Having your relationship with your child damaged by an angry, abusive ex can be extraordinarily painful. To protect the relationship and begin repairing this damage, you may need to prove the other parent of your child engaged in abusive behaviours leading to parental alienation.
This can be difficult, but it is not impossible.
What might be evidence?
If you believe your ex is turning your child against you, or you are worried they might, collecting evidence sooner rather than later can be vital.
When collecting evidence of parental alienation, much of the work will involve proving a positive relationship once existed and that a child now has an unreasonable hatred or rejection of the alienated parent and all things associated with that parent. Some things you might want to record or collect includes:
- Statements from teachers, coaches or psychologists with knowledge of your child’s behaviours and attitudes
- Voicemails, emails and other messages from your ex or your child
- Social media comments or activities by your ex and your child
- Testimony from other children or adults in the home who may have witnessed the manipulation
- Photographs and videos showing your relationship with your child prior to your ex’s efforts
This information can illustrate to the courts that you and your child previously had a positive relationship, but the other parent damaged it with manipulation, lies and coercion.
Unfortunately, it can be challenging to collect concrete evidence of parental alienation. After all, it doesn’t leave physical scars or injuries, and it typically occurs behind closed doors. Further, part of the mistreatment involves manipulating the way a child thinks, which is not something that you can photograph or easily video.
While this can be an extraordinarily complicated task for rejected parents, there is help. Psychologists, counselors and legal professionals familiar with parental alienation can provide the information and guidance needed to secure the right kind of intervention, depending upon all the circumstances.
Considering how high the stakes are for parents affected by parental alienation, it is crucial to follow up on your suspicions, secure legal protections and take action immediately if your ex is attempting to turn your child away from you. And having evidence on your side can be a tremendous advantage.
To start to learn about Parental Alienation, I recommend Dr. Richard Warshak’s book, “Divorce Poison”. It’s a ‘must read’, especially for those who are new to the topic.