Custody battles can bring out the worst in otherwise decent parents. While your ex-spouse may be bitter toward you, he or she should respect the relationship you have with your kids. If your former husband or wife actively tries to destroy that relationship, he or she may be engaging in parental alienation.
Parental alienation is bad for every member of your family. It may also affect the outcome of your custody case. Still, before asking a judge to intervene, you probably want to gain as much evidence as possible. Documenting suspected parental alienation does not have to be difficult.
Maintain a journal
While you may know your ex-spouse is sabotaging your parent-child relationships, you also may have trouble recalling specific incidences. Therefore, when you notice bad behaviors, you immediately should jot them down in a journal. Be sure always to record the time, date and description of the alienating behaviors.
Talk to witnesses
If your ex-spouse is manipulating your kids, you are probably not the only one who sees it. Witnesses can be extremely valuable in proving parental alienation, so you may want to obtain their names and contact information.
Talking to the following witnesses may be helpful:
- Your children’s teachers
- Your kids
- Custody evaluators
Keep the writings
Your ex-husband or -wife may send text messages, e-mails or other writings to your children. These writings may encourage your kids to distrust, dislike or even despise you. Your former spouse also may post alienating messages on social media. By keeping a copy of written communications, you have direct evidence to present to a judge.
Ultimately, by preparing yourself to fight back against parental alienation, you can likely prevent your ex-spouse from causing long-term harm to you and your kids.