When one parent attempts to manipulate and disrupt their child’s relationship with their other parent, this is parental alienation. Parental alienation is serious and very real issue. But how do you prove parental alienation in court? Here’s our answer.
My ex is pitting my daughter against me by telling her that I didn’t love her when she was a child and that I had wanted a boy. My ex has also instilled fear in her that my new partner and I plan to kidnap her and that it is not safe to be with me. I have evidence of this in some emails. My daughter is now shy around me and often cries at the beginning of our parenting time. Twice in the past month she has refused to get in my car.
Can I go to court to have my ex sanctioned in some way for these mind games she’s playing with our child? How do I prove that I am being alienated as a parent?
Parental alienation is a distressing and widespread problem, especially as a side effect of high conflict divorce. The family courts are very in tune with parental alienation issues and have the ability to issue certain remedies, including ordering reunification therapy and modifying the custody order. In preparing to go to court, there are certain things that can be done to bring the parental alienation to light:
- Keep meticulous records. Note conversations with the other parent, keep printouts of text messages and emails, call logs, and any disruptions to parenting time. Also document your relationship with your child, keeping a log of your parenting time with places you go and how you spend your time together. Save receipts and take photos during your time together. Write down the names of people who were around you when you spent time with your child, in case you need witnesses. If the alienating parent is claiming that you had a negative relationship with your daughter, showing up with evidence proving otherwise is very important.
- Private interview with the judge. It is possible to request that the judge interview your daughter in private. Neither parent nor any attorneys are present for that interview and it allows the judge to converse with the child in a friendly fashion. The only issue with using this method to prove parental alienation is that the decision whether or not to interview a child is in the sole discretion of the judge. Every judge has different standards for when they will and will not interview a child.
- Work with a child custody evaluator. You can also enlist an expert to perform a forensic (aka in-depth) evaluation of your child custody situation. The expert evaluator will conduct interviews of the parents and the child and possibly conduct psychological testing on all parties involved to determine if there are any issues. The expert will then issue a written report with their findings. A hearing can then takes place where the expert testifies about their report before a judge and can be cross-examined.
What should your next step be to prove parental alienation? Think about meeting with a family law attorney to understand how to put all the pieces of this puzzle together so that you show up in court with the strongest case possible.
Are you being alienated from your kids? Get the help and answers you need by speaking with one of our family law specialists. Schedule your free attorney consultation today. Safeguard your children by calling us at 888-888-0919, or please click the button below.