try to rip away the people who can help would get an education on the topic. Maybe they should talk to adults like myself who lived with the horror.

    I thank you for your efforts in helping the families and children.

  3. Laura Joseph Says:

    Thank you Dr. Sommers for forwarding this page to me.

    From what I know from my research on parental alienation is that father’s are more ept to persue parental alienation.

    However, I ask a question. I am a mother of three girls. I am a survivor of domestic violence. After my divorce, I struggled but began to see the light at the end of the tunnel until I put my kids on the bus one day, and was served a piece of paper saying my ex-husband got temporary custody.

    Since then, he has been pretty much in contempt of court. I am broke as I gave my ex the only income I had as the time as settlement in the divorce so I would not drag my children in a huge custodial battle.

    for an 8mo track, it has been 10mo now. Out of that 10mo, I have had NO CONTACT with my children in 8 out of those 10mo.

    I am at a loss that this abuser is getting away with this behavior when I was NOT granted the same “protections” under a restraining order for assault and battery tha I had pictures of and my children witnessed these assaults.

    Can someone help me? I am afraid my children will be emotionally and psychologically scarred from all this, and I feel completely helpless and powerless to do anything.

    On top of this, my ex husband is under investigation for securities fraud, insurance fraud, and mail fraud, and has committed serious medical neglect of my children. Not to mention my 4yr all of a sudden began getting frequent UTI’s that would go 2 wks without medical attention. I can make a list and go on.

    I suppose if money was of no object I would have gotten the children back already. However, it is not.

    My ex has violated every court order to allow my to talk to my children on the phone and see them.

    Explain tome how this can happen by a man who is a documented abuser, and the judicial system does nothing.

    Thank you!!!!

    And thank you for educationg professionals and the public alike. I agree that PAS can go both ways amd have witnessed it being done to fathers as well.

  4. Leah Says:

    Do believe that PAS is only a theory is perposterous. Both myself and my new husband are victims by our spouses and we draw our strength to protect our kids from each other. My husband is finally getting his girls back after 2 1/2 years of having them ripped from him on false allegations that he was later aquitted from. Meanwhile his ex still tries to alienate the girls from him. His youngest who is now 5 and was 2 at the time of the incident wasn’t even awake when the alleged incident occurred, yet she knows every detail. How is that unless the mother is telling them things. The oldest said in court, “My mommy told me to tell you that daddy put bruises on my bottom”.

    Meanwhile my ex and his new wife send me threatening emails and messages, that last one was nothing short of blackmail and all because he wants to get back at me. His decisions regarding the children all focus around him and his needs. I always try to keep conversations with him focused on the kids, but he doesn’t want to talk about the kids. I have had to gather evidence because he does not only barrage the kids with “mom this and mom’s fault, etc” but he says these things to complete strangers, to the kids sport coaches and some of my employees. He has a finding of physical and emotional abuse against him with CPS and I haven’t used it against him. If the abuse continues, I may have to, but right now, the children all (mine and stepchildren) go to therapy to use that avenue to get their feelings out and deal with PAS.

  5. Reena Sommer, Ph.D. Says:

    A parent who is willing to have their child make false allegations is about the lowest, most abusive and least loving thing anyone can do. Dealing with this type of parent requires a strategy that is designed to expose the offending parent. It can be done – but it takes planning, time, patience and also resources. Please click on the link for more information and feel free to contact me without obligation.

  6. James Allen Says:

    PAS deniers are like Holocaust deniers – people who have very little grasp of the overall reality of modern culture, civil rights, privacy and property protection laws, and the very real and present threat of physical harm to parents who – for lack of any evidence or prior history – are labeled as abusers to exploit public stigma and prejudice, often by abusers. As a graduate with a bachelor’s degree in clinical psychology, understudy Psi Chi work in children’s development and behavioral studies under 3 PhDs, and a research partner in mental health services for the regional county – I was stunned to find my child abducted, concealed, and my life threatened – but even more stunned to find people carrying the banner against PAS and trying to dismiss the very reality of threat to murder and attempted murder utilized to separate my child from myself – including public (but not formal or legal) claims of child abuse to defend the action. After 7 years of written dispute with the Attorney General of Texas – Greg Abbott, I still have not been granted any investigation as required by law into my son’s abduction – on the basis that parents have (his words ) “No right to their children unless granted by a Texas family court”, and echoed by officers of the Dallas Police Department, Oklahoma field office of the FBI, and other Representatives and officers of the Justice Department in this area. The damage done to my prior (9 months in the womb, 3 months of life) relationship to my child is irreparable – and all PAS denial does is seek to support that position (infant abduction) to support Title-IV-D subsidies from Federal Taxpayers received by the Attorney General Greg Abbott for every dollar collected in this case in clear violation of law (28th USC Sec 1738A Paragraph E – no lawful trial, no right to even face my accuser in 3 hearings, despite attendance to each). Even with Oklahoma Supreme Court Rullings (Kelly vs Kelly, Dec 2007) citing the explicit crime, no one in the current Federal Government will act against the State of Texas or Greg Abbott in this matter. Hence we are filling 1340 class action lawsuits against respective counties nationwide (see calling for $2M/yr ($16M in my case alone) in damages to parents denied their 4th, 6th, and 9th Constitutional Rights (in addition to gross criminal negligence and accessory – as described in CA and OK law “Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act” and cited in the recent Supreme Court decision in OK. Total harm to the US county budgets – $80B. PAS a lie? Do the math, and decide. A jury surely will soon (July 27th 2008 – we file in mass). But deniers still believe, as one said to me just last week while I tried to shop for groceries, that restoring or honoring DUE PROCESS in my case would no doubt give at least one child back to an abuser… which was all the justification needed in his mind for taking my child from me and giving them to someone who personally physically assaulted me without provocation or cause in outbursts of vulgar and irrational anger on 3 separate occasions in the span of 12 months. Truly, to doubt PAS is to display the same reaction an abused child does toward their abuser: avoidance, or blind capitulation. Neither is lawful, legal, or rational in the least. It should be considered ‘accessory to the crime’, in my opinion, in severe cases of separation – as it is as much aid to the abuse as were the people who lived and worked near the concentration camps of WW2 Germany, claiming ignorance despite the smell.

  7. Teri Stoddard Says:

    If we had equal rights for all parents, unless proven to be a threat to their children by jury, these things would rarely happen. Alienation happens when one parent is removed from the child’s life for extended periods of time.

    Both genders need to stand together to demand their civil and human rights as parents. Individuals and organizations from across the country will be uniting Aug 15 in DC and marching to the white house to do just that.

    You can find details at


  8. alienated mom Says:

    I watched the Dr. Phil show yesterday and was only to see half of the show. What I thought to understand what Liz Kates had to say about PAS is supported by your site. She has no clue about PA.
    Parents who alienate their child against the other parent should be sitting in a jail cell. For anyone not to understand that this is abuse and not some stage the child is going through, has never had to deal with parental alienation.
    As mother that is the target parent, I can tell you the pain, heatbreak and emotional rollercoaster is alot to handle. I can only imagine the turmoil that my son is having.

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