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Thursday
Jul092009

The Truth About NonCustodial Parents: An Interview with Rebekah Spicuglia



On her blog, NonCustodial Parent Community, Rebekah Spicuglia captions the above picture of her and her son: "This is what 'visitation' looks like."

Think you know what "noncustodial" really means?  Think again, and check out our interview with a woman whom MSN calls a "Mom Inspired to Change History"...

One of your goals in creating NCP Community is to raise awareness about the issues noncustodial parents face.  What are some of the key issues?

 Noncustodial parents face many of the same challenges that custodial parents face.  We want to instill our values in our children, ensure they are doing their homework and studying for that big test tomorrow, treating others with respect .  But it is much harder to do when you aren’t in the same house as your children.

Parental disagreements are common, and a noncustodial parent can often feel helpless in decisions ranging from whether or not a child should have a cell phone to medical care.   But once you get past divorce and mediation issues and settle into everyday life, it’s engaging our children’s teachers, maintaining regular communication with our children, and arranging visitation that are the big issues.  Visitation in particular can be very difficult – there is scheduling with the custodial parent, figuring out childcare, trying to arrange playdates when you may not have much of a parenting community to speak of, and trying to make those visits really meaningful for our relationship with our children.

Yet, despite our best efforts and loving intentions, noncustodial parents often feel shut out from our children’s day-to-day life, academic progress, and major decisions.  In extreme cases, there might even be concern about child’s well-being, even child abuse, in the custodial parent’s home.   Societal misconceptions about what “noncustodial” means can wrongly limit a parent’s access to their children’s education/medical records, and parents often do not have access to legal resources or even understand their parental rights.  This can be discouraging for a parent who is truly striving to do the best s/he can.

What are some common misconceptions about noncustodial parents?

 One of the biggest issues noncustodial parents face is a lack of understanding generally in society about what “noncustodial” means.  This leads to a great deal of frustration when dealing with authorities, and we regularly find ourselves explaining legalities to people to defend our right to be involved, our right-to-parent.

Just to clarify, there are two kinds of child custody, legal and physical, and there are varied combinations, which can even include a noncustodial parent sharing joint legal AND physical custody.  I do not have physical custody, but I share joint legal custody with my son’s father, which gives me full parental authority under the law.  But someone has to move out of the house, right?   Every divorce naturally creates custodial and noncustodial parents, but the stereotypes of the deadbeat dad/disappearing mom leave a stigma that noncustodial parents are irresponsible or don’t want their children, or worse – that they are dangerous and should be viewed with suspicion.  I have written about this many times on my sit, two examples here and here.  In fact, the majority of noncustodial parents are law-abiding citizens and loving parents who want to be involved as much as possible in our children’s lives.

Recently on your blog, you posted a Globe and Mail article about “parental alienation syndrome”.  The article noted: “Court proceedings are not conducive to peacemaking; they tend to increase acrimony between parents, which is bad for children. Many non-custodial parents simply walk away from an impossible situation, devastated to lose contact with their children, but consoled to know that their children’s exposure to a toxic tug-of-war is over.”  What support is available to parents in these situations?  What resources can they find at NCP Community or elsewhere?

 

What I loved about that article was the focus on the best interests of the child, which often gets lost in discussions of Parental Alienation Syndrome.  Sadly, many of us have seen how a parent might bad-mouth or poisoning a child against the other parent.  Whether or not people agree on the definition of “parental alienation” or that PAS exists as a “syndrome,” few people would disagree that the problem exists.   Even if both parents have legal custody, the custodial parent is in a position of greater power than the noncustodial parent.  It is much easier to interfere with visitation as the custodial parent – it is unfortunate that withholding visitation is a tactic often used, but when was the last time you saw an amber alert for “child abducted by custodial parent”?

Ideally, parents should be able to find ways to work together to prevent or manage these negative situations by bringing in mediators or planning ahead and building in very specific parenting plans into their custody agreements to prevent disputes.  However, if the situation is very bad, legal counsel may be needed.  NCP Community is a place for sharing strategies and solutions that will help everyone work together for the best interests of our children.

What are some of the unique challenges for co-parents who live a far distance from their children?  What are some ways they “stay close” when they don’t live close by?

