Detroit, MI- A Michigan Judge is under fire after sentencing three children to juvenile detention for refusing to visit with their father.

On June 24th, Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Lisa Gorcyca ordered three children to juvenile detention after they defied an order to meet with their estranged father when he was visiting the U.S. after moving to Israel. What’s more she ruled that only their father could visit the children while at the juvenile detention center.

A few weeks later, on July 10th, Judge Gorcyca reversed the contempt of court charges for the three children and ordered them to go to summer camp, according to WSPA.

During the trial, the 14-year-old son told Judge Gorcyca that he once saw his father hit his mother and that he felt threatened by his father. But Judge Gorcyca said there was no justification for their fear and noted there was no legal record of domestic abuse.

But throughout the custody battle, the children repeatedly referred to an incident that occurred during one of the father’s visitations at a public park. The children allege that during that visitation thing between both parents escalated and two of the children winded up locking themselves in their mother’s car and calling the police. No charges were filed, but the event left an impression on the children.

Judge Gorcyca however said one of the worst cases of “parental alienation” that she had ever seen. So, what is parental alienation? According to Psychology Today, parental alienation is: “the ‘programming’ of a child by one parent to denigrate the other ‘targeted’ parent, in an effort to undermine and interfere with the child’s relationship with that parent, and is often a sign of a parent’s inability to separate from the couple conflict and focus on the needs of the child.”

Parental alienation includes a number of behaviors used by one parent to denigrate the other parent and turn children against the targeted parent. Psychology Today says that those behaviors can include bad-mouthing the other parent, denying them visitation rights, encouraging children to cut ties with the other parent and forcing a child to reject their parent.

There are some people that reject the notion of parental alienation, but many family law attorneys have seen cases involving parental alienation. A study, according to Psychology Today, found that parental alienation is present in about 1 percent of child custody cases in the U.S.

Critics of parental alienation see such an accusation as a way for abusive parents to get access to their children. They say that the concept was created by Richard A. Gardner, a child psychiatrist who often argued that women frequently fabricated instances of abuse in child custody battles.

Child custody can bring out the worst in people which is why in divorce, its critical for a parent to retain child custody attorney in Michigan to assist them with their case. USAttorneys can help you get in touch with an outstanding lawyer who will work in your child’s best interest.