When parents share custody, there are certain rules they have to follow. They have to abide by their parenting plan, and they generally need to cooperate with one another. Family law judges always expect to see parents trying to support their children’s best interests. Unfortunately, they frequently encounter the opposite approach.
There are many parents who use their children as a weapon after a change in their relationship with the other parent. Some people will intentionally try to turn the children against their other parent and prevent the children from spending time with that other parent. Those who experience parental alienation understand how devastating it can be to lose communication and time with one’s children. These are a few of the primary ways that people document parental alienation to make a convincing case in family court.
1. They show up for parenting time and record cancellations
Often, parental alienation involves one adult keeping the children from spending time with the other. Failure to properly adhere to the parenting plan can look bad for either parent.
Unfortunately, those who get phone calls or text messages canceling visitation often hurt their own cases by failing to arrive for the custody exchanges scheduled. To technically hold the other parent accountable, it is often necessary to arrive as scheduled for the exchange of custody until then document the failure of the other party. Only after numerous shortened or canceled parenting sessions will someone typically have proof enough to convince a judge to act.
2. They rely on third parties and social media
Sometimes, teachers or childcare professionals will approach a parent and inform them of something the other parent or the child said or did.
Especially in scenarios where the alienation involves turning the children against the parent by talking negatively about them, third parties can often have very crucial information for a parent’s case. Additionally, what someone says and shares on social media can help prove that they have habitually spoken negatively about the other parent, possibly in front of the children.
3. They bring in mental health professionals
Psychologists and other mental health professionals can often help someone explain certain behaviors to the courts in a convincing and neutral manner. Those directly affected by parental alienation may struggle to explain their case calmly.
Having the supportive not just a legal professional but also a mental health professional who can affirm the behavior will harm the children can benefit those trying to protect their parental rights. Those who can convince a judge of ongoing attempts at parental alienation can possibly secure a modification or at least obtain makeup parenting time.
Sharing child custody often means becoming an advocate not just for a children’s individual needs but also for each parent’s parent-child relationship. Seeking legal guidance when one is being alienated from one’s children – or one needs to safely and legally limit contact with an abusive coparent – is crucially important to moving forward in healthy ways.