 

There are many reasons a parent might live far away from his/her child – living near family, finding work, or to start a new life – and while it is hard, families can make it work.  In fact it has become easier to keep in touch long-distance, with visitation via skype and flying our kids unaccompanied to visit us.

Most importantly, no matter the distance, children should be able to continue the same quality of relationship with each parent that they enjoyed prior to the separation.  Here are some suggestions for noncustodial parents:

  • Regular phone calls, scheduled & unscheduled, helps keep the lines of communication open and ensure that you are kept in the loop of your chidren’s lives.
  • In conversation, asking specific questions shows that you care and are paying attention, and I find that those are easier questions for children to answer (“how did you do on your test?” vs “how was school today?”)
  • Be creative in your communications and demonstration of your love.  Text messages, emails, cards, care packages…  Keep a stack of cute cards at the ready to send.  Buy things that remind our children how special they are (magnets, pictures, ID-sized notes to fit into a wallet).
  • Communicate with the custodial parent. Again, the more specific the questions, the better.  The custodial parent is a goldmine of information about your child and main decision-maker in your child’s life, so open communication should always be a priority.
  • Don’t be discouraged. Keep trying, and try not to place the burden of your frustration onto your children.  Remember that despite the challenges you face, you are ultimately responsible for your involvement in your children’s lives.

You’ve noted the growing voice of noncustodial mothers, including Karen Murphy in her Motherhood from Afar column at LiteraryMama.  What are some special concerns that noncustodial moms face that noncustodial dads do not (or do to a lesser degree)?

Society can be harsh towards moms who don’t fit a traditional mold.  The assumption that mothers will retain custody of their children after a divorce is so strong that if she does not take custody, her fitness or attachment to her child comes into question in a way that it does not for men.  People wonder if she had her children taken away from her, or maybe she just didn’t want her kids.  These are assumptions that often have no basis in reality.  It may come down to which parent has more resources to offer the children, or which parent has the better lawyer.

What’s most important is that custody arrangements are made in the best interests of the children, and although a child might reside with one parent, that should not reflect badly on the noncustodial mom or dad.  At the end of the day, noncustodial moms and dads have more in common than not– we are just trying to stay involved in our children’s lives in meaningful ways.

***

Are you a noncustodial parent? If so, please spend a few minutes on this anonymous 10-question survey. This survey will help NonCustodial Parent Community gather information in order to share experiences, strategies, and solutions, to challenge biases about noncustodial parents, and to raise awareness about the issues families are facing every day.

Through her NonCustodial Parent Community blog, Rebekah Spicuglia serves as a spokesperson on parenting issues. MSN highlighted Spicuglia as one of eight “Moms Inspired to Change History,” and Spicuglia has been featured in or written for the NYTimes, Slate, Huffington PostAbout.com, Brain,Child magazine, WBAI, Feministing, Feminist.com, MomsRising, Mamapalooza, Wikipedia, and the Women’s Media Center website.

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Reader Comments (30)

This was an interesting article. Because I share a non-court mandated custody arrangement with my co-parent that is very amicable, I rarely think about these situations. I have seen families ripped apart or mentally anquished by this kind of arrangement. As I have said before, it is important to take the childs needs before our own. Mom and Dad may be mad but they need to put that aside and focus on the beautiful outcome of a child born into their lives. We as humans are just plain selfish and when you have a child, that needs to be put aside. Also, people outside of the situations need to understand that mothers or fathers who don't have full custody are not always bad people. Like it stated in the article, there are issues of resources, location and financial ability that play a role in which parent gets what title by the court. I suggest that all parents in this situation take time to communicate with eachother and do it for the children's sake. Guess what, you guys are not longer married/together so you should not even be worried about your personal relationship. That part of your life is over, but there is someone, or multiple 'someones' that are depending on you for growth and guidance.

July 9, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterOlivia

The government should put it out that if someone comes to them for monetary child support it is going to offer the child to each parent on an equal basis before any discussion of money is had.

July 10, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Gartner

[...] The Truth About NonCustodial Parents: An Interview with Rebekah Spicuglia [...]

Hello! OMG- I am so glad to have found your site. I am a Target parent and have struggled with this alienation.
However, it gives me comfort knowing that I am not alone and that changes are coming. I was so desperate and frustrated when this was all unfolding. I have been learning how to cope and make peace with What Is...
Getting involved and bringing my story out into the light is my way of contributing to making a difference for someone else.

