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Richard Warshak
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Dr. Richard Warshak’s groundbreaking studies, trenchant challenges to gender stereotypes, and passionate advocacy for children have made him one the world’s most respected authorities on divorce and child custody. He has written two books, dozens of academic journal articles and chapters, and several Op-ed columns. Canada’s Globe and Mail editorial called him, “A force to be reckoned with.”

Dr. Warshak’s first book, The Custody Revolution (Simon & Schuster), earned him an invitation to the White House; the fundamental reforms the book promoted have since become mainstream in family law. Divorce Poison: How To Protect Your Family From Bad-mouthing and Brainwashing (HarperCollins, 2002/2010) is the classic and best-selling parental alienation resource in the world. The Warshak Brief on relocation influenced a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court of California.

A graduate of Cornell University and Clinical Professor of psychology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dr. Warshak’s work is featured in media worldwide including NBC Today, ABC 20/20, CBS Early Show, CNN, CTV, FOX & Friends, CourtTV, New York Times, USA Today, Macleans, Washington Post, London Sunday Telegraph, Toronto Star, SEMANA, National Public Radio, Time, and a PBS documentary. His DVD, Welcome Back, Pluto: Understanding, Preventing, and Overcoming Parental Alienation, is the leading resource for families whose children struggle to stay out of the middle of parental conflicts.

Entries by Richard Warshak

Lifting Blanket Restrictions

(3) Comments | Posted May 5, 2014 | 2:04 AM

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Big changes are afoot Down Under. And these presage changes in the U.S. and Europe as well. For the past few years, a research report issued by the office of the Australian Attorney General, with statements of its lead author, has exerted a...

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Judith Wallerstein: In Memoriam

(2) Comments | Posted June 20, 2012 | 8:05 PM

Judith Wallerstein passed away this week. As is true for most people in my profession, I first encountered Judy's work in 1976 through her groundbreaking series of articles, co-authored with Joan Kelly, on children of divorce.

I discovered these articles during an internship in a Child Guidance Clinic and relied...

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Shaking The Holiday Blues Away

(8) Comments | Posted November 14, 2011 | 1:15 AM

The winter holidays are fast approaching. Everyone seems happy and excited except you. Intense sadness or loneliness cloud any hope of enjoyment. To make matters worse, you reproach yourself for being unable to share the holiday spirit. If you see yourself in this description, you may be suffering from the...

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College Helps Renew Parent-Child Ties

(33) Comments | Posted September 5, 2011 | 1:35 PM

Some time during my first semester in the men's dormitory at Cornell (in those days co-ed dorms were mere fantasies), the guys on the floor began talking about their parents. The more we talked, the more we came to value all that our parents had done for us. Mix this...

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Divorce Court: Mopping Up the Mess

(35) Comments | Posted August 16, 2011 | 12:16 PM

Most people never have their day in court. They have no need. They commit no crimes. They avoid lawsuits. And they never testify at a trial. Most of us never even serve on a jury, despite being summoned every few years.

The closest most people come to a courtroom is...

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Shriver & Schwarzenegger: What About the Kids?

(8) Comments | Posted May 24, 2011 | 2:35 PM

People are wondering how the Shriver-Schwarzenegger split and his infidelity will affect their children. Coping with their parents' separation is difficult enough for children. In this matter it is complicated by the father's infidelity, the revelation of a half-sibling, and the public nature of their family's troubles. Each family is...

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Why Kids Shouldn't "Visit" Parents This Summer

(54) Comments | Posted May 12, 2011 | 12:57 PM

Summertime, for school-age children, should be when the living is easy. It is a time for exploration, new experiences, and an extended break from the grind of studies. Family vacations create life-long memories.

For children whose parents live apart, these memories can be ripe with joy or rife with stress....

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What Divorced Parents Can Learn From 'Atlas Shrugged'

(36) Comments | Posted April 20, 2011 | 11:57 AM

Fifty-four years after publication, Ayn Rand's magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged, has hit the big screen, opening to modest success by independent film standards. It is currently #6 on Amazon, and the "second most influential book for Americans today" according to a Library of Congress and Book of the...

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When Kids Need to Know Bad Things About a Parent - Part 3

(9) Comments | Posted February 21, 2011 | 6:46 PM

The Warshak Test helps parents judge whether their criticisms of each other are likely to help or hurt their children. The purpose of the test is to raise awareness of the impact of your words on your children and to help you learn why and when to keep...

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When Kids Need to Know Bad Things About a Parent - Part 2

(20) Comments | Posted February 15, 2011 | 11:47 PM

You are convinced that your child's other parent, or a grandparent is bad, and the kids should know about it. Do they really need to hear what you have to say?

When facing the impulse to present a parent or grandparent in a negative light, do some serious soul-searching. Five...

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When Kids Need to Know Bad Things About A Parent - Part 1

(37) Comments | Posted January 28, 2011 | 7:29 PM

Like many rejected parents, Maureen bit her tongue when her children returned from their dad spewing venom about their mother's alleged wrongdoings. She thought she was taking the high road. She had the support of her counselor whose advice was to give the children time to figure out for themselves...

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Stop Divorce Poison

(212) Comments | Posted November 8, 2010 | 12:18 PM

"Mother Theresa does not marry Saddam Hussein." Judges and court-appointed psychologists recite this bromide when one parent complains about the other. It is meant to convey a sophisticated, balanced, it-takes-two-to-tango view of divorce-related conflict. The system labels these parents a "high-conflict couple," and assumes that both contribute equally to their...

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