How Do I Get My Coparent to Stop Alienating?

One of the most common concerns during or after a divorce is a coparent alienating a child against the other parent. Alienation is where one parent intentionally uses tactics to manipulate the child to fear or dislike the other parent. In California, parental alienation is not a crime, but it can be a factor in determining custody and visitation. This article will give examples of illustration, discuss legal strategies for documenting evidence to support a claim of alienation in litigation, and discuss non-legal practices for helping your children resist the harmful effects of alienation with ideas originally published here:

What are examples alienation tactics?

  • Telling a child lies about the other parent.
  • Keeping important information about the child from the other parent.
  • Ignoring custody orders.
  • Undermining the other parent’s authority.
  • Preventing contact or communication between the child and the other parent.
  • Attempts to ruin the other parent’s visitation or custody time.

What legal strategies can be used to combat parental alienation?

  • Allegations of parental alienation are usually only effective if they are supported by evidence, so the first step of a legal strategy is documentation of the tactics.
  • Parenting time – keep detailed notes of parenting time to document when the other parent tries to manipulate your child against you.
  • Witnesses – any third party observer of the other parent’s manipulations can be helpful to bolster your case.
  • Documents and pictures – text messages, emails, pictures, social media posts, or any other written or photographic evidence can be helpful in proving your case.

What techniques can I use to help my children resist the harmful effect of alienation?

  • Mirror strength – how you react will be a model for your children. If you respond to their rejection with calmness and love, this will show them that your love is unconditional and help them see through the lies that the other parent is telling.
  • Take back your power – recognize that you cannot change another person, but you are in complete control of yourself. Rather than focusing on the negative narrative that the ex is spinning, create a positive story for your children by always taking the high road. Treat your ex and the children with respect, and over time, your children will grow to understand what is really going on.
  • Take proactive action – communicate consciously, plan ahead, use email and text so that you don’t end up in verbal altercations with the other parent. Contact a family law attorney, and take the recommended steps to fight the alienation to the extent that you can through the court system. Most importantly, put in the work to be there for your children in every way. Believe and live with the mantra that “Love always wins.”

Contact an Experienced California Family Law Attorney

If you have questions about parental alienation or any other aspect of California family law, contact us today. At the Law Office of David Knecht, we have extensive experience in all aspects of family law, and can help you with divorce, modification, prenuptial agreements, or any other family law issue. Contact us today at 707-451-4502.