Frank Report is investigating the divorce and custody case of chiropractor Luigi DiRubba and his wife, Anna Maria DiRubba. Luigi has not seen his children in five years.
Anna Maria was married to her chiropractor husband, Luigi, for 17 years. The couple had six children. During their marriage, there were no child abuse or domestic violence complaints.
When Anna filed for divorce in 2016, she simultaneously made allegations of domestic violence and child endangerment. DiRubba was removed from their house and arrested.
Over the next few years, Anna Maria had police arrest Luigi five more times. Based on the arrests, the court issued protective orders against him.
Prosecutors dismissed every charge and expunged the records because Anna Maria and her attorney could not provide evidence other than her word.
But as soon as prosecutors dismissed one protective order, she made another criminal complaint and got another protective order.
DiRubba tried to file complaints against his wife for making false reports to law enforcement. But the one-year statute of limitations ran out before the courts resolved the cases.
Anna Maria contacted the Department of Children and Families (DCF) and made allegations of abuse and neglect against her husband. DCF took Anna Maria’s word without interviewing Luigi or the children, and submitted their findings to the courts.
DiRubba was mandated to participate in a domestic violence diversion program if he wanted to see his children with supervised visitation. CT Family Court ordered DiRubba to pay $210,000 annual child and spousal support. After three years, a judge reduced that amount to $110,000 per year. He ordered Luigi to pay his ex-wife’s legal expenses, $135,000, to a court-ordered Guardian Ad Litem and awarded her the house.
He was defending himself criminally and fighting to see his children. It cost DiRubba over $1.5 million.
Anna Maria decided Luigi should not see the children even with a visitation supervisor, according to a 2017 report written by psychologist James Connolly.
Defending himself criminally and battling over the right to see his children, which he supported, cost DiRubba over $1.5 million.
Anna Marie decided Luigi should not see the children even with a supervisor, according to a 2017 report written by psychologist James Connolly.
He wrote, “Anna Maria continues to obstruct Luigi’s visitation with the three youngest children to such an extent that the visits are substantially disrupted… Anna Maria needs to demonstrate from this time forward that she can become an emotionally temperate caregiver for her children who will no longer obstruct Luigi’s access to the children and will cease to infect them with emotional contagion which has the effect of increasing their fear of their father and inducing a desire in them to avoid contact and relationship building with him.”
The court dismissed the report.
In December 2020, DCF reversed its 2016 decision that DiRubba abused his children.
CT State Hearing Officer, Attorney Robin D. O’Shea wrote: “The credible evidence in the record reveals that [Luigi] and his former wife were in the initial stages of a contentious separation and divorce when the Department first became involved with the family in February 2016. Prior to that, there had been no reported concerns to the Department… The reliable evidence also demonstrates that [Anna Marie] fabricated or embellished [Luigi’s] behaviors to suit her own agenda.”
The judge denied DiRubba’s motion to admit the DCF reversal.
Anna Maria refused to allow the children to participate in reunification therapy, and the courts denied three motions by DiRubba to let him engage in reunification therapy with his children.
Recently, Anna Marie sold the house in CT that Luigi bought and paid for, which the court handed her. She moved with the children to Florida. Luigi lost contact with all six children.
It is curious that when there is credible evidence of parental alienation by a mother like Anna Maria DiRubba, CT Family Court does not flip custody to the father.
On the other hand, they quickly destroyed the happiness of three children and their mother, Karen Riordan, when her husband, Chris Ambrose, took all the marital assets and cried parental alienation.
When she’s smiling, the whole court smiles with her – except the parent she is opposing. Marianne Charles knows how to get her way in court – or else.The answer may lie in the attorneys. In the DiRubba case, Anna Marie had the well-connected Marianne Charles, whose word is the command of the judges who sit on her cases.
Ambrose had Nancy Aldrich, whose state senator son sat on the powerful judicial appointment committee.
Riordan and DiRubba’s attorneys knew which side the bread was buttered.
It works that way in CT Family Court, where the dictum “in the best interest of the children” means the lawyers’ own children, not their clients’ children.
