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The Friendly Parent Concept: A Flawed Factor for Child Custody
Loyola Journal of Public Interest Law, 11/01/

The friendly parent concept, including its cousin, Parental Alienation Syndrome, presents what at first seems to be a reasonable standard for the determination of child custody disputes. On close examination, the friendly parent concept presents a paradox. This is because in a child custody dispute, the parents are in litigation against each other. The purpose of this litigation is to take custody away from the other parent, which by definition does not foster the other parent’s relationship with the child. The friendly parent concept, however, requires parents to make the opposite showing, that they will “most likely foster . . . the other parent’s relationship with the child.”8 With this inherent contradiction, the results of a friendly parent analysis are unpredictable and at times, bizarre. The friendly parent concept also encourages litigation and conflict between parents; it renders parents unable to protect themselves and their children from abuse, violence, and neglect at the hands of the other parent. (more)

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