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By | May 20, 2010 53 Comments

The broken family court system

Many Lovefraud readers have experienced the frustration, aggravation and even terror of dealing with an abusive spouse in America’s family courts. An article in The Crime Report cites five cases of children who were allowed to have unsupervised visitations with abusive fathers, and then killed. It states:

Such tragedies are the consequences of family court procedures that allow abusive spouses to manipulate the system and leave at-risk children at the mercy of prolonged, expensive court battles over custody. These battles end all too often with a parent forced to share unsupervised custody with an abusive spouse.

The problems have been complicated by systemic flaws in the nation’s family courts that have gone unaddressed far too long.

Although the article does a good job of illustrating the systemic nature of the problem, it misses the point that this is not an issue of gender, but of sociopathy. Still, the story does start to shed light on the travesty of the family courts.

Read Failure to protect: The crisis in America’s family courts, on thecrimereport.org.

Link submitted by a Lovefraud reader.


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Dani S

This is also a problem in Australian courts as well. The court will always give the partner visation rights if they want them. The court believes it is in the best interest of the children.

There was a case recently in Australian that a father that was known to the courts to have molestered his daughters grant that the father could have over night access to his 2 daughters given that the daughters were able to share a bedroom together and have a key to lock there door.
How traumatic for 2 littles girls to be sent back there, how helpless must of their mother felt….

Although my ex was not that way inclined he was violent, unstable and threatened to kill me all the time.
When the court allowed him visatation our daughter went to him 3 times for a 2 hour period. I vomited and paced up and down until I had her back in my arms safely. The only good thing other than him giving me my beautiful child was that it was too hard and he decided he didn’t want to see her again.

My barrister made it that if he ever intended on seeing her again he would need to write to me of his intentions and if I dont agree he would have to go through the court system to gain visatation again. We are of no value to him anymore and I prey that he never wishes to see her. My barrister did the best thing by me to make it as hard as possible for him but if he wants to see her down the track it would be impossible to stop contact.

I think it just so sad when there is medical and Psychiatric reports that a partner is affecting a child and the judges still place them in the care of these people. Sickens me!

Buttons

Donna, THANK you for this article!!!!!!!!!

My feeling is that the Courts, Law Enforcement, and even the psychiatric/psychological communities fail miserably to address sociopathy on any level, especially when it comes to divorce and custody.

The article states: “Moreover, courts are now often swayed by a concept called “parental alienation syndrome” (PAS), coined by the late psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Dr. Richard A. Gardner in the 1980s to describe situations in which one parent is trying to turn the children against the parent during a divorce process.”

This is one of the cruelest and vicious tactics I that a person resorts to. It pits a child against a parent (usually, the parent victim) and forces that child to demonstrate “loyalty” and “respect” to the spath. In our family, “loyalty” was blind and “respect” translated into FEAR.

To be prepared for the apathy of the courts was beyond my ability. I couldn’t fathom that the Judge wasn’t hearing the words that were coming out of my mouth. And, my own attorney (TAKE NOTE, FOLKS!) advised against my addressing the domestic violence/abuse in our family. I have to assume that this was due to the fact that I had never “documented” the abuse or violence via calls for police assistance, or providing “evidence” by way of counselors’ recommendations.

I cannot stress this enough – DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT!!! In the event that, God forbid, “something happens,” there will be documentation that the spath intended to harm. Not that the documentation does any good at a funeral for an infant.

Elizabeth Conley

What amazes me is that so many judges think how the man treats his wife has no bearing on how he will treat his kids.

“He only abuses her, the kids will be fine.” seems a bit naive to me.

Elizabeth Conley

“a father that was known to the courts to have molested his daughters grant that the father could have over night access to his 2 daughters given that the daughters were able to share a bedroom together and have a key to lock there door.”

This seems to be in corollary with the “Kids are so resilient” theory. I cannot imagine what those girls and mother felt. It sounds surreal, like being transported into a really creepy horror film and being forced to play along with the plot.

I cannot emphasize enough that my best defense against sociopaths has been the judicious exercise of my legal rights. To be a child without the legal right to remove myself from such hazard or a parent without the legal right to protect my child is unthinkably horrible.

No wonder some women take their children and run as fast and far as they can. Children aren’t THAT resilient.

bulletproof

If a mother is afraid, hurt and damaged by her partner Psychopath, WHY would she entrust her children to his care, if even for an hour….It is mindboggling the psychological torture of that predicament..to all the women out there struggling against a system that continues to be fooled by the psycho/sociopath….fight it

Ox Drover

All I can do is weep, and try to stiffle my desire to enact “citizen justice” on these judges and attorneys with a ROPE# and a TREE

No child should suffer because a judge is an idiot!

Buttons

Elizabeth and Bulletproof, I’m as disgusted as I can be with the Family Court System – in EVERY State!

Case in point: A good friend of mine divorced the spath she was married to about 10 years ago when he began insisting upon bringing home porn and began beating up on her. She had 2 daughters by this man. She got out and the ex spath married a new victim VERY much younger. They had a baby together just last year.

