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5 ways to gather evidence to stop parental alienation

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2024 | Family Law

If you’re like most divorcing parents, a fair child custody arrangement that protects your child and your time with them is your top priority.

Hopefully you’ll be able to amicably work out a fair and favorable custody agreement with the other parent, but that may not be possible if the other parent seems to be manipulating your child so that they turn against you.

This manipulation is known as parental alienation, and it can be extremely harmful to your child and your relationship with them.

So, what do you do if you suspect that parental alienation is in play in your custody case?

Although tackling this issue might seem overwhelming, there are steps you can take to bring parental alienation to a stop, protect your child’s well-being, and salvage your relationship with them. Let’s look at how you can do that.

Tips for protecting your child from parental alienation

Dealing with parental alienation can be stressful. But here are some steps that you can take to make addressing alienation a little easier and hopefully more successful:

  1. Make a written record: The symptoms of parental alienation can be extensive. Your child might constantly, harshly, and unfairly criticize you using language that seems borrowed from their other parent, they might come to believe false information about you, or they could learn detailed information about mistakes that you made during your marriage. Be sure to write down all these interactions so that you can recall them with detail and highlight their consistency. This can be helpful when you end up in court seeking a custody modification.
  2. Retain communications: If you and your child have been subjected to parental alienation, then you’ve probably tried to talk about it with the other parent. Make sure you keep their responses, as these can be indicative of their willingness, or lack thereof, to address the issues.
  3. Scour social media: Sometimes parental alienation occurs when the other parent posts negatively about you on social media knowing that your child can see it. If you find these posts, take a screenshot so that you have additional evidence that you can use at trial.
  4. Talk to witnesses: You may not be the only one who has observed alienating behavior. If family members, friends, or school personnel have also witnessed it, then be sure to talk to them about their observations so that you can decide whether calling them to testify in your custody case will be helpful.
  5. Utilize a mental health professional: Given the extensive damage that can be caused by parental alienation, you might want to consider getting mental health treatment for your child. A therapist can help identify additional signs of alienation, give your child a new perspective on the reality around them, and teach them coping skills to deal with the stressors they’re facing in their daily lives. This can benefit your child’s overall health while also giving you an expert opinion on the parental alienation issue.

Don’t allow parental alienation to go unchecked

You need to stop parental alienation if you want to protect your child. Doing so will likely require you to seek a child custody modification, which must be supported by persuasive evidence.

So, before moving forward with your motion to modify, you should carefully consider the evidence at your disposal and what you need to do to build a compelling case.

Hopefully then you can confidently walk into your case knowing that you have the arguments needed to keep your child safe.