|For Immediate Release
Parental Alienation Expert to Testify
May 5, 2003
SPRINGFIELD A nationally renown parental alienation expert, Dr. Douglas Darnell, PhD., will testify in the case of Lussier v. Lussier at the Hampden Division Probate and Family Court Wednesday, May 7 at 10:00 a.m.
Darnell, who resides in Ohio, is the author of the book, "Divorce Causalities; Protecting your children from parental alienation." He will testify on behalf of Eugene Lussier of Chicopee and his daughter, Paige, in a "Daubert" proceeding, legally known as a voir dire hearing.
A Daubert or voir dire hearing is a mechanism by which the Court will try to eliminate Darnell as an expert witness claiming that parental alienation is not a scientifically accepted condition cited in the DSM-IV, a handbook used by the mental health profession.
Lussiers daughter lives in Holyoke approximately six miles from her dad, but he claims the mother is alienating the father-child relationship by not allowing visitation or parenting time.
"I havent seen my daughter for more than four years," Lussier said. "The family court and its judges dont seem concerned about this condition."
Visitation has been in a "disrupted state since 1995" when the parents separated, he said.
According to Mike Franco, State Co-Chair for the Fatherhood Coalition, the group contends there are numerous cases locally and across the state similar to the Lussier matter.
"Parental alienation is a tragic reality for dads and their children," Franco said. It occurs when a custodial parent, usually the mother, obstructs the fathers access to his child both emotionally and physically.
"We challenge the court to give due consideration to this phenomenon," he said.
You may visit the coalitions web site at www.fatherhoodcoalition.org or contact us through the Fathers' Rights Hotline at 1-413-295-DADS toll free anywhere from Western Massachusetts.
# # #CPF / The Fatherhood Coalition