Lessons from my Child Custody War with a Sociopath

Custody cases are often referred to as “custody battles”.  Lately when I hear this term, I have to chuckle to myself because a “battle” seems so mild and finite compared to what I have been dealing with since the night I fled my ex’s house with my newborn son.

A “battle” might be an appropriate title when the case is between two rational parents.  If you are dealing with a sociopath in a child custody case, however, you are probably experiencing what feels more like a war.  Some battles are won and some are lost, but it is never just ONE battle with a person like this.  I am blessed to be able to share my war stories in hopes to give others ammunition that I didn’t have (and maybe even gather some tips/weapons from others who have been here before me).

My story begins…

The first time I walked into my lawyers office, I probably looked like a crazy woman (and to some degree that is how I felt).  I still remember the black sweat pajamas and spit up stained shirt I was wearing that day.  These were the only clothes I owned because they had been the ones I fled Lucifer’s house wearing (Lucifer is what I am calling the psychopath – Luc for short).  My two week old son was in my arms, despair and fear were the written all over my face, and I was visibly shaking as I held out my hand to meet my new attorneys.

As I sat in their office and told my story, I felt their judgement and disbelief.  They had seen so many scorned women come through their office with false accusations and unbelievable stories.  To them, I was just another one of these women who was determined to get some sort of revenge on her ex.  It took me nearly a year to convince them that we were not dealing with a normal and healthy man.  That, in fact, we were dealing with someone who very likely had a dangerous personality disorder – a sociopath.

A little background:

Just a few short weeks after my son was born, Lucifer’s mask fell.  After he threatened to kill me, me and baby boy fled the house and never looked back.  In the weeks that followed that horrible night, I learned more about Luc than I knew about him in the whole two years we dated.  What I learned was very disturbing and, frankly, continues to scare the hell out of me.  I learned he had lied to me about everything from his name and age to how he made his money.  I also learned that two of the most important women in his life died of unnatural causes.  While a lot of terrible things seem to happen around Luc, he has yet to be convicted of any crimes.

Things I have learned from my Custody War:

  1. Family court is not about what is best for the child.  It is only about dealing with parents.  Every time I hear people talk about “father’s rights” and “two parents are better than one” I want to throw up.  Again, these might be totally justified ideas when the father is not a sociopath.  Family court is “one size fits all”.  Judges are not interested in making sure the child is safe and healthy.  They are only interested in making parents happy enough so they don’t have to deal with the case again.
  2. Sociopaths are very good at finding people who will lie for them.  This includes professionals.  Luc actually found a psychologist to take the stand for him and testify that while he was at risk for a mood disorder and “socially maladaptive”, she didn’t have any concerns about him.  She said all of this after learning that he had lied to her about previously receiving a psych exam and about what he did for a living (among other things).
  3. The courts don’t recognize psychological abuse as abuse.  After only a few months of supervised visits, the judge awarded Luc unsupervised visitation with my non verbal baby boy.  The judge stated that unless baby boy was returned with cigarette burns on his back, the threshold for abuse would not be met.  He noted that he didn’t think Luc was a good guy, however, unless Luc was arrested, he would be allowed unsupervised visits with baby boy.
  4. No matter how many mistakes a sociopath makes in family court, he will always be given the chance to try again.  On the day of our initial trial, Luc showed up by himself with nobody to testify on his behalf and not a shred of evidence as to who he was.  He believed that the mere fact that his sperm contributed to baby boy’s life was enough for him to be awarded at least joint custody.  He wanted the court to make me pay him child support so that he could continue to sit at home and play video games all day.  This behavior went on for several months.  Luc even tried to get jurisdiction changed to his state after he had disappeared from baby boy’s life for three months without even a phone call.  For a while, I felt like I was in court with Luc every other week.  These trials were sport to him and he knew that the judge would keep giving him chances.  He continued to drag out proceedings and not pay his attorneys, while I drained all of my resources trying to show the courts who his true motivation – money, power, and terror.
  5. Perjury might still be against the law, but don’t count on it being enforced.  Luc is a pathological liar.  Throughout the custody war, my lawyers were able to catch Luc in several lies.  Let me just give you an example of one of the basic and most glaring lies Luc told to the court.  About half way through the year, Luc’s age changed.  The age he testified to at the original trial was false (even though he had managed to obtain an official drivers license with that fake age).  When we were able to prove this lie through official Social Security and Department of Homeland Security records, he pretended as though he had never testified under oath to a different age.  This ridiculousness continued throughout the custody war.

