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Based on Dr. Giancarlo's peer-reviewed research study, Kids Come Last: The Effect of Family Law Involvement in Parental Alienation, this book tells, in their own voices, the stories of thirty loving, capable and dependable parents who, nonetheless, were removed from their children's lives. It is also the author's own journey through the devastation caused by parental alienation.
This book sheds light on an urgent social crisis, enabled by a broken family law system. An equitable and just model for eliminating this form of child abuse is proposed with an urgent plea for its implementation.
I had two sons. David was born in 1971 and was a nice boy and good student. His father and I divorced and I moved to Edmonton when David was four. I tried to encourage a relationship between the boys and their father, but because of the distance, it was very difficult. Their dad lived in New Brunswick. My ex paid child support and I did shift work so we made it work, although money was tight. David’s brother died tragically in 1990 when he was only 24. This loss was extremely hard on David and me. Their father died from cancer a few years later.
David began to date a girl named April while he was attending NAIT (Northern Alberta Institute of Technology). He wanted to be a firefighter. I was concerned about this relationship as Alice seemed very possessive, even controlling where and when David would go. David was seeing his friends less and less. I was surprised when they announced their engagement in 1995 after an on-again off-again relationship. Alice’s father paid for their extravagant wedding and they began to renovate a condo near David’s in-laws.
In 1996, their first child was born and David had quit NAIT to work for better money on the oil rigs. David was close to his father-in-law and the two of them decided to buy a bakery as a family business. This way David could work close to home instead of being up north on the rigs for weeks at a time. Alice continued her tendency to control and insisted on looking after their financial affairs.
In 2000, David found out he was bankrupt. Their RRSPs were cashed out, jewelry had been pawned, and David’s truck was sold. It became apparent that Alice had a gambling addiction and had squandered $80,000 of their savings. Alice was fired from her job at a bank and now unemployed, but David managed to pay off the outstanding debt by working extra hours. But both parents were abusing substances and this added to their volatile relationship. David successfully completed a rehabilitation program and I hoped the family could rebuild as a healthy unit.
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