Parental alienation, a form of psychological child abuse, happens when one parent estranges the children from the other. This type of conduct can happen in many different ways, but the result is usually damage to the alienated parent’s relationship with the kids. The children are also likely to suffer emotionally.
If you suspect your children’s co-parent is trying to turn your kids against you, you may need to ask a judge to revisit your existing custody order or time-sharing arrangement. Documenting suspected parental alienation is likely to be critical.
Write a journal
Your first-hand account of your observations may be useful to establish a pattern or practice of alienating behavior. Consequently, you may want to keep a contemporaneous journal of your ex-spouse’s conduct.
You, your ex-spouse and your children may be eyewitnesses to alienating actions. If your kids and your ex-spouse are not willing to cooperate, you may need to obtain the accounts of other witnesses. These may include the following:
- Uncles, aunts and cousins
- Teachers, coaches, nannies and babysitters
- Spiritual advisers
Review your children’s correspondence
Your ex-spouse’s words may reveal parental alienation, so you should save text messages, e-mails and voicemails. Likewise, you may want to see what your children are writing about you in texts to their friends or on social media platforms. If your kids keep journals, their diaries may also have evidence of alienation.
Ultimately, because proof of parental alienation may be virtually anywhere, it is probably advisable to keep all documentation you uncover from any source that demonstrates your former’s spouse’s actions.