In the year since I left Luc, many people have questioned how I got myself into this situation.  Here is the best answer I can come up with:

If you throw a frog into a pot of boiling water, he will jump out; however, if you put that frog in a pot of cold water and slowly bring it to a boil — before too long, you are going to have one dead frog.  (In case it’s still not clear…I am the frog and Luc is the pot of boiling water)

The sad reality is that my war with Luc is far from over.  Each day, I wake up wondering if I will end up like his older sons mother (in a grave).  I have many days when I get discouraged by our terribly ignorant justice system.  What is my silver lining, my ray of hope, and why I keep fighting?  My baby boy.  He is my guardian angel and the reason I wake up every day.  I have been through a hell worse than I could ever have imagined in the last year, but I will do it all over again and for the rest of my life if I have to in order to save my son.

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108 Comments on "Lessons from my Child Custody War with a Sociopath"

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Your story reminds me of what I’ve been going through for months. Luckily, my ex psychopath really wants nothing to do with either of us except for when it is convenient for him. I just pray on everything sacred he does not resort to trying to take me to court for joint custody later in life. I am glad I found this blog to help give me insight and strength <3.

Wow – I wish I could have read your story a while ago. I can honestly sympathize with you. I dated my son’s father for 2 years before becoming pregnant. The signs were there, but I always felt that I was the one doing something wrong and was quick to say sorry. But the hand was dealt when I told him I was pregnant. After that, your story sounds pretty much the same as mine. My son is 11 now, I have had supprt lowered to the bottom number in our state to avoid fighting. Sometimes it’s month to month, week to week and day by day. This Christmas is suppose to be my year, but I just allowed him to rearrange custody time. Now Christmas would cut into his time so he believes he can overrule court orders and decide if or when I will have my son this year. Good luck to all that deal with this frustration. And God Bless our children!

Your story brought tears to my eyes. Not because I pitty you, but because I completely understand. This site has helped me understand just what is going on in my own situation. The things you wrote about are right on! I’ve been in court all this past week ( the trial has gone on 2 years now) listening to all of his false accusations, lies, manipulation and complete lack of self awareness. His lawyer acts just like him. His obvious lack of respect for authority, including present judge, continues to blow my mind! How can a court room allow this to continue? How does such an intelligent ( my luc) person just not see how off they are? i know the answer but it still just blows my mind! ” the best interest of the child”. Ya I ove that one too! lts all smoke and mirrors. you are the only one in that room for your child, as am I. Stay true to what you know IS in your child’s best interest no matter what anyone tells you! its a long grueling exhausted discusting experience, but knowing you did everything for your child is worth it!! I always say I’d walk through hell for eternity to make sure my son was alright, safe, happy, unaffected. I stay centered on my love for my son, stick to truths and wait. The longer it goes on, the more rope he will have to hang himself. And trust me, he will! It may not be revealed when or where you want it to, so use that disappointment or frustration as a way to get stronger! These crazies can make us stronger if we let them.. The truth of all of this is that it doesn’t stop once court does. So we have a choice. 1. let them tear you down or 2.utilize every vulnerability they expose in you as an area of strength. My love for my son and truth I cling to will be my only chance in getting through this. Hearing there are others out there that clearly have experienced this unique adventure, has been a huge help to me as well! thankyou for sharing your story. you sound strong and very aware!! Stay positive:)

I am going through pretty much exactly what you are going through. My sociopath is also a drug addict and an alcoholic. Every day is exhausting. My daughter is two years old and he lives in a different state. He is now getting her in the other state for an entire week, which is in no way in her best interests (regardless of who he is, mentally and emotionally, that is not healthy for a child of that age to be separated from her primary caregiver for that long.)

