This speech was delivered on June 17, 2011 at the 11th annual Family Law on the Front Lines continuing legal education conference held at the University of Texas Law School in Austin, Texas. Since astronomers determined that Pluto should no longer be considered part of our family of planets, the word plutoed has come to mean to be demoted or devalued. Dr. Warshak uses the term plutoed for parents whose children reject them. In addition to children devaluing and rejecting parents, Pluto’s distance from Earth symbolizes the emotional and physical distance between the children and the parent who used to be a welcome presence in their lives.
Dr. Warshak describes how attorneys and judges can nip alienation in the bud, and what they can do to help reverse the destruction of parent-child bonds when prevention efforts fail or are too late. The speech includes the top five mistakes that attorneys make when representing plutoed parents.