In these two cases alone, lawyers, GALs, custody evaluators, therapists, and visitation supervisors had about $3 million to cut up for their efforts to give the children to lying and abusive parents.
While their clients’ children suffer, the children of the court actors have the best of everything.
And why not, like they all say in court, “in the best interest of the children.”
Trust be told in other guided information children detached from abusers. I have a 54 year old friend who’s father was an abuser. Physically abused everyone in the family. As well as psychological. She was forced by the court to visit. Repeatedly reported to the court and the judge. When she was 18 she able to refuse all contact. She still to this day can not believe she was forced to go to see the abuser by the court. She has been in therapy for years to get over the damage. Children reject abusive parents. To say that is not true is a lie. There are plenty of adult victims who will report differently. She has never wavierd for what she expected. Children are often terrified of their abusers. So are their other parent
Avoiding the Pitfalls of False Assumptions in Parental Alienation Cases-Alan D. Blotcky, PhD,William Bernet, MD
Here’s how to avoid false assumptions in cases of parental alienation to ensure better outcomes for children.
Parental alienation is a mental state in which a child—usually one whose parents are engaged in a high-conflict separation or divorce—allies strongly with 1 parent (the offending, but favored parent) and rejects a relationship with the other parent (the alienated parent) without legitimate reason.1 This condition occurs in the context of a maladaptive family dynamic involving at least 3 individuals: the alienating parent, who intentionally and purposefully manipulates the child to reject the other parent; the child, who experiences parental alienation; and the rejected, alienated parent. A variety of tactics and maneuvers are used by alienating parents to achieve their goal, ranging from bad-mouthing and disruption of visitation time to false allegations of abuse and criminal charges.
Research indicates that parental alienation is present in 11% to 15% of divorce cases. It has also been found that 20% to 25% of parents engage in alienating behavior as long as 6 years after divorce. Alienating parents can be either mothers or fathers.
Parental alienation is poorly understood by many mental health professionals, not to mention attorneys, guardians ad litem, and judges. It is a confusing and vexing problem because many of its features and dynamics are hidden behind the scenes, ferociously denied, and counterintuitive from what one would expect.
Because of its counterintuitive nature, many false assumptions are made by professionals who are involved in cases of parental alienation. Much can be learned from recognizing and understanding these false assumptions, both in terms of diagnosis and treatment. This is especially important since early diagnosis and intervention are predictive of better outcomes for the child.
False Assumptions Can Lead to Mistakes
What follows is a description of many false assumptions that are made routinely in alienation cases. Richard Warshak, PhD,2 and Steve Miller, MD,3 have written about fallacies and fundamental attribution error in these cases, and 1 of us has written about misinformation in alienation theory.4 The following concepts serve as the foundation for our fuller understanding of the role of false assumptions in parental alienation cases.
Intuition is king. When we think intuitively, our decisions tend to feel “right,” regardless of whether they are or not. To accurately understand parental alienation, a clinician must have an advanced understanding of the typical dynamics in these cases. Relying on intuition can lead to major mistakes right from the get-go. For example, just because a parent seems healthy or believable, does not make it so.
Both parents are equally responsible. It is a common fallacy that both parents are equally responsible for high conflict during a separation or divorce. It is always important to consider the possibility that 1 parent may be the aggressor, while the other parent is the victim. In most cases, both parents are not equally responsible for the ongoing conflict. It can be a major blunder to assume so.
Outward demeanors are indicative of truth. Alienating parents typically present as calm, verbal, and convincing. In contrast, alienated or rejected parents usually present as agitated, angry, and afraid; they are victims.3 In many cases, the alienating parent appears to be healthier and more believable—but that is a manipulation and a distraction from their intentionally alienating behavior. The rejected parent appears more psychologically disturbed, and so it is assumed that he or she is the one engaging in problematic behavior. Outward demeanors can be quite deceiving and must be considered cautiously in diagnostic decision-making.
Ignoring projection possibility. The intrapsychic defense of projection is often seen in cases of alienation. In essence, the alienating parent accuses the rejected parent of being the aggressor. If you fall for the offending parent’s distortion and misperception, poor diagnostic decisions will be made, and the case can quickly go haywire. Projection can lead to the wrong person being identified as the alienating parent.
