California Parental Alienation Emerging as Issue in Legislature

California parental alienation has been the subject of competing columns in recent issues of the Sacramento political newspaper Capitol Weekly. Interest in the issue has been spurred by the introduction of a bill in the State Assembly, AB 612. The bill declares California parental alienation to be an “unscientific theory” and, if adopted, would bar California family courts from considering parental alienation as part of custody hearings.

AB 612 was originally introduced early last year and began making its way through the legislative process before being set aside over the summer. According to the legislature’s online bill tracking system, the first hearings on the measure were cancelled last July at the request of the measure’s sponsor, Assemblyman Jim Beall (D-San Jose). The bill is not, however, dead and is scheduled to be considered by the California Senate’s Judiciary Committee later this spring.

The competing articles in Capitol Weekly lay out the two sides of the issue in forceful language. The measure’s supporters reject the entire idea of parental alienation seeing it, in essence, as a legal fig leaf designed to return battered children to the custody of an abusive parent.

California parental alienation advocates, however, oppose the measure. They argue that while no one favors child abuse, it is ridiculous to suggest that parents involved in contentious California divorce proceedings do not sometimes attempt to poison their children’s attitudes toward the other parent.

The anti-AB 612 column in the Weekly also notes that a number of legal and judicial professional organizations have expressed opposition to the measure, including “the Judicial Council; the California Judges Association; the Family Law section of the State Bar; the California Psychological Association; the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists; the Association of Family Conciliation Courts; and numerous others.” Legal and judicial organizations have voiced concerns over any measure that would limit the scope of information a judge is able to consider during a California custody hearing.

As experienced Orange County parental alienation attorneys, the law offices of David P. Schwarz are prepared to offer an aggressive defense of your California parental rights. All parents are entitled to maintain a loving and substantive relationship with their children. If you believe a former partner or spouse is working to undermine that relationship we are here to help.

Capitol Weekly: Preventing Courts from Considering Parental Alienation Will Harm Kids

Capitol Weekly: Parental Alienation Must be Excluded from all Custody Hearings

California Legislative Information System: Official Status Record for AB 612