If you share custody of your children with an ex-partner, you expect your former husband or wife to respect the relationship you have with your kids. After all, during his or her parenting time, your ex has the opportunity to put both positive and negative ideas into the heads of the young ones in your family.
How your ex-spouse talks about you may shape the way your children perceive you. If your kids’ co-parent does not speak nicely, your children may learn to distrust or even despise you. Therefore, you should treat parental alienation as an immediate threat to your parent-child relationship.
Gathering proof of parental misconduct
According to Psychology Today, parental alienation happens in between 11% and 15% of post-divorce families. If you suspect your ex-spouse is either intentionally or inadvertently turning your kids against you, you should try to gather as much proof as possible about the misconduct. The following may be useful:
- Voicemails and text messages from your ex
- Statements from your children
- Statements from teachers, psychologists, social workers and other professionals
- Statements from other family members
Taking action to protect yourself and your kids
Parental alienation has the potential to erode the solid relationship you enjoy with your children. Consequently, if you have evidence of parental alienation, you should consider taking action to protect both yourself and your children. Meeting with a family therapist is often a good idea. Still, you may have to seek legal recourse to stop your ex from alienating your kids.
Ultimately, if you have evidence of your former partner’s bad behaviors, a judge may rethink your existing custody arrangement.