If you are going through a divorce, your paramount concern may be the good relationship you have with your kids. Still, because kids usually thrive when they have relationships with both parents, you may be ready to negotiate a shared custody arrangement with your soon-to-be ex-spouse.
Parental alienation, where one parent tries to turn the children against the other, can happen at any time before, during or after divorce. If you believe you are the victim of parental alienation after your divorce, you may have to act quickly to preserve your parent-child relationships.
Evidence of parental alienation
Because parental alienation may happen over time, you may have to gather ongoing evidence of your ex-spouse’s bad behaviors. Depending on the context, the following may constitute proof of parental alienation:
- The language your ex-spouse uses to talk about you to your kids
- The actions your ex-spouse uses to exclude you from normal parental activities
- The interactions you have with your ex-spouse and your children
Keeping a journal may help you prove you are suffering from the negative effects of parental alienation. In each journal entry, be sure to describe when, where and how the alienating behaviors unfold.
Your legal rights
As a co-parent, you have the right to be free from parental alienation. In Pennsylvania, judges make custody determinations based upon what is in the best interests of the children. Parental alienation clearly is not. Consequently, you may be able to use evidence of parental alienation to modify an existing custody order.
It usually does not take long for parental alienation to take a toll on the psychological and emotional well-being of children. Ultimately, standing up for your parent-child relationships may be an effective way to protect your kids from abuse.