This spath has had numerous complaints filed against him for picking up teenaged girls, getting them wasted, and having sex with them – all minors, now. Last year, his house was raided after a complaint of rape had been filed. In this Thing’s house, the found hundreds of hard-core porn DVD’s and video tapes under his bed. Among these videos, they found many that involved him, his victim, AND his wife! He would sexually assault these teenaged girls while his frigging WIFE videotaped the events.

They were both released on bail and have, for the past year, enjoyed their freedom. They did not have their baby removed from their home because they weren’t “registered” sex offenders – ONLY CHARGED. During this past year, my friend pleaded with the Court to allow only supervised visitation with the minor daughter and the Court’s answer to that was, “This father poses no theat to his own child.”

The case is finally going to trial, and it’s just a (*&$%(*& shame that they can’t take both of these people out behind the courthouse, beat them both senseless, and send the to a deserted island for the rest of their lives.

Jeeeeeeeeeeeez

Ox Drover

You know, Buttons, I am leaning more and more toward the ROPE JUSTICE for families and children! Sheesh! I don’t like being so angry I want to throttle someone with my bare hands, it isn’t good for my blood pressure, but what does it take for our SOCIETY TO WAKE UP!

Why do these judges who make these rulings not have someone picketing their houses with big signs? I’m ready t6o meet you there, How many signs do you think we will need?

jeannie812

I read the posts. Document, document, document. It is a good idea except I would have playing with my life. Reporting those isolated incidents to police would have put me in real danger with my spouse.

In retrospect I should have reported his pinching me leaving bruises on my butt.

I said this to a friend, and the friend replied my ex could have simply said I liked it “rough”.

I should have reported him pushing and shoving me. A friend pointed out he could have said he didn’t mean to, he tripped.

My ex walked the line.

He did things that were easily explained away.

GettingIt

I shared the article with my attorney. Guys, she suggested an ankle bracelet. Hmmm, I even checked into it. A mere $700.00 for my child to feel like he’s incarcerated and tagged and uncomfortable. Better yet, for the ex to take it off and come up with a reason why it’s lost / broken/ etc. Or, it will be so easy to have his attorney claim alienation…
bulletproof, thank you for your comments. They – sadly – resonated with me so much

Dani S

Oxy & Buttons I’m there too! how do we get judges to understand there mindless actions. They are not victims of spaths, they get to go home to there very large comfy beds and forget the world.
Victims of spaths live and breath it every moment of every day. For a child to finally feel safe from harm after being romoved and then to be sent back is insane.The fear for these children is something that would be very hard to overcome. Scares for life that could be prevented, children have to safe to emotionally grow into healthy adults.

The victims are also terribly weak when they are fighting for their children as I was when I came out of my marriage. Worst of all my first barrister believed my ex spath and felt sorry for him, enabling my ex power and control over the future of myself and our baby. He was sacked $4,000 thrown down the drain and vistation was set up for him and our daughter.

I then searched for a new barrister whom was aware of spaths and the fight continued until ex couldn’t cope and wondered off into the sunset for his next victim.

I relied on my parents and my solicitors and barristers heavily as I couldn’t manage two words without breaking down, I had no fight and was very weak but I knew I had to keep going for my childs sake. So many times I wanted to give up, he was too strong and made a joke of me at every turn but we got him in the end, it was worth the fight and if I was fighting him today it would be a completely different story but back then i was a wreck and he played up to it. He made my first barrister believe that I was the nut, too unstable to look after our daughter and as Bullet says the mothers fear should be enough, I had no doubt in my mind that he would hurt our child, he hurt me for years and he had no (real) emotional attatchment to her.

I had also seen him and tried to protect his 2 older daughter from other relationship from him, when he was in violent rages.

My point is for the people fighting against a spath they
sometimes have very little fight left in them and to be dragged through the legal system for months/years it is harder than even living with them.

Dani S

Getting it! WT!!!! a ankle braclett????? Is that the best form of protection they can come up with??? The only one that should be wearing a braclett is the spath with very large writting on it “Beware I am a Sociapath” A braclett welded on for life!….

The mind boggles really, next she might offer the idea of a key to his bedroom so your son will be fine locked away in the same house as his spath father!

silvermoon

We have to educate the judges. Its worth the effort. But, these days everybody is suspect and we must be careful not to go too far.

If a guy with enough information to be dangerous makes a bad call, somebody could get hurt. Its tough.

Roy Bean….

Ox Drover

Dear Dani, of course you are right! They beat us down and we grovel on the floor like a gut-shot dog trying to prove we are not the rabid attacker, but the blood and the foam coming out of our nostrils where they beat us makes us look rabid! Heads they win, tails we lose, and the judges could give a flying fark!

silvermoon

It concerns me to see us as a community take a rabid point of view. Every time it coomes up, I understand the experience and the emotion behind it. But, in the long run, it does not drive change like organized, concerted effort.

