Reunification in Cases Involving Parental Alienation


CLE credits earned: 2 GENERAL (or 2 LAW & LEGAL for WA state)

Parental alienation is a highly counterintuitive area. Family law professionals—judges, lawyers, children’s representatives, guardians ad litem, custody evaluators—should carefully evaluate the dynamic before rushing in with “solutions.” Seemingly good measures that may have worked in other family law cases do not work in an alienation situation. For instance, as one domestic relations judge realized: Giving a “speech” from the bench in an attempt to “get through” to an alienating parent does not result in an epiphany or help the situation. Nor will sending off the kids to “therapy.” In fact, it would be difficult to find a more common yet egregious blunder that many professionals routinely commit than advocating for what amounts to traditional “reunification” therapy for parental alienation. Not only are such therapies known to be ineffective, they are known to be potentially harmful – they “validate” an alienated child’s distorted view of the world, encourage the child to express grievances, and give the child some “control” or choice while advising the rejected parent to “listen, empathize, validate, and apologize (or even to ‘find something to apologize for’).” Traditional therapy is contraindicated and typically makes things worse. Even when provided under court order, such therapies are of little benefit.

In this presentation, the attendees will learn about the process of Reunification in a parental alienation case together with the relevant scientific literature and court decisions.

This course is co-sponsored with myLawCLE.

Key topics to be discussed:

•   Fundamentals of reunification in a parental alienation dynamic
•   Relevant science
•   Relevant legal cases

Date / Time: February 24, 2021

•   2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Eastern
•   1:00 pm – 3:00 pm Central
•   12:00 pm – 2:00 pm Mountain
•   11:00 am – 1:00 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

•   Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program “live” in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for “live” CLE credit.
•   On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 5 business days after the original recording date and are view-able for up to one year.

Select your state to see if this class is approved for CLE credit.

Choose the format you want.


Original Broadcast Date: March 5, 2020

Ashish Joshi, Esq. is the owner and managing partner of Joshi: Attorneys + Counselors. He serves as the lead counsel in high-stakes, complex family law and divorce cases. He has counseled and/or represented clients in state and federal courts across the United States and internationally, including in India, United Kingdom, Canada, Luxembourg, Hong Kong, British Virgin Islands, and China. Mr. Joshi has been admitted to the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States, state bars of New York, Michigan, the District of Columbia, and Gujarat, India. Mr. Joshi serves as a senior editor of Litigation, the flagship journal of the ABA’s Section of Litigation.

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Section I. What is Parental Alienation?

Section II. What courts do if they find that one parent has engaged in alienating behaviors

Section III. What is Reunification?

Section IV. Is there a difference between Reunification and Traditional Therapy?

Section V. Why do Traditional Therapies fail in cases involving parental alienation?

Section VI. What works and why?