Your ex is trying to isolate you from your children. The disparaging comments made about you manipulate your children to believe you don’t love or care for them. How do you prove your children are being manipulated? How do you prove your children are being brainwashed when many don’t believe Parental Alienation Syndrome even exists? The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-5) does not list it by name and judicial practices do not typically account for it, yet you can see and feel the difference in your child’s behavior towards you. You know it’s not all in your head. Unlike physical abuse, Parental Alienation Syndrome does not leave a bruise. You can’t call the cops on someone from alienating you from your child. Contrary to popular belief, Parental Alienation Syndrome is certainly real, and it’s affects are certainly palpable. Is it possible to prove emotional abuse? It most certainly is. As Child Custody Investigators, our main priority is evidence collection. Our goal is to help our clients prove their cases. In this article you will find real, tangible ways to collect evidence against the alienating parent, who is, in fact, inflicting real emotional abuse on your child. Our Baton Rouge Private Investigators will provide you with tips on how to prove that the emotional abuse is real, it will also provide you with resources to properly collect and preserve your evidence for court.
1. Document Disparaging Remarks
If you suspect you are a victim of Parental Alienation Syndrome, immediately document the disparaging comments your ex is making by addressing the remarks through email or text. For example: If you learn that your ex told your child, “We can’t afford a new toy because your mother/father spent the money on their new friend”, send your ex a text or email asking them what they meant by making that statement. Of course, they might lie about making the statement, but you’d be surprised at how many people unintentionally admit to making these types of statements. Also, in this case, silence may be interpreted as an admission of guilt, so even if they don’t respond, it still can benefit your case. Either way, documentation of this and other disparaging comments is crucial to building a case against your ex. Document and preserve every disparaging comment you learn about. It’s extremely important that you establish that these comments from your ex are customary and habitual- not isolated instances. The best way to preserve text messages is to use a transfer software that will allow you to transfer SMS and MMS messages from your phone to your PC via usb cable or over your wifi network. You can transfer the messages using the Droid Transfer and Transfer Companion app for Droid phones and you can use the iExplorer app to transfer messages from your iPhone. Alternatively, you can simply screenshot the text messages and email them to yourself. This method is more tedious than the aforementioned method, however, it is still effective. You should also print the messages and store them in your child custody folder for an extra measure of safe keeping and protection.
2 Record Incidents In A Journal
Record patterns of behavior in a journal. Make detailed entries that include the month, date and time of conversations and incidents. If your ex is alleging that you have no desire to see or spend time with your child, you will need to document your efforts to spend time with your child. Not only do you need to document your efforts in a journal, but you must also make your visitation requests through email and/or text message, just as you would for disparaging comments. This way, you will establish a pattern of your willingness to co-parent and your ex’s unwillingness to allow you to. When you have the opportunity to spend time with your child, take photographs of the time you spend with your child, and save receipts, tickets, or anything else that proves you value spending time with your child. Be sure to save a copy of your receipts, cards, and tickets, to your computer as well. Depending on your provider, saving an email can be simple as well. Using Outlook, the easiest way to save the emails is to select the ones you want to save, then drag them to a folder. Alternatively, simply open the message you want to save and on the File tab, click print and save it. For Gmail accounts, an email client like Thunderbird can be used to download your email. With Thunderbird, you can simply highlight all the emails, right-click them, and save them. You can also print emails to PDF format. If you’re using Gmail, the ‘Gmail Print All For Chrome’ extension lets you print multiple emails at one time. As a private investigator, physical evidence is of utmost importance. We ensure to record and keep all documents pertaining to a case.
3. Preserve Social Media Evidence
Social media posts may be used as direct or indirect evidence of Parental Alienation Syndrome. Screenshot and save any social media posts that contain disparaging comments about you from your ex. If your ex slanders your namely publicly, it’s likely he/she will slander your name in front of your children in a private setting as well. It’s also a good idea to monitor your child’s social media pages to see if they make comments that may incriminate your ex as well. The best way to preserve this type of evidence is to screenshot and save it to a folder on your desktop. You should print it and save a hard copy in a designated child custody folder as well.
4. Request an Attorney Ad Litem or Guardian Ad Litem
In most cases, a minor will not have a legal representative unless a court appoints one. Depending on where you live, an attorney Ad Litem or Guardian Ad Litem can be appointed as a representative for children to protect their interests. Essentially, the Attorney ad Litem or Guardian Ad Litem will serve as a third attorney in the case as a legal advocate in the child’s best interest. It’s important to have an attorney with the skill set and knowledge of legal procedures that go beyond those used in most other family law circumstances.
5. Request Reunification Counseling
Reunification counseling is designed to heal an estranged relationship between a parent and child. Research has shown that alienated children can go from resisting the alienated parent to displaying love and receiving love from that parent. Request reunification counseling and invite your ex. This request will show your willingness to be in your child’s life and will also show your interest in maintaining a loving, healthy relationship with your child. If your ex declines to attend the counseling, that can also be beneficial to your case. Although counselor/patient privilege may be an issue, in many circumstances, there are lawful ways to have them testify on what your child has been subjected to at the hands of your ex.
6. Depose Your Ex
What’s better than catching your ex in a lie? Catching your ex in a recorded lie that can be used against them in court. Once you have collected your evidence as instructed in this article, have your attorney depose the alienating parent. Chances are, they’ll lie about their manipulation tactics. No worries; let him lie, you’ll have a chance to turn the tables when your attorney presents him with evidence of his misconduct.
As with any custody case, if there will be any change or modification of a child custody order, the burden of proof lies with you. Don’t allow your ex to continue to manipulate your children and brainwash them to hate you. Parental Alienation Syndrome is a form of control. It is targeted and intentional. It’s up to you to be intentional and proactive about ending your ex’s cycle of manipulation and abuse. Preparation and strategy win custody cases. Using these tips in your strategy will not only help you win your custody case, but they can help you win your child’s love, trust and respect again. The ball is in your court. Remove the power and control from your alienator and level the playing field.
If you feel overwhelmed or need assistance with a case call one of our private investigators today.
Baker, A.J.L. (2007). Adult children of parental alienation syndrome: Breaking the ties that bind. New York: W.W Norton.
Garrison, Shawn. “The 8 Symptoms of Parental Alienation.” Dadsdivorce.com.
Fidler and Bala, 2010