I have a question for you. I read that this all started when your child was 2 weeks old. How is your child? I’m so terrified of the mental issues that all of this is going to cause her. It would be difficult for her regardless of him being who is he is, but, I’m so terrified of her just becoming an unhappy child and an unhappy adult. How has your child handled all of this?

I’m so sorry for your situation and so empathetic. This is just the hardest thing in the world.

I’m living through the same thing as you, seven years in. Check out my story on Hopefully, you’ll be more successful than I. Praying for you.

Family court is not about what is best for the child. It is only about dealing with parents. Every time I hear people talk about “father’s rights” and “two parents are better than one” I want to throw up. Again, these might be totally justified ideas when the father is not a sociopath. Family court is “one size fits all”. Judges are not interested in making sure the child is safe and healthy.

Right… So because your taste in men was so bad that you decided to reproduce with a “sociopath” judges should automatically give the kids to every woman who walks though the door? Good luck with that.

It takes two people to raise a child. If you didn’t want to have anyone else in a child’s life then you should have went to a sperm bank. You got full custody and child support, yet you still complain. If the father an unfit parent then prove it, and the courts will protect the children.

Otherwise be thankful that you have primary custody of your children, and get a nice child support check every month. Something which even the best father’s can’t obtain.

Obviously you have not read enough on this site to know all of cappuccinoqueen’s story. “Luc” ended up killing their son when he won unsupervised visitation. Please spew your hatred somewhere else.

I only recently have put a name to my husband, sociopath. How could I have missed what was so obvious? Why did putting a label to him matter? I knew he was mean, hateful, vicious, controlling and destructive, fake, only felt rage and anger. I think understanding two things that the definition of a sociopath tells us is that they lack love and will never change. That seemed to resonate with me. Now knowing what I know I shouldn’t have filed for divorce on him last year and told him, “I’ve had enough.” I should have been more shrewd and said “wouldn’t it be better if we got divorced on paper since there so many tax incentives? It will be on paper alone” and then got my divorce and fled. Well what’s done is done. We have several children together and some very young. The children would go visit him on the weekends and would come back worse and worse towards me. Life became unbearable. I also noticed my teenage daughter exhibiting what were disturbing behaviors, blank stares, wanting to make cookies with me all the while texting her friends hateful things about me. Two of my children would tell me, “Dad says we can live with him but you won’t let us”. Now my kids really don’t know their father since he is gone most of the time out of town working. For the past several years they have only seem him on average once a month. When he did see them he would shower them with gifts, promises of more gifts and weekends spent eating out, the mall, etc… A very different life than he led with me. The children were coming home so awful that I arranged for three of them to go live with him (this was no easy feat since he didn’t really want them). I had to to do it for my own sanity and that of my remaining children. I don’t hear from my children. When I do call I’m always put on speaker and I don’t dare go visit them knowing what could happen and the potential allegations, it’s too dangerous. But recently he started in on my youngest daughter threatening a custody battle. My daughter does not want to even visit him. I sent him the children who did want to live with him and now my daughter. So I decided since I can’t flee in the middle of a divorce, and I’m going to take on the dragon and learn all I can about him like he did me all those years ago. It was difficult at first to publicly expose him, against my nature of protecting my family, but I decided it was the only way. I made his vicious threatening v/m’s public. I also emailed him saying if he asked for custody I would ask the judge for a psychological evaluation which would become apart of the public record, not sealed for anyone to see. I had also to let go of everything that used to matter, my home, my kids future education and I’m going to save me and my daughter and run like hell when this is all done. The children in his care may eventually understand what he is and they may not. Either way its a fight for my very survival.

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