Divorce is tough, especially for children. But when children are caught up in their parents’ fights, things can become even more terrifying.
Parental alienation happens when a parent’s relationship with their child is strained due to the other parent’s interference. Parental alienation not only hurts the parent-child relationship in the present. Rather, the effects of parental alienation can live with the child through to adulthood.
So how should you respond to parental alienation?
If you suspect that your ex is alienating you from your child, you need to take appropriate steps to safeguard your rights and protect your child. However, proving parental alienation in court can be quite difficult.
Here are two steps that can help strengthen your parental alienation claim.
Keep a journal of the alienating behavior
It is important that you keep a record of any incident you believe amounted to alienation. These include incidents of negative remarks like exaggerating your shortcomings to the child, coaching the child to express certain feelings towards you, coaching the child to lie against you during the custody hearing or encouraging the child to show disrespect towards you. While keeping your journal, be sure to indicate the exact dates, locations and times when these alienating behaviors happened.
Take the matter to court
The worst mistake you can make if you believe your ex is creating a wedge between you and your child is to respond in kind. Do not counter a bad behavior with one of your own. Instead, talk to your legal counsel with the goal of bringing the matter to the attention of the court. Remember, the law will be on your side when you take the high road.
The court does not take claims of parental alienation lightly. If your ex is alienating you from your child, it is imperative that you act in your child’s best interest to stop the behavior.