July 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDianne Sikel

[...] noncustodial moms and dads face in raising our children, I encourage readers to also check out my recent interview with CoParenting 101. Posted Under: Uncategorized Permalink Share this [...]

Rebekah, I so appreciate you sharing your story. It just reinforces for me that no matter what we do, when do it with love and consciousness, that's how our children will experience it. Thanks for paving the way.

July 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJill Nagle

i hate being the "non custodial mother!"

September 12, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine Iaquinta

I'm a noncustodial mom, not by choice. I go through so many emotions all the time thinking about what has happened and not being able to say much in my childs life. I have never been a bad mother. My abusive ex boyfriend caused this to happen to me and now i'm stuck as the noncustodial mom. I am so glad I'm not alone and there are other moms out there in the same situation.

September 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

Hi, Elizabeth,

I'm glad too that Rebekah has created such a necessary community. I hope you can continue to find the resources and support you need.

Best,
~Deesha

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteradmin

Hi, Catherine,

I hope you find the resources Rebekah's site helpful to you during this difficult journey.

Best to you,
~Deesha

September 14, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteradmin

I have a concern about a child. During separation from my wife at the time she had a child from another relationship back in dec 2004. Nearly five years later after divorce all of a sudden I receive a letter from social services ordering me to come to court for child support preceedings. Unfortunately I'm not the child's father. What should I do or how do I go by about this situation?

September 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJames

Hi, James,

Disclaimer: We are not attorneys, nor qualified to give legal advice.

What you should do depends on what you mean by "proceedings." If this is the first you are hearing of the matter, and the court has tried to contact you previously, but could not because you moved/they didn't have a current address for you, then time is of the essence. Even if you are not the father of the child, if child support is ordered, and you do not pay, your wages can be garnished, etc., until you can prove otherwise. If you can, get a family law attorney, because depending on the state in which you live, there may be a statute of limitations on things like paternity testing.

I can't find the article now, but there was a case where a blogger/journalist was taken to court by a woman he didn't even know; she saw who his picture online and took him for child support. His wages were garnished and everything, because he listened to child support enforcement authorities who told him not to worry about the case, that it was just a procedural thing that would be cleared up. By the time he realized that he was being railroaded, the deadline had passed by which he could object and ask for a paternity test. It was a mess.

Here are some links that you may find helpful:

http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/is-there-a-statute-of-limitations-for-paternity-tests.html
http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=900005546591

Did I mention that you should get a lawyer?

Best to you,
~Deesha

September 30, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteradmin

[...] Read more… Deesha Philyaw is a Pittsburgh-based freelance writer whose publication credits include Essence, Bitch, and Wondertime magazines, and The Washington Post. In addition to freelancing and teaching, Deesha is the co-founder, along with her ex-husband, of CoParenting101.org, a resource for parents striving to raise their children together, cooperatively, after divorce or separation. SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "Cross-post: The Truth About NonCustodial Parents–An Interview with Rebekah Spicuglia", url: "http://www.weparent.com/2009/10/cross-post-the-truth-about-noncustodial-parents-an-interview-with-rebekah-spicuglia/" }); [...]

Hi. I am actually a custodial parent who has tried to get the non-custodial parent involved and had little success. He moved out of state, cancels most visits, is sporadic with letters, and forgets to make pre-arranged calls. I have tried very hard to walk a line between supporting my daughters in loving and feeling loved by him while also raising them to be whole people who treat others with respect, accept responsibility, and recognize what good parenting looks like. My ex is currently moving in with his very young girlfriend who has posted pictures of my children online after being quite specifically asked not to and has blogged about me and my children. She has met them and me exactly one time. I am feeling very concerned about her approach (hostile toward me, possessive and lacking healthy boundaries toward them). As I said, they live out of state so this is not a daily problem but she seems more interested in my children than he does and I have no interest in supporting visits with her when he has yet to forge a relationship with them and they are both openly hostile toward me despite the fact that I am the one raising and supporting my children. Can you suggest any guidelines regarding moving forward with this situation? Thanks

February 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

Hi, Liz,

My first thought is, what does your parenting agreement stipulate about the conditions of your children's visitation with their father? If his or his girlfriend's behavior violates the terms, you may be able to seek recourse through the courts. His canceling visits and her lack of boundaries are serious concerns, whether you have a written agreement in place or not. In the meantime, I'm going to run your question by one of our experts, and see if I can get some more detailed advice for you.

