In many of these situations, the parent to a custody case might allege that the children do not like them and do not want to be around them. When they are around the kids, they might purport that the other parent has poisoned the minds of the children somehow.
There is no question that this can happen. Unfortunately, there are certain situations where the minds of the children can be poisoned over time about the other parent.
Parental alienation oftentimes takes quite a bit of time. It does not happen quickly. But over time, the one parent might and say do things to the children that cause the children not to like the parent to an extreme degree.
Having said that, it is still not something that takes place often. It really takes a lot of comments, statements and actions to take place for the children to truly be alienated from the other parent.
This should not be confused with realistic estrangement where the actions of the parent might be so severe that they causes the children to be estranged from them. In some cases, it might be hard to tell out of the gates whether there is parental alienation or realistic estrangement taking place.
In term of how to prove parental alienation where it is alleged, it often requires a custody evaluation
During a full custody evaluation, a psychologist might be able to get enough information to render an opinion about parental alienation.
Getting enough information for a custody evaluation often requires examining school and medical records. It often requires interviews with the children, the parties to the custody case and other individuals with relevant information. Additionally, it often requires psychological testing and perhaps a review of the psychological and/or psychiatric records of the parties and/or the children.
Many individuals may believe that a judge can find parental alienation without an expert witness (usually a psychologist) performing a custody evaluation. But, usually, that is not the case and expert opinion is necessary to find parental alienation.