If we do speak from the anger that we feel because of what we suffered, we will not be regarded by the people we seek most to educate and to uphold what protects us. And so many of us have looked to the legal system for that protection.

The real is sometimes it works well and sometimes it doesn’t. How can we contribute to upping the average on the side of the victim?

It is true that most judges need more background in psychology, but the idea of amatuer psychologists who are legal professionals in authority is a little unerving. The idea of amatuer lawyers who are accurate psychologists also needs some balance.

These disordered are very good actors and if they fool us, will they not also fool others? How does it get to be made to be better so the innocent are protected and the abused given to heal and justice be rightly served?

I’d pose the question as to why the clinical profession doesn’t have more influence of their education? Where in each of these high profile cases is there no example made by the Association of Clinical Psychologists to the legal profession so that there could in fact be some cross training. Instead of the two being mutally exclusive?

Both professions take oaths. And both are sworn to us. But they are not sufficently working together so that we see and receive consistent results. The abused bear the expense and the distress and the others go home at night with full bellies. It is enough to drive furious.

But it isn’t enough only to get angry.

Time and again case history proves the legal profession knows too little and the people who need to depend on it most often unable to acquire expert assistance from the people who know enough to be accurate in their undersstanding of who and what is to be dealt with.

It ends up about money and exclusion and credibility where there ought to be a Rosetta stone.

These are VERY serious questions. The subject of dangerous and abusive personality disorders is not by ANY means to be taken lightly because the most dangerous man on the bench is the one who doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. What he does is enable the more dangerous man (or woman) who has no concience. And that gets very dangerous very fast.

If we are to have any gain from our own experiences, it must be that we advocate for wider and deeper understanding. I don’t think that there are easy answers or funding sufficient to meet the real solutions we need here today.

But I will pose the question:
if we as a community could do one thing to make a difference-
what would it be?

Its worth some articles, I think.

Dani S

lol Oxy! so very true… My ex so kindly carried his (female) barristers files for her out of the court, because he is just such a nice bloke and they both smirked at one another at how pathetic and obviously mental I was & I lost they won!

So glad to have kept going and wipped that dam smirk of that evil face of his….

And why would the judge really care, they have so many cases to get through in a day, they have seen and heard it all but not neccessarily believe & because spaths are so dam good at covering up the truth & making us feel powerless they make their decisions in the grey area just too make sure that no waring parties loose because that is what is best for the children, isn’t it?!…pfffttt!!!
It is not better for the children!! but the judges can crawl into their big comfy beds and sleep at night because they are honoring a fair system!!!! and too be fair you apparentley have to be fair to both parents! Not the child!!!!

Ox Drover

Dear Silver,

Unfortunately even the “professional” community in mental health is not in agreement of what psychopathy IS. Look at the DSM V comments etc. You can find one “expert” to testify that Joe Smoe is the best parent in the world, and another to testify he is a “psychopath”—who does the judge believe?

Plus, too many times lawyers (who then become judges) are just as disordered and arrogant as the Psychopaths themselves. Our legal system is anything but JUST. It is about who hires the best attorney and gives the best presentation.

Innocent people go to prison and guilty folks walk—OJ is a perfect example.

Plus, no one can access the “justice system” without an EXPENSIVE attorney. So how do the poor get justice or even a hearing? The COMMON SENSE of our system has been thrown out for the technicalities of how evidence is obtained.

It is frustrating and makes me grind my teeth!

Dani S

Silvermoon- well pointed out…. Ignorance is dangerous….!!!
Education is everything…and of all people they should be very well versed in all things Phycological:-)

GettingIt

“That ain’t all, folks 🙂 The very psychologists who are appointed to conduct testing are often highly narcissistic. The one experience I had, I felt like I was re-traumatized all over> I think he took pleasure in it too”. So, even those who are expert may have a skeleton or two in a closet. The problem becomes ever so evident when they recognize themselves in the people they diagnose. Then what?

silvermoon

OK, so what can WE do that WILL make a difference?

How does change need to take place?

We all know there are problems – huge ones, but if there is going tobe an answer, what will it be?

Frankly, I have had very GOOD experiences with the legal profession in Colorado and really stupid ones here in Virginia.

I think it varies. And for so many unknown good ones, there is a national case where things went terribly, terribly wrong.

And for every story about a family whose finances were torn assunder by having to keep going and going there is an exhausted victim who even if they win, the legal profession has gained more.

So how does it get shaken out? How from a grass roots effort doe things get made to change and be better because if I am going to lose sleep or grind my teeth at night, I damn well want it to be for a reason that is going to prpoduce a result better than more restless nights!

Anyone?

Dani S

Thats right Getting it! It is so important to research and find only the people that can help us, people experienced in Sociapaths and Personailty disorders.

It was the very reason we took our time to find a phychologist that was fully understanding and had knowledge of the type of person I had been with. I couldn’t afford to have anyone else mess with my head, especially in healing.

