The entire parental alienation phenomenon is counter-intuitive, as we have addressed elsewhere.
The alienating parent and alienating child appear to be closely bonded, when in reality their relationship is pathologically enmeshed. They appear to be joined together in their mutual fear/mistrust of the targeted parent, when the reality is that the child is trying to survive being held hostage to the abusive alienating parent. The targeted parent often appears unstable and often angry, when in actuality they have been severely traumatized by being falsely accused of things they never did and losing their child.
So the appearance of parental alienation is that the alienating parent and alienated child look more “together” than does the targeted parent, to whom the court looks at suspiciously. So how does one educate the court to this underlying, but hardly apparent reality? The short answer is of course education. But how?
Expert Testimony is a must. To be able to describe the less than apparent reality of what is driving the behavior, the court typically relies on the expert to paint a picture of this. This is done in a variety of ways, two of which are discussed below.
First, the court may be asked to appoint the expert to perform a full evaluation of the parties, the minor children and their collateral sources. The important factor to recall however is that the appointed expert must have the sub-specialty knowledge and experience in parental alienation.
Many forensic evaluators do not have this in their tool box. In order to persuade the court to appoint a specific expert, it must first be argued that (1) parental alienation requires a special and specific evaluative model, and that (2) any such evaluator must have specific knowledge and experience with parental alienation.
The court must also be persuaded that since parental alienation is the theory of your case, it is only proper that any such evaluator candidate must have this experience in their CV. They should ideally be published in the area and should be vetted thoroughly to confirm this experience and knowledge. Once such an evaluation is ordered by the court, the requisite data should be readily forthcoming to educate the court regarding this highly counter-intuitive phenomenon.
The second strategy for such education vis a vis expert testimony is to have the expert testify about the phenomenon of parental alienation and what it looks like in a general sense. When this is partnered with fact witness testimony that clearly describes examples of;
(1) parental alienating behavior, and (2) alienated child behavior, such hypothetical or instructional testimony can be very effective and persuasive in educating the court accordingly.
Another phenomenon – apart from expert testimony – that is critical to getting the court to see what is actually going on in the case involves the fact witnesses. Specifically, it involves primarily the alienating parent and their exposure.
Keep in mind that the alienating parent often comes across as more “together” than the falsely maligned targeted parent. However, since a key ingredient of parental alienation is falsely accusing the targeted parent, such accusations are founded on layers upon layers of lies, the architect of which is the alienating parent.
The goal here is to expose the alienating parent through rigorous cross examination where the lies can be revealed.