Parental alienation is more common than most people realize, and the impact that it can have on a child is extraordinary. In fact, if your child is being manipulated by the other parent, they may experience low self-esteem, anxiety, trust issues, anger, guilt, poor school performance and behavioral issues. And that just scratches the surface of the harm that your child can experience in these situations.
Given the stakes involved, you need to do everything you can to protect your child. In most instances, this means fling a motion to modify custody or visitation in hopes of restricting the other parent’s access to your child. But regardless of what you put in your motion, you’re going to have to have evidence to back up your allegations and support your arguments as to why your requested modification is in the child’s best interests.
Gathering evidence to prove parental alienation
But how do you go about gathering the evidence needed to support your motion? Here are some actions that may help you better establish the existence of parental alienation and its impact on your child:
- Get your child into therapy: If your child isn’t receiving mental health support in some fashion, you might want to get them into therapy now. You may need a court order for this if the other parent, the child or both refuses to participate, but a therapist’s opinion can be key to your case. After all, these experts are better at analyzing the facts and your child’s responses, demeanor and actions to determine what is underlying their mental health and behavioral issues.
- Talk to witnesses: Witness accounts can be powerful in court, and you may need them to show what sorts of tactics the other parent has been implementing in an attempt to manipulate your child. These witnesses could include family members and friends, but don’t overlook the value of neighbors, school personnel and medical professionals.
- Gather social media posts: The other parent’s social media posts may be available to your child, which can warp their view of you. By gathering these posts, you may be able to show a pattern of behavior that has had a negative impact on your child and their relationship with you.
- Retain text messages and emails: Your communications with the other parent can be valuable, too. These records may show that your child repeats hostile statements made by the other parent toward you.
The more evidence you can gather, the better. Be creative and diligent, ensuring that you leave no stone unturned in developing your legal arguments. And perhaps most importantly, don’t give up. We know that it can be heart-wrenching to deal with a child who has been manipulated, but you have a good opportunity to correct the situation. You just need to be proactive and persistent.
Do you need an ally in your fight?
There’s little doubt that the other parent is going to deny all allegations of parental alienation. Therefore, you’ll need to be prepared for a battle as you move forward with your motion. Although that can be stressful to think about, you can work closely with a legal team that is ready to step into the arena and advocate on your behalf.
With a strong attorney on your side, you might be able to achieve the outcome needed to keep your child safe. If that’s what you’re hoping for out of this process, now may be the time for you to reach out to an attorney who you think is right for you.