And my second Barrister was fantastic but as Oxy said it is such an expensive process as well.
We have legal aid here in Australia and I imagine you have the same sort of thing in the states and although legal aid is a free service to assist people that qualify they are usually inexperienced and it is hard enough to find someone to go into battle for you that know what they are dealing with. There is no way I would have gone in with Legal Aid we would have got slaughtered. But for many that is there only option, and mostly an unwinable option, especially when the spath has better legal represenatives.

It was only that my parents paid my legals because ofcourse after a spath there was no money only debt and I couldn’t afford it myself.

I remember a couple of years a go a child Darcey Freeman had been thrown to her death off a bridge by her father. The mother had made many complaints to (DOCS) department of children’s services about her concerns and welfare of her children… When the father was going to trial the barrister for DOCS somehow had all the families documents stolen from their unlocked car outside of court! WT

How do protect the children when we have so much up against us and people in high places just looking after themselves? and not really caring!!

Dani S

Silvermoon- wouldn’t we love to have the answer, it is so frustrating. It is so important but seems so big of a problem for us LF’s to fix. How do we educate the wider community, the legal profession??
No one really wants to know about it or believe it unless they have lived it. 🙂

silvermoon

Well, I don’t know if the answer comes without thinking about it, but, Its a thought worth the energy….

And perhaps worth some articles.

Dani S

I agree!

Buttons

What I find so disconcerting about all of this is that it seems that People In Power are just as apt to be spath as the person we’re trying to get away from.

The Judge that heard my case just kept looking at me (and, everyone else) like a reptile. Yes, I understand that Judges should remain objective, but when they are presented with clear, concise, hard evidence of a person’s heinous choices, they don’t even have the common sense to display outrage. Sometimes, you’ll see it at sentencing, but hardly will a Judge EVER display any emotion, even when hearing gruesome details of horrible events. It’s almost like they’re watching submarine races – they aren’t SEEING what’s happened.

The psych community really needs to take a good, hard look at the “current” definition of spathy and revise and redefine so that LAYMEN can understand it. Between the legalese and psychspeak, the definition is murky and the impact that these Things have on society is utterly dismissed unless it’s in reference to Ted Bundy or Susan Smith.

Sociopathy and psychopathy are equated with Jeffrey Dahmer and John Wayne Gacey and NOT this individual sitting in the courtroom with his glasses on (that he never wore any other time), in a suit, and looking oh-so-woebegone. Spathy, it seems, is reserved ONLY for the most vile criminals, and not the cashier or waitress or chiropractor or babysitter.

Change? The only way to facilitate change seems to be constant exposure and redefinition of spathy by the psych community. Using the term in description of “bad” people and explaining WHY they fit the profile, etc. is also imperative when news anchors are describing these monsters. And, going about it in a loud way. To use the worst cliche, it’s the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.

Elizabeth Conley

Buttons,

“He would sexually assault these teen aged girls while his frigging WIFE videotaped the events…
…During this past year, my friend pleaded with the Court to allow only supervised visitation with the minor daughter and the Court’s answer to that was, “This father poses no threat to his own child.”

If this man and his new wife don’t pose a hazard to his child, than who does? The extreme types of boundary violations they’ve committed make it wildly unlikely that they won’t harm his child in thousands of ways, both large and small.

Furthermore, what’s happened to our nation’s morals? Is there no one who acts out badly enough to be considered a BAD INFLUENCE any more? Have we really become a nation where “anything goes” to the extent that NO ONE can be characterized as a POOR ROLE MODEL?

Are there no limits on what is acceptable? Can people do everything and anything with impunity?

HOW LOW HAVE WE SUNK?

Buttons

Elizabeth, I agree with you 100%. If we actually watch television programming, contemporary movies, and advertising/marketing, it SCREAMS that spathy is acceptable!

I made the error of watching MTV a few months back. I remember when cable television was “newfangled” and MTV was a fun network to watch really cool music videos. Now, it’s all about wealth, rock-star-syndrome, and promoting really, REALLY risky behavior. What I saw was nauseating. Bad music with dreadful messages. Young women portraying really stupid and risky behavior and young men crowing about their sexual prowess and ability to just throw their females away like so much trash.

On a good note – the trial took place 2 weeks ago. This shows how much I watch the news! The man was found guilty on all counts, had his bail revoked, and was taken STRAIGHT to prison to await sentencing. His wife was also found guilty on all counts but was allowed to remain on bail until sentencing to finalize family business.

The sad thing is that there are 3 children involved. These kids (the youngest being only 1 year old) have to walk around with the fact that their father is in prison for being found guilty as a sexual predator. I don’t care WHAT the general public pretends, these beautiful children are going to be punished, in some way, for the sins of their father. “See her? Yeah, she’s the one whose dad raped all of those girls…”

SPATH ISLAND………we need it, we want it, it would be humane for the non-spaths!

ThePeregrine

Having experienced a sociopath’s manipulations in court, having lived through the damaging false allegations that I was the abuser, I perceive that the problem is (at least in part) legal mandates that take away much of a judge’s choice.