Children’s denials and “truths” are gospel. Simply believing a child’s denial of alienation by a parent can be a recipe for disaster. Children are not usually aware of the maneuvers employed by the offending parent to turn them against the rejected parent. Plus, such children are frequently enmeshed with the offending parent and will defend that parent to the bitter end. Independent thinker phenomenon is often seen, whereby alienated children assert that their rejection of a parent is solely their idea and decision—not due to the offending parent’s influence. So just listening to a child’s denials can be a serious error that will undermine good decision-making in a case. There is a body of literature that tells us that children and teenagers do not know what is in their own best interest.5 This is especially true when they are the unwitting participants in alienation by a parent.
Alienation does not involve total rejection. Children naturally want to love both of their parents without interruption or impediment. A child does not totally reject a parent unless there is an alienating influence in the mix. This is true even for abusive parents. Indeed, children who have been verbally, physically, or sexually abused by a parent experience profound ambivalence because they still love the parent. They are upset and in turmoil by the fact that they cannot have a continued relationship despite the well-established abuse.6 As such, total rejection by a child is much more indicative of alienation. And to use a child’s rejection of a parent as corroboration or validation of the rejected parent’s badness can be flat-out wrong.
Estrangement and alienation are the same thing. When children resist contact with a parent for legitimate reasons, this is called estrangement, not alienation. Estrangement is very different than alienation; it is important not to confuse them. For example, it would make sense for a child to be estranged from a parent if that parent engages in substance abuse during the child’s visits. Estrangement can be corrected if the parent is willing to make the necessary changes. Alienation, in contrast, tends to be camouflaged, insidious, and recalcitrant.
Alienating behavior is relatively harmless and will not impact the child’s long-term mental health. Engaging persistently in alienating behavior is child psychological abuse. It is a mistake to deny it or rationalize it away. According to DSM-5, child psychological abuse is nonaccidental verbal or symbolic acts by a child’s parent or caregiver that result, or have reasonable potential to result, in significant psychological harm to the child. In light of this, parental alienation is considered a psychiatric emergency, especially in moderate to severe cases. Minimizing the severity of the problem does a terrible disservice to the child. Unfortunately, it enables the abusive behavior to continue unchecked.
Since persistent alienating behavior constitutes child psychological abuse, the top priority should be to protect the child from further abuse. Until this is accomplished, no form of psychotherapy will be effective. In other words, protecting the child from further abuse must be the first step before psychotherapy of any kind is started. This mistake is common. In many court cases, it is erroneously assumed that psychotherapy can fix the problem when, in fact, little or nothing can be accomplished because the alienating behavior is ongoing.
Removing the child from the home is harmful. There is no credible evidence that removing an alienated child from the home of the offending parent causes a significant risk of psychological harm. The opposite is true. In almost all severe and some moderate cases of parental alienation, the risks of not protecting the child are far greater than the risks of protecting the child. Removal of the child from the offending parent’s care may be necessary, at least temporarily. Children and teenagers may fuss about it, but they will comply with, and benefit from, such an intervention.7
Reunification therapy can start at any time and is easy. Reunification therapy cannot be successful unless the alienating behavior by the offending parent is stopped. Otherwise, progress will be impeded by the continued alienation, and everyone will be perplexed as to why significant gains are not being made. The reunification therapy itself may not be the issue at all. Its progress may be stalled by the omnipresence of alienating behavior by the 1 parent.
Reunification therapy is difficult and complex. It requires a knowledgeable and seasoned therapist. The therapist must be directive and assertive, not passive, lethargic, or naïve. An inexperienced or unknowledgeable therapist can make things worse. Such therapists can begin to feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and disappointed. A negative expectation for improvement can take over and become a complicating and limiting factor.
There are no interventions for alienation situations. Active interventions for parental alienation are available and they do work. The interventions must be aimed at (1) stopping the alienation by the offending parent, (2) clarifying and resolving the alienation in the child, and (3) repairing the child-rejected parent relationship. More traditional psychotherapies that do not target these specific areas are doomed to fail. The right therapy at the right time is critical.
