Monday, November 10, 2008

A Warning to Warring Parents

The Telegraph has reported what could be the first case in Europe of parents being prosecuted for psychologically damaging their child during their divorce. Prosecutors in Milan have asked a judge to charge the couple with ill-treatment of a minor after a health visitor reported that the child was "disturbed". Apparently, the couple regularly argued in front of the 12-year-old boy, despite him telling them that it was making him feel ill. They persistently tried to "discredit, devalue and undermine" the other in front of him, and manipulated him in an attempt to make him decide between them. As a result, it is alleged, the boy suffered anxiety and depression, and fell behind with his school work.

If this goes ahead, then it could open the floodgates of similar prosecutions. Even if it doesn't, it stands as a warning to warring parents of the effects of their actions upon their children - a topical point, coming just after the case of KSJ v WRW.

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