Best,
~Deesha

February 9, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteradmin

I have been a non-custodial parent for about 15 years and I had nothing but hell from the other parent. Constant harrassment, trying to tell me what I can or can't discuss around my children, always calling about when I was sending child support, when she knew I was hurting finacially, lying in court. After all these years she has finally turned my children against me. The have made threats, cursed me, etc. My oldest child, after coming of age, even changed his name. It has been almost a year since my youngest son, who will be 16 in June, has even seen me and I had paid child support until two months ago. I figure if she can be in contempt of court, I am going to be also. I will nolonger pay any money for a child that I don't even see, and now I don't care to see, because of the way he has acted toward me. I can't trust him and he would be one of those kids that would shoot their parents because he didn't get his way. She has always spent lots of money on expensive clothes and shoes for them and I did not. I won't spend more money for their clothes than I spend on my self. I pay about $15 dollars for pants, she spends about $100. They had a cell phone before I could even afford one for myself. I have talked with lawyers and DHS and nobody will touch this case, so I just gave up even trying. The damage has been done.

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteralan

Hi, Alan,

Situations like yours are simply heartbreaking to hear about, so I can only imagine what it is like for you to live it. We hear from other co-parents in similar situations that it's not only heartbreaking but infuriating when the other parent lies, misrepresents, tries to justify, or is otherwise in denial about their behavior and the damage they are inflicting. I'll never forget the story of a woman who woke up one day and realized that she had no idea why she hated her father. Ultimately, she was awakened to her mother's alienating behavior as the root cause of this hatred. I hope your child have a similar wakening without so many years or decades lost.

I wish we could suggest something to help reconnect you with your children, but it sounds as if you've exhausted the available channels to address this, to no avail. However, you may wish to tune to our http://www.blogtalkradio.com/coparentingmatters/2010/04/26/understanding-parental-alienation" rel="nofollow">"Co-Parenting Matters" show on Parental Alienation Awareness Day, April 25th. Our guest will be Jill Egizii. Jill is a potent advocate for parental alienation awareness. Through her activism and her novel, The Look of Love, Jill works to raise awareness of parental alienation and the devastating impact it can have on children and parents. Jill serves as an Alderman in the city of Leland Grove and as a member of the Illinois Family Law Study Committee established to revamp state divorce law. She is also a board member of Children Need Both Parents, a not-for-profit organization emphasizing shared parenting, and the Parental Alienation Awareness Organization (PAAO) which is dedicated to educating people about parental alienation.

I wish you peace and for a healing miracle for your relationship with your children.

Best,
~Deesha

April 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenteradmin

For non-custodial parents, virtual visitation can be a way to fill the growing need for more contact. However, be sure that your state's laws allow for virtual or e-visitation. Also, the states that do allow virtual visitation can be somewhat vague in their laws. For more, see also:
http://lawblog.legalmatch.com/2010/09/20/will-virtual-visitation-become-the-new-child-custody-norm/

September 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBurbie

We will have equality in "co-parenting" ONLY when at least 1/3rd of all NCPs are female. That's the reality. At that point, you will see the creation of "The Office of Child Co-parenting" and other things that have been created SOLELY to help women in child support.

Hearing women complain about NCP status, while I feel for them as a long-time (and remarried/intact parent) NCP parent, is very difficult to feel compassionate about. Many of them women TODAY who find themselves as NCPs are the VERY women YESTERDAY who were trashing men/fathers, and doing all they could directly or indirectly to support our biased system.

When ALL women care about their own BROTHERS, and SONS (who may very well wind up divorced, and NCPs) as much as they do other WOMEN, we will have equity and peace.

The game is rigged. Everyone knows it. Child support and "Family Law" (a joke of a term) is a show. And it is a SHOW because of our paternalistic society in which we NEVER hold women accountable, and go to all SORTS of lengths to provide for them.

Again, when's the last time you heard a woman who had a child out of wedlock and went on welfare as a "deadbeat"?? (or one that had an abortion for that matter). We target MEN, because we are easy targets and because women are generally angry at us.

So...like millions of other NCP fathers, in my case, remarried and enjoying my children from my intact family, it is VERY hard to all the sudden feel compassion for women who are NCPs.

tons of men reading this know exactly what I mean.

