There’s no doubt that parental alienation is harmful to children. And countless children across the country are subjected to this abusive behavior on a daily basis. Perhaps the most tragic part of this reality is that most parents who are the target of alienation feel powerless to do anything. As a result, they take a backseat in their child custody case. This only strengthens the alienation and increases the harm to the child. You certainly don’t want that to happen to your kid.
But what can you do if you suspect that parental alienation is occurring?
Although you might be able to talk to your child’s other parent to bring the behavior to a stop, taking this route often just leads to denials and arguments. Therefore, if you want real relief, you’re probably going to have to take your case to court by seeking a motion to modify custody.
When you file one of these motions, the burden is on you to prove that the modification that you seek is in the child’s best interests. That can be difficult to do when your child’s own words are being used against you. But there may be steps that you can take in your case to help build your argument and persuade the judge that parental alienation is occurring. Let’s look at some of them here:
- Generate documentation for every conversation with the other parent: Regardless of how you communicate with your child’s other parent, try to make sure that there’s a written record of it. This may mean restricting your communications to email and text messages, or it may mean taking detailed notes after or during in-person and phone conversations. Just make sure that you’re being as detailed as possible so that you can clearly convey how the other parent treats you and responds to allegations of alienating behavior.
- Keep a journal of your interactions with your child: You will also want to show how the alienation is affecting your child. By keeping a journal, you can show the judge how you’re being disparaged and how your child’s behavior changes after contact with the other parent. It might also highlight how you and your child still have a bond as well as the strength of your parenting abilities.
- Retain relevant social media posts: Most people overshare on social media, and your child’s other parent probably isn’t any different. These posts may demonstrate how demeaning toward you the other parent is and how your child has access to those posts. You can also monitor your child’s social media posts to see if it appears that the other parent is controlling it and making disparaging posts about you. If you’ve been blocked from viewing profile pages, you might want to consider asking a friend or family member for help.
- Identify key witnesses: Witness testimony can be key for demonstrating alienating behavior and your appropriateness as a parent. Witnesses that may be helpful to your case include other family members, friends, teachers, caregivers, therapists, medical professionals, and even a child custody evaluator. Make sure that you’re carefully considering how these professionals can support your position before calling them to testify on your behalf.
Don’t let your child suffer for another minute longer
Parental alienation hurts children. Don’t let your child be hurt any longer. Take the steps necessary to protect their well-being and your relationship with them. If you want to make sure that you’re aggressively advocating for your position, you might want to consider reaching out to an experienced parental alienation attorney for assistance.