Five ways to prove parental alienation in your custody case

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2024 | Family Law |

Have you noticed sudden changes in your child’s behavior? Are they now unfairly criticizing you while using language that seems borrowed from their other parent? If you answered “yes” to these questions, then there’s a good chance that you and your child are being subjected to parental alienation. If you don’t take action to stop this manipulation, then your child can suffer extensive mental and psychological harm, and they can be robbed of their relationship with you.

So, what can you do to protect your child? While you can try to discuss the matter with your child’s other parent in an attempt to resolve the matter informally, that’s unlikely to be successful. And if those efforts do fail, then additional legal action in the form of a child custody modification will be warranted. But how do you prove parental alienation and secure the custody modification that you and your child need?

Tips for proving parental alienation in a child custody case

For the longest time, parental alienation was difficult to prove. But courts have become much more receptive to the argument, giving you a better opportunity to successfully argue your case. Before heading into your custody dispute, though, you should consider doing the following to ensure that you have the evidence necessary to competently argue your position:

  1. Keep a record: Establishing a pattern of behavior can be tremendously helpful in your case. So, write down every disparaging comment that your child makes about you, including the date, time, and circumstances. The same holds true for comments made by your child’s other parent. Retain text messages and emails, save voicemails, and jot down any concerning interactions you have with them about your time with and access to your child.
  2. Search social media: There’s a decent chance that the other parent is talking bad about you on social media in a way that’s accessible to your child. Look for these posts and capture them if you can. Doing so will show how the other parent is creating an environment that manipulates how your child feels about you.
  3. Depose the other parent: By deposing someone, you lock them into their testimony so that if they deviate from it at trial, you can call them out on their inconsistencies and destroy their credibility. This can give you a leg up on the other parent when the court has to decide who is telling the truth about alienating behavior.
  4. Secure witness testimony: While you’ll want the court to put stock in your words, it’s going to be more convincing to have other witnesses corroborate your accounts. So, be thoughtful about who can speak to alienating behaviors to which you and your child have been subjected.
  5. Seek counseling for your child: Mental health treatment can be valuable to your child in many instances, but it can be especially helpful when parental alienation is in play. Therapy can help you child better understand their own independent thoughts and feelings, and it can provide them with coping skills to deal with stressful situations. A therapist might even be able to provide insight into whether they believe parental alienation is occurring and, if so, what type of harm is being caused to your child.

Don’t let parental alienation permanently damage your child

Some people consider parental alienation as a type of child abuse. There’s certainly no doubt that if left unchecked, prolonged alienation can have a negative impact on a child. That’s why developing an aggressive and persuasive legal strategy is necessary if you want to protect your child as much as possible. So, if you’re ready to get to work building your parental alienation case, then now may be the time for you to educate yourself on the process as much as possible.