August 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterscott

Hi, I am now a custodial parent when I was a non-custodial for 8 years. There were alot of things denied to me through out my sons 8 years and when his safety and well being were being comprimised, I went to court. I was awarded custody in July. Now the other parent has lost "control" and now doing everything to disrupte my families life. They are requesting a phone call twice a day, took all of our childs clothes and toys. Did not provide me with the important things like medical card and has already broke the court order to which I have taken them back to court. Here's my questions how many phone calls am I required to give and how do I tell them it's too much without making it seem like they can't have contact with our child.

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJordan

Hi, Jordan:

If you and the other parent don't agree on the number of phone calls (1 or 2 is reasonable, but 1 is sufficient), let the court decide. Given the other parent's behavior since you became the custodial parent, you may not be able to convince him or her that you're not trying to limit contact. Since this parent has already broken the court order and is being disruptive, you may opt to "choose your battles" on this one, and agree to the 2 calls. Save your fight for a larger issue. But if you are concerned about further disruption, then you may wish to monitor those calls.

Best,
~Deesha

August 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteradmin

I would just like to say that in my case my ex husband had three of my in laws jump in which led to me being charged with third degree assault and battery , which later was determined wrong and expunged but was done after divorce and The courts would not let me have custody of my son over this. The custodial parent in this situation always throws Im the custodial parent in my face. One I carried my little man for 9 months. Two the court in the papers stated they had "grave reservations" about giving him to the father but did it anyways. I m told i can't take him to the doctor , ex husband has banned me from the schools without a court order stating on the phone Hes afraid i will run off with our son , and its been almost 5 yrs since custody hearing. I mean wow Help here.

November 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

And also my son doesn't want to be there, doesn't want to go back..... Not saying his dad his bad but he does power trip horribly.

November 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle

I am the wife of a NCP. Our battle has been long and strenuous, heart breaking, and just unfair in general.

I started dating my now husband, only a few months after he and CP separated. She refused to let him see the children at all when she learned of our dating, then went on to file court papers seeking sole custody with no access to NCP as he was "physically abusive".
This wasn't the case at all. He was and is a very loving and caring father.
The court immediatlet ordered sole custody and 4 supervised access visits. however, CP had to set up the visits at the center. She continued to not set them up claiming my husband "refused to fill out the intake forms" despite the fact that they were already done and filled out the day he was granted supervised access. The entire process took 14 months. 14 MONTHS to have 4 access visits set up. Once the visits were set up, there was constant interference from CP canceling visits or not showing up at all.
With the hire of a new lawyer, these visits ended and no threat was found, but the damage was done and custody was already lost.
We now have an every other weekend schedule, with shared holiday access. CP is still interfering and not sharing holidays, breaking court order and stealing out weekends when it suites her. The does not have a "police enforcement clause" so we can't even enforce the order without going back to court. Even if we go back to court we were told it would reflect badly on us because 2 adults should be able to work out a reasonable schedule. I feel my husband and my step children are treated SO unfairly all the time because of the bias that NCP face.. It seems that even when breaking the law; court order, the CP can do what they want without fear of repercussion and that's such a dangerous weapon to hand someone who is not looking out for their childrens best interests.

December 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiNDZ

I am a NCP of two children. It really doesn't matter how old they are because their hearts hurt at any age. It really does not matter how I lost residental custody after been a stay at home mom for many years ~ however I lost because I developed a brain tumor and try as I might, could not convenience the court that I would/could/should be the best for our children. The big push for fathers to be the CP has shown the court systems that if you thought the court room are filled enough with fights, 604b, court order visistations, then wait until you bench mark such now. No parent rather the mom or the dad needs to be cut out of a childs life. Turth be told, I am not sure how I would have handle things then if I was granted the responsiblity of CP. What I do know is in order for me to be a better parent I needed the time to get healthy so that I could still be alive to mother my children. If you read Richard Gardners (PAS) book you will find the hurt, lies and anger within any custody battle, some even within your own. The number one focus here is not how much time you spend with your children, it is what you do with the time that you are with your children. I am alive and I miss the fact that when my children cry out in the night it is another woman who tends to their needs the flip of the coin is, life is not what we thought is was going to be...it is what we face day in and day out and so do our children. Divorce is the worst word I have ever had to associate with my name and that of my children, however I am not the first and I wont be the last mother who is forced to keep her eye on the point that getting these children rasied with the least amount of baggage so that they can be as fully functioning as any other person in the world ~ IS WHAT I LIVE FOR EACH AND EVERY DAY! Anger or not, what happened to me was horable however what happened to my children mean becaming the parent who can rise above while she instills life longs tools with and for her children in order to survive the ups and downs in life. In closing, there is not a day that does not go by that I dont work at regaining the rights of a CP, trust me when I say, I dot every "i" and cross every "t" but not at the expense of my children. The courts needed to see what happens when a father is given CP rights and mothers needed to feel what it is like to be on the other side. Now we know, now we need to do better not as a check an balance, as the voice of our children.....Good luck to everyone who feels the need to seek guidence from this site as I am one myself.