If a woman in my state claims that a man is a danger to her, rightly or wrongly, that man is marked for life. I’m just one of many who don’t deserve this. (This does not apply equally to accused women, by the way, thanks to the Violence Against Women Act and other misguided laws, and the federal funding attached to them.)

If judges were allowed to examine the facts at hand, I think most would come to the correct conclusions. Bad legislation and legislative mandates are to blame for many of these problems in our court system, and too often that legislation is not subsequently re-examined. In the name of expedience and “oversight,” we’ve overruled the good judgment of the good judges we have.

It’s a similar story in our schools, I might add, where teachers aren’t allowed to teach because they are tasked to do so much else. But that’s another story …

Quantum Solace

No one knows of that better than I. I lost my children due to the Monster’s manipulation of the court system. It is amazing to see how easy it is for them to manipulate an entire system by playing the victim and turning the tables on him. He was a classic case of it up until the last moment. He destroyed my life but, most importantly, he destroyed the lives of our children. Today, they are nothing because of him and neither am I. Still, 13 years later, the system is still catering to him and appeasing his ego while I am portrayed as the monster he is. This country is broken from the bottom up and it all begins with the legal system. When that fails so does everything else.

Blindsided

As I wrote in my (March, 2008) posting, the stupidity & ignorance of the court system seems to change with whatever venue your court is located. In Missouri, it is a known fact that the judges do not listen and do not care about a sick spouse (especially if it is a woman) — nor the harm they inflict on a family. I am sorry to report that, if a female violates restraining orders or court orders – NOTHING WILL HAPPEN. I repeat, if it is a woman nothing will happen. I have a ton of evidence on this subject. However, if a man violates a court order or restraining order – he will go right to jail.

So, ladies, if you are looking for justice, move to Missouri where the judges rule in favor of the woman and the children 99.9% of the time.

Unfortunately, my spath was a woman, so she was allowed to thumb her nose at the system and violate several court and restraining orders – and the judge never did a thing! So, the system is unfair to all genders.

stillinshock

So, this is my first post here. I have been reading for a long time though, but felt I had to post about the inadequacy and apathy of the family court system.

I lived with a DIAGNOSED sociopath for 5 years. While going through the divorce, I tricked him into going to our family therapist by telling him the therapist needed his views on what was wrong with me (which goes with everything I have heard about a sociopath not going to therapy because there is nothing wrong with them, but he was happy to go and tell the therapist what was wrong with me.)

While going through the divorce, my lawyer also told me not to bring up that he was a sociopath. He advised me of that awful “parental alienation” law, and so, I could not leave the family home with my daughter because that could be construed as parental alienation, I had to encourage my daughter to have a good relationship with a psychopath because that could be construed as parental alienation……and my lawyer told me the only way he could get full custody was if I was abusive, neglectful, or for parental alienation. As he could never prove the first two, he went full-out for the parental alienation theme.

We have been back in court countless times, with him crying parental alienation every time. The court has no interest at all in what I have to say. He has liberal visitation. My daughter is now close to 12, and she hates going there. She dislikes her father, because he is unable to put her first in any way, uses her as a confidant, a weapon against me, and to prove to the rest of the world that he is a great dad with a beautiful little girl. But I am afraid of going back to court, because I know he will be saying that I am the one that has brainwashed her into disliking him. (He is already saying that anyway, and he has said it so many times the judge is already agreeing somewhat….we have been in court over 20 times.)

I can so identify with the comments made on this blog about the court system and the problems, the lawyers and judges being uneducated about mental disorders, especially APD, and the havoc and trauma it causes to the victim(s).

I ended up with PTSD from my sociopath and the abusive court system, and I am worried sick about my daughter. I have her in continuous therapy to help deal with some of the damage, I allow her to vent all her feelings and thoughts with me, and I am hoping when she gets a little older, the court will take her feelings and wants into account.

duped

I go back to court on the 8th of June. This will be round two, as I’ve been divorced for 3.5 years. I want the schedule changed to reflect the unfitness of my son’s father to care for such a young and impressionable child on his own for any lengthy period of time, including overnights. I’m am careful not to divulge my belief he is a sociopath to anyone, except my attorney.

The S hasn’t physically harmed our son, that I’m aware of, but he is neglectful to the point of being dangerous. He does expose our four year old to PG-13 movies (Spiderman 1-3 and 9 *gasp*), leaves him alone in the car, sleeps with him when both he and our son are naked, has women sleep over when our son is there and doesn’t even know their name, lies in front of him and uses him to get attention from women and free meals.

We’ve both had a second round of psych evals; this one court ordered so the results will be shared with the judge. He passed his drug test, but that doesn’t mean he’s not drinking (and driving with our son in his car). It also doesn’t mean he won’t run over to his mother’s to get high the minute he thinks he won’t be tested again.

I don’t have high hopes the system will help my child. But, at least I know I’m doing everything I can to protect him. The cost is high, financially and emotionally, but what choice does a mother have when she fears for her child’s mental, emotional and physical well being?!?!?

Duped

jofary

Add me to this very sad list of failed family court horror stories.

