Have You Been a Victim of False Allegations of Parental Alienation Syndrome [PAS] Allegations’ or Do You Think Your Ex is Trying to Set You Up?
Non-resident parents often make allegations in court that the primary carer has not facilitated their relationship with the child. In fact many of the Father’s Rights Groups give step by step instructions on how to prove this in court. Many of our members have been affected by these false allegations and in the worse cases have had their children taken from them because of these lies. Often these allegations are made down the track in court and the primary carer is caught off guard with little evidence to prove their case.
The Family Law Act places a positive obligation on the primary care-giver to facilitate a relationship between the child and the non-resident parent. Increasingly the PAS argument has been presented to Courts by non-resident parents in order to gain custody of a child. Often the non-resident parent had never been involved in the child’s life and had never had a ‘meaningful relationship’ with the child, but by claiming PAS this obviates their culpability for being a ‘deadbeat’ and the primary caregiver is on the back foot having to show evidence that they have not alienated the child. The aim of this paper is to set out steps that you can take to ensure you have the necessary proof in court that you have not been alienating the child from the non-resident parent.
You need to keep records to show that you have fulfilled this positive obligation when your matter gets to court. There are a number of ways you can prove this in court:
a) All Communication Via Email
Ensure all communication about access and welfare of the child is conducted via email (and keep a copy). Even if your ex calls you always send a follow up email outlining the things you discussed and agreed upon. That way you have a copy to tender to the court.
b) Phone calls Initiated by the Ex
Always send a follow up email outlining what was discussed and agreed upon. It doesn’t matter if they don’t respond at least you have a record on what was verbally agreed to and remember to state as such i.e. I refer to our telephone conversation today and just wanted to outline what was agreed�then list what was agreed.
c) Keep a Divorce Journal
Write in it all communications you have with the ex, times for meetings, times they didn’t turn up, any verbal abuse, failure to pay maintenance etc. If you are in an abusive relationship keeping this journal prior to leaving can also help. Remember courts want facts so write down dates, times, names and any conversations held. If your ex has addiction problems start writing down all the times they used drugs/alcohol and their behaviours.
d) Never be Abusive or Threatening to Your Ex
I know you wouldn’t do it but yes sometimes they can still push our buttons, especially after they forget child support, or call you names or yet again miss a child�s birthday. Just breath, call a friend and wait 24 hours before sending anything or better yet have a friend vet everything before you send it. Emails sent in the heat of the moment have a way of turning up in court proceedings 12 months down the track.
e) Abusive or Threatening Behaviour by Your Ex
Is your ex abusive or threatening in person or over the phone? This is a common complaint and unfortunately this is often done in private with no third party witnesses and hard to prove. If your ex is abusive in person start taking a third party with you to any contact meetings. Make sure this person has good credentials and will be willing to write an affidavit for you to tender to the court should the need arise. Often the abuse will cease if a third party is present but if not at least you have a witness. If the abuse is over the phone this is much harder to prove. There is technology available now to record mobile phone conversations. Although recording of conversations is illegal if the other party is unaware of the recording there is an exception where threats are being made to your safety or your child’s safety and you are then allowed to record such conversations without prior knowledge of the other party.
f) Failure to turn up to meetings/access
Again start taking a friend with you so that you have a third party witness regarding failure to attend. Alternatively, invest in a little video camera that has date and time on it and go to the meeting place and record the area and the time and the fact your ex was not there.
g) Ex Claiming you Wont Let them See the Child
If your ex is making untrue allegations that you won’t let them see the child start having a third party present when they arrive for a time spent session. Alternatively, invest in a camera with date and time and take photos every time they arrive in order to have evidence that they have seen the child.
If you have any other ideas please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add it to the list. We want to help you keep yourself and your children safe.