Children’s school performance is the best guide. Just because a child is doing well in school or other activities does not mean they are doing well psychologically or emotionally. This is a common misconception. Focusing on school grades can miss the larger issues at hand.
The truly guilty party will confess eventually. No matter how much pressure is applied, the severely alienating parent will never admit to their intentionally harmful behavior. There is never a Perry Mason moment. Do not be misguided or misled by this parent’s persistent denials, as they are disingenuous and untruthful.
Alienating behavior always results in alienation. Not all children who have an alienating parent become alienated. However, even if the child is not alienated does not mean the parent’s alienating behavior is harmless. The negative consequences of alienating behavior tend to be cumulative over time. In addition, the child might become alienated if the damaging behavior does not cease.
All cases of parental alienation are fraught with complexities and difficulties. None are easy or straightforward. False assumptions are pitfalls to be understood and avoided in these cases. Missteps anywhere along the way can result in misdiagnosis, miscalculations, and ill-fated interventions.
Early diagnosis and intervention are important in alienation cases. The offending parent’s behavior must be stopped as soon as possible. All professionals—from mental health experts to attorneys to judges—must understand this principle. It is unacceptable to turn a blind eye. By doing so, complicity with the offending parent will be established and the child’s mental health will be rendered unimportant.
Professionals want to help children and their parents when they are embroiled in high conflict and escalating acrimony. But falling for any of these false assumptions can take a case down a dangerous path. And, in every instance, a child’s psychological wellbeing and mental health are at stake.
The damage to the children started with the first false allegation and obstructing any interaction between parent and child giving the alienating parent plenty of time to groom
Alienation industry. Reunification camp. It tragic the brain washing being done in reunification therapy. Exposer through out the us and multiple countries
As a matter of public interest. Some one should raise the question as to why people are forced to use guardian ad litums. Family relations is a state run agency. Joseph Ditunno is the deputy director. He’s also involved in the violent offender program. That receives funding . He was co chair on the Ccadv with Jarmoc. Also receives funding. His wife Diana Ditunno is a social worker at unconn I believe. She is professionally involved in fatherhood. Org. Also funded. Uconn employees are reported to make up the highest paid employees in the state. She receives a higher than average salary upon google search. All this gal training is going on at the public defender’s office. Parental alienation is a legal defense. These are conflicting matters considering so many cases are pushed into alienation cases. The general public should be advised as to the individual involved in the court system. As well as the disclosure of relationship and multiple positions they appear to hold. If my facts are incorrect. Please comment and I will apologize for raising the questions.
Very interesting since I was asked not to attend a mandatory family relations meeting. With evidence I was not engaged in parental alienation. What the hell is going on in the state of Connecticut.
They did the same to me. My own attorneys told me NOT to go with them to family relations but to wait in the hallway!
I never had a family relations case study. I had never been to court before my divorce.
The attorneys run the game- collude with opposing counsel and throw their own clients under the bus without them knowing.
Screw the bitch. Custody bait and switch. Connecticut family court Cash cow dumpster fire 🔥. We didn’t know any better.
“He ordered Luigi to pay his ex-wife’s legal expenses, $135,000, to a court-ordered Guardian Ad Litem and awarded her the house”
This is exactly how it goes. Typically one spouse is blocked from access to all financial accounts and the other pays the actors who allows for the violations of law.
In Ambrose case, the wife was locked out of the marital home and locked out of all accounts. In Tiberi case the wife was forced to leave marital home and awarded enough for a small rental while the actors were rewarded with thousands to take her child and her assets.
It’s larceny and child trafficking.
Mrs Tiberi is certifiably insane and a danger to her children. The fact that you support her just goes to show that these anti-Family Court people have no clue what they’re talking about.
Mrs Dubric jump on the midnight train with the kids to avoid an angry lynch mob. These parental alienation people in Connecticut are hell bent on running the court system.
But, I thought FR’s stance is that parental alienation is a fake concept invented so that pedophile dads could get custody and rape their children in peace. ? Frank, are you now a Richard Gardner proponent?