My daughter was sexually abused by her father when she was a toddler. Naturally, nobody in authority wanted to do anything about it because it was “her word against his.” And he immediately came out swinging, accusing me of PAS, even before I really knew for sure WHO was doing it to her. He immediately began telling her he’d go to jail, she’d never see him again and jail was a terrible place to be. Naturally, she shut up and refused to talk to anybody else (other than me) about what happened to her.

Because the “authorities” refused to proceed, I had to do what I could to protect her, which meant agreeing to sell our matrimonial home at a severe loss to myself and get into tens of thousands of dollars of debt to “upgrade my education” (which I didn’t need) with the underlying motive of moving as far away as I could and reducing the visitation as much as I could.

Fast forward three years, he still has generous unsupervised access and she is still too afraid to talk to anybody other than me about what he did (which, with maturity, she now describes as “going to the bathroom” on her). But last January I overheard him coaching our daughter on the phone to NOT talk to anybody about what happened and, oh, it didn’t happen anyway! She was so confused and upset after she hung up the phone. “Why is Daddy telling me it didn’t happen when it did?”

So, I did the only thing I COULD do as a protective mother, which was deny phone access from that point forward. It’s bad enough that he takes the opportunity to brainwash her whenever she visits, but to do it ON MY OWN PHONE, IN MY OWN HOME?!!!!

Me denying him phone access is just what he wants, of course, as he builds a case against me to take custody of our children. I’m practically paving the way for him to “legitimately” claim PAS because, let’s face it, Gardner (the guy who invented this ridiculous disorder) has pinned it on WOMEN and, sadly, it’s just too easy for most people who don’t think critically to accept as being true (and that includes judges). Having the double-whammy of the SINGLE MOTHER and JILTED WIFE stereotypes, it’s like swimming against the current among sharks.

What else can I do, though? I’m so hoping that my daughter will talk to someone else about what he did to her. Soon. I’m on a lonely, isolated island here with this devastating knowledge. It’s been almost more than I can take.

Ox Drover

Dear still in shock, Welcome to Love Fraud and glad you are here., Please get and read “Legal Abuse Syndrome” it will help you make it through, it is a good guide to saving yourself as well as your child. I’m so sorry for what you are experiencing.

Dear Jofry, I am glad you are still here, but sorry you are having so many problems. ((((Hugs)))))

Duped and Blindsided, my heart goes out to you both as well! ((((Hugs)))) and prayers for us all and for our courts to wake up!

jofary

Thanks, Oxy – I may not say much in general (got three kids, there’s not much interrupted time to put two thoughts together, never mind type them!) but I really value this site and check in reguarly. It’s been instrumental in keeping me sane!

Ox Drover

Silvermoon, about his STUFF! It is legal in most places to park a car on the street. So I would find a place to park it and either drive it there or have it towed to a place legal to park it.

I would put all of his stuff INSIDE THE CAR. I would have a witness list you putting the stuff into the car and take photos to prove what you put into the car. I would mail his drivers license and other important papers to his attorney of record with a RETURN RECEIPT requested to prove it was received and a letter inside saying where the car is parked. Eventually some cops will notice the care is “abandoned” and tow it off and contact the registered owner if they can. Then if they cannot contact the owner they will eventually dispose of it.

Oh, well, toooooo bad if he did not come get it or send someone. YOU ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE AS A PUBLIC STORAGE FACILITY. If the stuff is too much or too big to go into the car then sell it and get a receipt for how much it brought and then enclose that amount of money along with the drivers license — minus expenses of sale, postage, etc. and with a bill for you of any money he owes you over and above what the sale brought.

Don’t stress out about his crap, and don’t stress out about him getting mad or you getting in trouble for not handling it right.

Hey have a great time shoveling the4 horse crap, at least most stables don’t make you

freemama

I’m so happy to have found Lovefraud! Like most victims, mine is a long and terrible story of betrayal and exploitation at the hands of a man I had the misfortune of having a child with. I got away from him when my son was 1, but he turned on the ol’ charm, made all sorts of promises to change, and I voluntarily subjected myself to 3 more years of sheer hell. Everything finally fell apart when I got injured on the job. I was unable to work, which meant an end (at least temporarily) to his meal ticket. He moved out, leaving me with a huge mortgage and trying desperately to raise my child when I was unable to even walk. He disappeared for days at a time. A month after he moved out, he decided to tell me about his secret girlfriend of the past 3 or 4 years. There were many other emotional affairs, but he actually was “in love” with this girl right under my nose… inviting her over to play house for 2 years when I was out working. He feigned guilt and remorse, but I suspect he just got wise to the fact that I would probably be getting a large settlement, and having the affair wasn’t very exciting anymore now that he lived somewhere else.

He couldn’t pretend for very long. After a couple of months of what I thought was a genuine spiritual awakening, he went right back to the lies. I finally couldn’t take it anymore. I proposed a parenting plan which would take away his precious weekends (as I had not had any without my son for many months), and he decided to get me back by calling Child Protective Services and making a malicious charge of abuse and neglect. That was the end for me. I am a devoted mother, and he did NOTHING to support the family. I had to beg him and promise to pay so that he would even go on the vacations I planned. When he was home, he would cruise the internet for babes. Usually he wasn’t home. I was not allowed to know where he was, because that would have been “controlling”. Man – I was naive!!!

