How to Prove Parental Alienation
Parental alienation is when one parent behaves in a way that causes a child to alienate or distance from the other parent. A child who is the subject of the mental abuse that leads them to treat one parent in such a way is described as suffering from parental alienation syndrome. These children will often show fear, hate, rejection, and mistrust of the parent being alienated.
Unlike physical abuse, however, parental alienation is not something that is easily identifiable as it doesn’t leave behind physical scars. Because of this, it can be difficult for the target parent to build a case of this type of parental abuse. Today, we’ll look at some ways to identify if parental alienation is occurring and how to collect evidence that can prove it is happening to your child.
Warning Signs Parental Alienation Is Occurring
Over time, you may observe your child displaying certain behaviors that are indicative of prenatal alienation syndrome. These behaviors can clue you in as to whether or not the child is being subject to this type of mental abuse.
A common symptom that will occur is the relationship between you and your child may begin to weaken or become completely non-existent. This can occur for two reasons. Either the parent who is doing the alienating is physically keeping the child from the other parent, or the child has been reinforced to treat the target parent in a way that is alienating.
Older children, especially teenagers, may be able to recognize that alienation is occurring. Teenagers can often be helpful in proving parental alienation because they can give their perspective on what they feel is going on between both parents.
Younger children ages 4 to 12 may not always understand that alienation is occurring. With younger kids, symptoms of alienation can include the child making hurtful comments about the other parent or repeating statements that the parent bringing on the alienation may have said previously.
Proving Parental Alienation
Proving parental alienation can be tricky. Unlike physical abuse, there are no physical scars left behind and you can’t necessarily call law enforcement on a parent who is alienating the other parent unless there is a violation of the law taking place, such as one parent unlawfully taking a child away from the other parent.
To make the case of parental alienation, you’ll need to collect useful information that shows parental alienation taking place.
Witnesses can prove invaluable if you’re building a case of parental alienation. Witnesses can be anybody who has seen the alienation taking place or has been told by a child that their parent is behaving in a way that alienates the other parent.
For example, if a sibling in the house sees a parent being alienated from a child through a statement made by the alienating parent, they can write a statement about what they observe. An older child that tells another adult about alienating behavior that is occurring can also serve as evidence. Common witnesses can include the following:
- Relatives and Friends
- Other siblings
Documentation can also help you build a case of parental alienation. When a parent is alienating the other parent from the child, there’s often a trail of communication being left behind. This trail of communication can be in the form of texts, phone calls and voicemails, and other forms of communication in which one parent is documented telling the other that they will have limited or no access to their child.
Communication including threats that show intent to alienate a parent from a child can all be used against that parent in court. If a parent who is doing the alienating posts information on social media about the intentions of keeping the other parent away from the child, this too can be used as evidence of parental alienation.
Statements From Children
As we mentioned, children who are old enough to understand that alienation is occurring can provide great insight as far as evidence collection goes. For example, if a child keeps a journal or documents their thoughts and feelings in another manner, this can be used to prove that alienation is occurring. Communication by a child to the alienated parent, statements made through text, email, and even social media can also prove useful in evidence collection.
Seeking Legal Representation
If you feel that you are the target of parental alienation, building a case is pertinent to proving the alienation is occurring. It can be difficult and overwhelming to know what to look for when collecting evidence of parental alienation. Having a qualified and experienced lawyer on your side can help you through this process. At the Law Offices of John B. D’Alessandro, we can help you seek the representation you deserve. Contact us today to discuss any questions or concerns you have about parental alienation.