Parental alienation, the process by which one parent manipulates a child in hopes of distancing that child from his or her other parent, can be extraordinarily damaging. While it can certainly affect your relationship with your child, it can also cause significant mental harm to your kid. That’s why some experts consider parental alienation to be a form of child abuse.
Proving parental alienation
If you believe that your child is being subjected to parental alienation, then you need to take action to stop it. This may mean filing for a child custody modification, which is going to require you to present sufficient evidence to justify your position.
But how do you go about proving parental alienation? The following steps may help provide some guidance.
- Record every time your child says something negative about you, making sure that you notate when the statement was made, what was said, and the context surrounding the statement.
- Take note of how your child’s other parent responds to allegations of alienation or simply how your child has been responding to you.
- Monitor and preserve records from social media that show that you have a bond with your child as well as those that may show that your child’s other parent is engaging in manipulative behavior.
- Consider deposing your child’s other parent to lock him or her into a story that you can then later attack.
- Secure witnesses who can support your position, whether they be family members, friends, teachers, mental health professionals, a guardian ad litem, or a child custody evaluator.
- Seek an evaluation from a mental health or child custody professional.
Be prepared to fight for your child
Child custody disputes can get ugly, especially when one side tries to use the child like a pawn to get what they want. But you shouldn’t be discouraged by the disagreements that could be awaiting you. Instead, you should keep in mind that you’re fighting for your child’s best interests, which should be motivation enough to put in the work necessary to build a compelling case for custody modification.