If you share custody of your children with your former spouse, you expect your ex to respect the good relationship you have with your kids. Sadly, though, your ex-husband or -wife probably has countless opportunities to undermine or even sabotage that relationship.
According to Psychology Today, parental alienation is one type of emotional child abuse. This bad parenting behavior happens when your ex deliberately or even unintentionally turns your kids against you. Fortunately, judges in California usually do not look fondly on parental alienation.
Documenting parental alienation
Because parental alienation can come in many different forms, it can be difficult to distinguish between it and innocent parenting missteps. Still, if your ex regularly engages in alienating behaviors, you probably need to take action. Documenting parental alienation may give you the evidence you need to ask a judge to intervene.
The following types of evidence are likely to be valuable:
- Text messages and voice mails from your ex-spouse
- Statements from your children
- Statements from others who witnessed parental alienation
- Reports from child psychologists or counselors
- Reports from your children’s teachers
Asking for judicial intervention
Parental alienation is apt to cause long-term psychological harm for both you and your kids. This harm may happen quicker than you expect. Therefore, to protect both yourself and your children, it may be necessary to ask a judge to review your existing custody order. If parental alienation is pervasive, you may even be able to pursue sole custody.
Ultimately, if you suspect your ex-spouse may be alienating your kids, you should explore all possible options for stopping his or her abuse.