After the investigation (which was unfounded, though will stay stay on file for the next 6 years), I went to the courts to file a parenting plan along with an order of protection. Though he always claimed he never had money (and in fact started the foreclosure process on our home), he managed to get a lawyer and presented 60 pages of lies and horrible charges on what an unfit mother I was. He even recruited my son’s daycare (which I found!) and his new roommates in the battle. It was outrageous – I did EVERYTHING for our child since he was born!

Because he had no problem lying in court, and it had been two years since any physical abuse, the judge denied my protective order, though she granted us mutual restraining orders. I borrowed money to get my own lawyer, and we are now going through the process of discovery to both clear my name and prove the pattern of abuse which started with his first wife. I am appalled to discover the full depth of his financial abuse of me. When I was unable to walk and not taking in any income, he claimed not to be able to pay for anything for 3 months. I went through all of my savings supporting US. Turns out he had $8000 in the bank!

He lost his lawyer a few weeks ago, so now after playing such a tyrant for so long, he is finding himself at a disadvantage. So what does he do? He starts sending me e-mails (the only way we could communicate) begging for me to show “compassion for the sake of our son”, blow off the hearing, and go back to physical communication because “Our son doesn’t understand why the two people he loves most in the world can’t communicate in a healthy manner.” UGH!

What is unfortunate is that the Family Court Services evaluator will be reading all of these e-mails. I know I have to stand my ground and refuse contact with him, but how do I convince the people who are NOT aware of sociopathy that these are just empty words? My attorney thinks it might look bad on me not to “give him another chance for the sake of the child”. I know that courts consistently favor joint custody in my state, but after having a few blessed months of reprieve from his lies and manipulation, I can’t go back. I won’t. How do you make the courts (or anyone else for that matter) understand what these people are like? He didn’t just betray my trust a few times. He did it on a daily basis for YEARS. He drained my finances, stripped me of my friends and self-esteem, obliterated my ability to trust, and made what should have been the happiest years in my life as a mother into a living hell. My therapist doesn’t even know what to do. I suspect many people (and certainly his family) think I’m “overreacting”. I just don’t know how to respond to his request, and I don’t know how to prove in a non-histrionic way that I refuse to be his victim anymore, and I will fight like hell to limit his contact with our son. A year ago I might have added, “…until he gets help”, but after reading all I have about sociopaths and understanding that he has NO remorse for the damage he caused in my life, I am not giving any more chances.

Please help me! My lawyer wants me to respond to his letter Tuesday, then she is going to remove herself from the case until I catch up with my bill. ($7k so far, and the hearing isn’t until December! Worth every penny so far, though.)

marisac

I have been involved in a custody matter for 4 years. I have been awarded custody. I am seeking supervised visits. I asked for evaluations. The court granted them and picked someone who was allowed to do them for the court. When the eval came back it was very negative for the father and found me to have self-esteem issues(imagine that) The evaluator recommended that father should not have unsupervised visits until he completed anger managment,psycho therapy and parenting classes. And that would be in the best interest of the child so that the child would not require counseling at that point. The judge threw out the court appointed evaluator’s report who is allowed to do them for our county and was picked by the court… right under the bus! And called her biased in my favor! These were her observations of ALL OF US! PARENT’S AND CHILD!When my attorney brought up the fact that father did not comply with presenting the evaluator with collateral witness , judge did not care. So, off to trial we go! We again had to fill out a 96 question paper which said it was punishable by law not to follow directions,again provide 3 collateral witness and he again failed an again no consequences for him. The judge orders HIm to have a psychological evaluation this time by a liscensed psychologist in 45 days from the date of the order. He ignored it. Couldn’t afford it. So she gets the county to pay for it cause he is “bankrupt” The evaluation comes back diagnosing him with Narcissitic Personality disorder,says he has significant psychological issues,should attend psychotherapy and says alot of what the first custody evaluator said. At time of trial both evaluators,numerous witness for me,not ONE witness for him, his attorney didn’t touch any of our witness’, or the expert witness’.Didn’t have one family member including his adult daughter to say what kind of father he is. Keep in mind that the last evaluation was only a psych eval for him NOT a custody eval. So she ,In the judges eyes could not make a descision about visitation. The judge had restricted him for 3 years that he could not remove the child from the county prior to trial.This judge was openly biased, rules applied to me but not to him. Approx. one year ago this judge handed over all of her child custody cases to another judge, she will no longer be practicing that type of law. Every case was turned over…EXCEPT MINE!! My attorneys speculation is that she really does not want another judge to have to look at what she has done in my case. She has admitted to making errors in my case however she feels they are”harmless” errors. NO ERROR IS HARMLESS WHEN YOU ARE PROTECTING A CHILD!!So she court orders him to have psychotherapy. The Psychologist says it needs to be long term. She also said that there are concerns about the childs safety becase having NPD doesnt allow father to focus on childs needs before his own.There are also issues of father as a role model. And to add insult to injury,someone mailed me a copy of a letter that his attorney sent to him telling him that after the evidence presented at trial he is very lucky to have ANY contact with his son! I can’t do anything with that info tho.And his attorney is his cousin! The judge went to school with the father, I can’t prove that they knew each other but they were there at the same time. And now if it can get any worse,after court ordering him to have psychotherapy,knowing he has SIGNIFICANT psychological issues,anger management issues….she removes his restrictions and next week he is taking my son to disney world!! This man who is Bankrupt,hasn’t worked in a year and a half,got the county to pay for his eval,now has money to go to disney! I am a nervous reck!!! Because he has left him alone in walmart and at campgrounds and playground. I am not fighting this battle to be spiteful! I need to have peace of mind that my child is safe when with him, i know how important it is to know both parents. The appeal was argued on May 18,2010 and I am sure that there will not be a divine intervention between now and next Friday. I feel very disheartened with the system. And I know in my heart of hearts if I had been the one who locked our child in the basement and turened out the lights(as a joke) or any of the issues presented at trial and not disputed by his side, tha i would not have my child. This would have a totally different out come. I welcome any advice or support and If I can do the same for anyone ,feel free to contact me