Parental alienation does exist. It just should not be purchased and it should not be used for a flip in custody and no contact with the other parent.
It is clear that Anna Maria alienated the children. The solution should not have lost all custody but a shared custody should have been required. Of course for her false charges she should have been penalized.
Frank it would behoove you to search for further material facts on the case before coming to a conclusion he was “alienated” as there is in fact, strong evidence rendering that “allegation” false. I would request from Mr DiRubba any grievances or complaints he has filed against attorneys and their responses. You may find these very interesting, as parental alienation has been disproven time and time again. It is not recognized by the APA or any credible mental health agency. It is called domestic abuse by proxy, if that is indeed what DiRubba is claiming, however a little research may be warranted on your end as his “facts” are not too credible given the reports out there. Judge Diana awarded sole custody to the mother. He is one of the few “informed” on domestic abuse Judges, that’s sitting on the bench. That should say a lot to Mr. DiRubba’s claims.
And just to play devils advocate here, he has 6 kids 3 are adults, have they all been alienated?
Exactly.. what journalism is this? Look at the facts.
You should be sued for slander and defamation
For what? 😕😕😕⁉️⁉️⁉️
Please detail and specify. If you have facts and evidence, we will include them in our reporting.
Your lies. Why didn’t dr.dirubba include judge Diana ruling. Looks like the last response there are additional court courts. You should do proper investigation
I did. Basically, I covered the ground. Judge Grossman had an inexplicable ruling that did not address interstate kidnapping or several violations of Connecticut law. Attorney Charles controlled the agenda and advanced Luigi’s alleged financial issues. I said Charles was a good lawyer, and maybe she, personally, is not the problem. If you’re looking for justice, maybe Shakespeare was right.
The doctrine of unclean hands is as old as justice itself. It rings true in the Gilgamesh and the Pentateuch. No king or queen of old would mete out justice on behalf of one who came before them also an offender.
Grossman’s court is not one of lions or kings. It is one of rats.
You are very professional calling a judge a “rat” it’s unfortunate that you are enabling an abuser. Go get help and get a real job that adds quality to life. You should be sued for slander.
Obviously, you have never read “The Plague” by Albert Camus. The rats are the symbol of the plague, of a sick and dying city. Analogous to an outsider’s view of the Connecticut Family Court, where Lady Justice, it appears, is sick and dying.
Also, Montesquieu was fond of rats in his disdain for direct democracy and his advocacy for a constitutional monarchy with a separation of powers as the basis for an ideal governmental form. To paraphrase, it is much more preferable to live under the paw of a lion than to be continually ensnared by the jaws of rats that are your fellow citizens. The question is whether a judge who allows “the show” to run them a lion (the symbol of power and justice) or just another rat with a robe.
Again, await some of my forthcoming work on this topic.
It’s not unprofessional for a journalist to ask these questions. And I welcome a slander suit. I am doing nothing but adding commentary and contributing to the marketplace of ideas. Again, provide facts and evidence to support your claims.
Those who falsely charge innocent parents with parental alienation then take the children and subject them to a prescribed program of alienation —
It’s a cult like tactic. Gals isolate the children from the mother (typically) and all extended family. Kids are cut off from everyone who they trust and who loves and advocates for them.
They are replaced by sadists like Robert Horwitz and Bruce freedman. Both of these animals get off on watching children cry in pain and love to see mothers tortured by the system – of which they’ve played a critical role in CT for decades.
The court appointed therapists then ever to promote the story that their mother (usually the mother) is crazy and their father is the victim. That nothing can be done— and in the words of a therapist— tell the children “it’s time to move forward without her. This is your new family unit”.
Inflicting trauma for years to come.
These people are criminals. But yes- this is how children are alienated from healthy parents.
It happens both ways but predominantly against fathers not mothers as on this case. Fathers are extracted from the onset with falsely DV charges. They are locked out the kids are locked out from them.
The courts use the word “high conflict” to justify all the court actors. The court actors then create the conflict and put interventions into place which prevent effective communication between parents.
Almost immediately, these court actors make agreements with one parent, lock the other parent out of all assets, and drain life savings while maligning innocent parents like Luigi.
