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Mom Who Lost Custody Of Kid After A DUI Was Promised Visitation, But Her Ex Refused For Years Until A Judge Stepped In

Photo: fizkes, Gorodenkoff / Shutterstock 
mother, child, judge, custody

A family law attorney took to TikTok to share a heartbreaking case that made her “jaw drop.” The case involved a custody dispute between a mother and a father after the mother faced criminal charges. 

After the father was granted temporary full custody of their child, he decided to go to great lengths to ensure that the child would never see their mother again. 

The father refused to allow the mother of their child to see them for visitation after she was charged with a DUI. 

Billie Tarascio, an Arizona-based family law attorney, posted a TikTok video where she explained the case details after the mother came to her for advice. 

According to the mother, she previously lost custody of her child after receiving a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) charge. The child’s father was given sole custody. “Dad was ordered to work with Mom to give her parenting time,” Tarascio reported. “And he didn’t for three years.” 

   

   

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Despite the mother’s numerous attempts to see her child, the father blocked her at every turn. After three years, the mother was finally able to scrape together enough money to take her child’s father back to family court for contempt and modification with a judge. 

“It’s important to know that Mom has been sober for years, and that is no longer an issue,” Tarascio pointed out. 

In a new hearing, the mom accused her ex of parental alienation. 

Thankfully, Tarascio said the judge assigned to the case wrote “one of the best orders” she had ever seen. The order read, “Mother alleged that father has been engaging in parental alienation whereby father has intentionally and willfully distanced the child from mother.” 

The judge considered parental alienation as a form of “domestic violence,” something that Tarascio claimed she'd never seen in all her years of practice.

   

   

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Parental alienation refers to a situation in which one parent (the alienating parent) manipulates or influences a child to reject, fear, or have negative feelings toward the other parent (the target parent). 

Common behaviors associated with parental alienation may include making derogatory remarks about the other parent, limiting or blocking communication between the child and the targeted parent, falsely accusing the targeted parent of abuse, and creating a sense of loyalty conflict for the child. 

The judge also added that the father “engaged in a course of conduct attempting to exert control and invoke fear in mother by belittling her and calling her names” and had been “saying negative things about the mom in front of the child.” 

The father had also “willfully disregarded” the previous court’s order where it had been declared that both parents needed to work together to establish visitation.

Mom Who Lost Custody Of Kid After A DUI Was Promised Visitation But Her Ex Refused Until A Judge Stepped InPhoto: PeopleImages.com - Yuri A / Shutterstock 

“The court finds that the combination of acts and the course of conduct over time demonstrate parental alienation.” 

The judge ordered the father to allow the mother visitation. 

Tarascio was grateful for the judge’s actions. “I have watched this type of behavior wreak so much havoc on families,” she said.

Unfortunately, it's a prevalent tactic used by adversarial parents in custody battles that can be difficult to prove because it often doesn't go beyond a he said/she said scenario.

   

   

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“To see a judge call it what it is and hold somebody accountable for this type of behavior is something that I’m just beyond words about.” 

Commenters praised the judge’s efforts, sharing that they have been impacted by parental alienation themselves. 

“I am a child of parental alienation and it messed me up in so many ways. I’m still struggling at 29 years old. I lost so many years with my father,” one TikTok user commented. “My mom did this back in the 70s. She never let me see or talk to my dad, who is a very kind person. Kudos to this judge!” another user shared. 

Parental alienation has been known to affect both the targeted parents and their children negatively. 

Children who are victims of parental alienation may experience a lack of self-esteem, a confused sense of self-perception, a lack of trust, and deep insecurities. They will also miss out on getting to know a parent who cares deeply about them. 

   

   

The matter is considered a serious concern in family law and mental health contexts, and courts may intervene in cases of parental alienation to assess the best interests of the child and, if necessary, implement interventions to address and mitigate the alienation.

For this mother, who poses no danger and has completed the necessary work to better herself for her child, she can now achieve the meaningful relationship with her child that they both deserve. More family courts need to do better at recognizing and addressing harmful behaviors that negatively affect parent-child bonds. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.