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Mark Otis
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Before you send that angry email....
A mother was angry that her ex planned to move to a neighborhood
different from the one they had both lived in since their divorce.  Although he was allowed to do so by the terms
of their divorce decree, she felt he moved to spite her rather than having any...

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Parent child alienation is one risk following divorce.   Instances of unrealistic alienation, when
one parent drives a wedge between the children and the other parent without
good cause, are particularly troubling.  Psychologists
have written many articles ...

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Reasserting influence -- False Starts
Unrealistically alienated children complain that the
rejected parent doesn’t know them, doesn’t understand them, doesn’t respect
their feelings.  And this may be true –
but not because the parent doesn’t care and isn’t trying, but because their
children rej...

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More about nudging
There are two street signs in front of our home.  One alerts drivers that this stretch of road
is a school zone, maximum speed 25mph. 
The second sign warns drivers of a bump ahead.  The first is a mandate: obey or risk a
fine.  The second is not a law, it’...

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Reframing a straw man
One of the
powerful forces at work in alienation is “frame-flipping” – portraying the
favored parent as the victim rather than the rejected parent and the children.  So rejected parents do not just remarry; they
want to start a new family to turn the childr...

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Children talk about trash-talk
Psychologists have given considerable thought as to how to
persuade angry divorcing parents not to trash talk the other parent to the
children.  The primary tool is education:
backing up the assertion that “children need two parents” with research studies

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Litigation aftermath: Good sportsmanship
Barack Obama recently said that one of his biggest
mistakes as President was not planning adequately for the political aftermath
in Libya once the ouster of strongman Gaddafi was accomplished. I think there
is a lesson here as well for family law profession...

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Don't talk about it; deal with it.
There was a recent
article in Scientific American about political leaders in South Florida who are
concerned about the challenge of climate change on the economy and living
conditions in the Miami area.   Faced
with national politicians’ reluctance to addre...

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Using a MESO to create a summer parenting-time plan
Divorced parents working to create a summer parenting-time
schedule for teens should not confuse a MESO for miso. Miso is a delectableJapanese soup made with dashi and regional ingredients.  A MESO, in contrast, isn’t delectable--but it
is an exceptionally ...

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When children align with one parent and unreasonably reject
the other, observers often assume that the favored parent is badmouthing—saying
negative things about the rejected parent to the children. When asked, however,
favored parents often protest that th...
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