They drag everything out for years, so parents will have no recourse.
To be clear- there are many families that are high conflict before even filing for divorce. These are the individuals who would not be candidates for mediation.
well as you can see here the high conflict began with false allegations by the ex wife…its called the “SILVER BULLET PRACTICE” of divorce Highly influenced coaching from the attorney. Allows the meter to run and best of financial and custody advantage in family court due to the hands tied up in criminal court.
In a small amount of cases. Not majority. You can just disagree on custody split of time and your labeled an alienator. It’s a move to engage in control.
It’s all about power and money. His wife calls and is believed and kids isolated from their father.
In Ambrose case, the kids called, family, friends and strangers called – and Ambrose was protected.
Legal custody was taken after assessments and still, the gal forced the kids back in less than 24 hours.
The gals hold all the power and all the money.
Marianne Charles is high powered, money driven and well connected.
That case was decided from the start— and they control and influence the police. It’s a racket.
Public exposure is the only way to show them for the criminals they are.
Parents like DiRubba, Riordan, and Tiberi each get punished by the courts when the fraud is reported on by the media.
As they should because they drag their innocent children into this cesspool of “journalism”
How many times will you repeat the same comment ?
As long as you continue to post misinformation.
Where’s the “misinformation”?
You are pathetic flip the script to your false narrative. The match was lit at the false allegations from the onset. That’s what starts the damage on the children you narcissist
Sounds like the attorney coached and used her pathological client… I smell money and lots of behind the scene calls and texts amongst attorneys, GAL’s and judges. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/my-side-of-the-couch/202212/borderline-personality-disorder-and-parental-alienation?amp
Actually she was all for MR DiRubba and bashed the mom. The gaslighting and DARVO is strong with this one. Again a quick read of any complaints and grievances filed would tell a vastly different story, which doesn’t add up.
Luigi’s children are all old enough to see him on their free will. They don’t want to. What does that say?
Maybe the alienation is complete.
It sounds to me like this is the exact scenario that Biren-Caverly was trying to avoid when she placed the children with Ambrose for 90 days. maybe she made a mistake and Karen wasn’t alienating, however, BC was doing her best to try to keep the children with both parents in their lives based on the behavior she saw to avoid this kind of outcome.
But then Karen escalating her hate attacks on the husband in an extremely public way only proved that alienation is exactly what Karen was up to. To any impartial observer, that is 100% what she seemed to be doing. Unlike DiRubba, Ambrose never had charges filed against him and every accusation was found to be unsubstantiated. Yet here is Karen going online trying to destroy him, organizing local in-person harassment, and making sure the kids read what she’s posting about their father. Class act.
Just imagine how different this could’ve turned out for DiRubba if he had Biren-Caverly as his custody evaluator.
Pretty shallow and self serving statement. Doesn’t seem like your lightbulb is too bright.
Educate yourself or are you another flying monkey for the ex-wife and her sleazy attorney?
Court assisted psychological child abuse children used as pawns for financial gain, and the ex-wife was just too mentally damaged & self-centered to see the damage that were in eventually ensue on the children.
Idiot statement, let’s subject you to five or six years of subliminal brainwashing by a narcissist or let’s do it to your kids and let’s see what happens. Would you be willing to take on that experiment?
The power and threat is too great. They have the mother, the gal and court appointed therapists telling the children Luigi is abusive, cruel, and has abandoned them!
The court puts in bs no-contact orders and the narrative of the gal and abusive parent is that the targeted parent doesn’t care about them, isn’t following court orders, and has abused them.
They blame it in the court acting as if they are innocent.
These kids have been traumatized. It’s worse than the actual death of a parent bc their parents are alive and love them — but are being kept away.
Torture upon our children.
You are a crazy. Go get help and bring Dr.DiRubba with you
This is cruel punishment to the children. The Eighth Amendment applies to “criminal defendants”, but not non-criminal persons. This is how judges are able to apply torture to families of the accused. This judge should be investigated on their relationships to ALL parties involved.
Thank you for saying it so clearly. That’s spot on.