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristine

Kristine, belated thanks for sharing your story and words of encouragement that every co-parent can appreciate.

Best,
~Deesha

January 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteradmin

Thank you so much for the inspirational article!! I am sure that it will bring a new hope.

this article has helped me a lot.

I moved to Dallas ahead of my family a year ago to get a job and my wife and daughter were supposed to follow me out here in June. We were already in the process of a divorce and made an amicable parenting plan, supposing we would be in the same town, and perhaps even possibly stay together.

Last May she said sorry pal, I ain't moving and has put me in a position of being able to see my daughter only once every 4-8 weeks due to the cost and burden of flying to Portland. I thought we could adjust the parenting plan so i would still get about 30% of the time as we had laid out, but she is making the visitation process extremely difficult by being completely unyielding and antagonistic.

I don't want to get a lawyer and stir up strife that could affect my daughter. I pride myself on being reconciliatory and have reached out to my ex to no avail. My older kids are not helpful in the matter either. Not sure what to do here, but am more convinced with each attempt at communicating that the only options i have are either to appeal to the court or concede that my ex is going to completely close me out of my daughters life.

May 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Deal

Hi, Andrew:

While it's true that some co-parents are overly litigious and use the courts to "stir up strife" and legal threats as a weapon, that's not what you're doing here. Your daughter has a right to have you continue to play an active role in her life, and to the extent that your ex is hindering this, you may need to take a legal course of action to remedy the situation.

Here's a list of kids' rights that are applicable here.

It's also true that your filing a motion with the court may cause your ex to react in a way that negatively impacts your daughter. Unfortunately, there are no simple answers with regard to when to go to court or, in cases like this one, for how long.

I'm not sure how old your older children are, but it's not likely that they can be of much help to you, as they may feel stuck in the middle and pressured to declare loyalty if they do anything that could be perceived as helping you. If your ex is putting this kind of pressure on them, make sure that you don't add to it by expecting anything from them with regard to increased time with your younger daughter. Do everything you can to keep this strictly a parental matter, even if your ex doesn't follow suit.

Finally, try to stay in touch with your daughter as much as you can via phone, email, mail--whatever you can do to let her know that you care for her, that you look forward to seeing her again, and that your love is unwavering and unconditional, even if she doesn't always respond. Keep your communication focused on her--how she's doing, her activities and school, your upcoming times together--not what's going on with your ex or legal matters.

I also recommend a book about parental alienation called "A Family's Hearbreak" by Mike Jeffries. You may also find some respite and healing strategies from a family counselor who is familiar with parental alienation.

Best to you,
~Deesha

May 14, 2013 | Registered CommenterDeesha Philyaw

Deesha,

Thank you for such an amazing article, and website. I am a female NCP, by choice. I love my children, but I made the decision to allow them to stay in the primary residence with their father, and continue in school until such time that I am confident I am settled and in a better school district. It hurts, but I know I am doing the right thing. No one understands. I have had so much drama used against me at my workplace and in social gatherings, it is unbelievable. When people find out that I do not have the boys physically they assume I am an awful person or that I don't want them. It breaks my heart every time. The boys here the same statements around my ex-husband's family and then make disparaging comments. I am in weekly battles with the (very good) school district on making sure that I am notified of everything and that my voice is heard. Thankfully, my ex and I have finally found peace in our relationship that the boys feel equally happy and loved, all while understanding that Mommy and Daddy are separate people.The stigma of being a NCP mommy is awful. I would not wish it on anyone.

Again, thank you. I will be definitely using your website!

May 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJenna

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