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The affective burden of separated mothers in PA(S) inflected custody law systems : a New Zealand case study Vivienne Elizabeth

By: Elizabeth, Vivienne.
Material type: materialTypeLabelArticleSeries: Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law.Publisher: Taylor & Francis, 2020Subject(s): CHILD CUSTODY | FAMILY COURT | FAMILY LAW | JUSTICE | INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE | MOTHERS | SEPARATION | WOMEN | NEW ZEALANDOnline resources: Read abstract | Related articles In: Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 2020, Advance publication online, 7 January 2020Summary: Custody law systems across the Anglo-West are increasingly characterised by the overt and covert use of parental alienation (syndrome) as an aid to the governance of post-separation mothers. Difficulties with care arrangements within PA(S) inflected custody law systems are often regarded as evidence of mothers’ alienating behaviours, resulting in a range of remedial, coercive and punitive censures, including losing resident parent status. I argue here that the synergistic interaction between custody law and PA(S) creates an affective burden for post-separation mothers. Drawing on the voices of mothers in contested custody cases, I show that their affective burden consists of negative emotional states for themselves and their children, emotion work in relation to these states, and court required emotion work in support of father-child relationships. The latter mitigates the risk of being found to be an alienator and losing what matters most to them – their children. (Author's abstract). This is one of a number of articles which form a special issue presenting critical perspectives on parental alienation in Volume 42 of this journal. Follow the link to related articles. Record #6478
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Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, 2020, Advance publication online, 7 January 2020

Custody law systems across the Anglo-West are increasingly characterised by the overt and covert use of parental alienation (syndrome) as an aid to the governance of post-separation mothers. Difficulties with care arrangements within PA(S) inflected custody law systems are often regarded as evidence of mothers’ alienating behaviours, resulting in a range of remedial, coercive and punitive censures, including losing resident parent status. I argue here that the synergistic interaction between custody law and PA(S) creates an affective burden for post-separation mothers. Drawing on the voices of mothers in contested custody cases, I show that their affective burden consists of negative emotional states for themselves and their children, emotion work in relation to these states, and court required emotion work in support of father-child relationships. The latter mitigates the risk of being found to be an alienator and losing what matters most to them – their children. (Author's abstract). This is one of a number of articles which form a special issue presenting critical perspectives on parental alienation in Volume 42 of this journal. Follow the link to related articles. Record #6478