After going through a divorce, you likely want to focus on raising your kids. Still, if your former partner does not think highly of you, he or she may attempt to interfere with the relationship you have with your children. Unfortunately, parental alienation can have long-term consequences for both you and your children.
Parental alienation occurs when one parent tries to harm a child’s relationship with his or her other parent. While some instances of alienation are easy to identify, others take time to develop. As such, you may need to carefully document suspected occurrences. The following three types of communication with your former spouse and children may be invaluable:
1. Text messages
If your ex-spouse is attempting to turn your kids against you, he or she may have sent you angry, irrational or abusive text messages. These may be useful in proving parental alienation. Your text exchanges with your kids may also provide important details. Furthermore, if you question your former partner about the issue, his or her text responses may help you document alienation.
2. Social media posts
Individuals are not always discreet or kind on social media. If your children’s co-parent is trying to engage in parental alienation, he or she may deride you on social media. Printing copies of online rantings may help prove alienation. Like with text messages, the same is true for social media posts from your children. If your young one uses similar language to what she or he may have heard from your ex-spouse, parental alienation may be to blame.
3. Written communication
Your child may keep a journal that includes belittling statements or critical comments about you. He or she may also include estrangement language in schoolwork. While you may not want to invade your child’s privacy, written communication can be extraordinarily valuable in documenting potential parental alienation.
You do not have to put up with parental alienation. You may, however, have to act quickly both to protect your parent-child relationship and assert your legal rights. Collecting relevant documentation is likely a good first step.