Ox Drover

Dear marisac,

I’m glad you landed here at LF but sorry you have a need to be here. Sounds like you have been throw the wringer!

Is there any way you can APPEAL over this judge’s head? There is some kind of prejudice in this case and your attorney might be able to make a case that the judge knows him from school ESPECIALLY since she turned over ALL other of this type of case! If at all possible I would do something! (((Hugs)))) and I will keep you in my prayers!

This is a great site for support and information! Again, welcome!

marisac

OxDrover,
Thank you for the warm welcome,support and prayers. I don’t even know how I found this site. But, I am glad that I did. It helps to know that you are not alone. I do have an appeal with the Superior Court of PA. It has not been ruled on yet.As it was only argued on the 18th of May. This is the second time I have gone to these measures.I am going to be paying my attorney for the rest of my life. While he who doesn’t work is going to Disney! But, I will continue to fight to protect my child no matter what it takes. I wish I could understand why the system allows Psych Evals if the judge doesn’t have specific rules as to what they consider a danger. It is unjust that they can just decide. I think it would help if there were a certain criteria that they would have to rule to protect a child from a parent if certain behaviors were founded. But, what do I know. I am not the one with a degree. But, it just seems like common sense to me. I try to take myself out of the situation, as if it were someone else’s case and I still think it is appaling what happens in these types of court cases. The freedom these judges have to make their rulings without basis or fact of law is ludicris and doesn’t support the rights of the child. Maybe these judges should have to take some psychology courses to better understand an evaluation and make better decisions.
Again, thank you for taking the time to write.

Ox Drover

Dear Marisac,

I can’t remember the guys’ name but there is a thread here about a judge in I think it was NY who was taking bribes for family court!~ He got caught and ended up spending like a FEW months in jail….after all the damage he had done to women (he was a woman hater and also took bribes) CREEP! Maybe you can get an “emergency stay” of the judge’s order some how. There are quite a few women here who have had kids with the psychopaths and so you ARE NOT ALONE on this.

Keep reading, keep learningn and keep gaining strength! I swuggest also that you go and click on “raising the at risk child” which is Dr. Liane Leedom’s blog, she has a child with her x-husband P and is interested in how to raise a child so that their father’s (or mother’s ) genes don’t wind the child up “just like daddy.” Plus she has some great information and is a great gal and very supportive. You’ll find the link on the links area of LF.

Surely to goodness you can get some sort of relief! I will keep praying for you and I know there are others who will as well. Glad you are here.

GettingIt

One question – do the judges who make wrong choices and allow perpetrators to have dangerous unsupervised visitation get punished should something happen? This may be a question for Matt, but perhaps, someone else knows.
It is all a charade. What it boils down to is how many cases there are in a docket and how soon one can work “through them”.
My attorneys, while being very supportive, milked me and continue to do so. My Ex is wooing my child, so I don’t have a leg to stand on. And – I am reduced to fear every time they are together. The fear intensifies by the time I am to pick up my child, so that when I do get him back, I am no longer able to parent for few hours. And my child frequently returns scratched up, hungry, angry and sleepy. he wants his Daddy, and acts inappropriately for few days till things settle. This roller coaster is so painful. My heart goes out to you, marisac, to you, freemama, and to you, dear Jofary. It’s like they take continued pleasure at seeing our powerlessness.

GettingIt

Oxy, I once asked my attorney about switching the judge. The attorney advised me not to even try, unless there was some obvious conflict (knowing the judge or relatives, etc.) If you wait long enough though, they all rotate. And – I am not sure if it’s legal to hold on to One case.

ErinBrock

Getting it.
Judges are immune from prosecution.

They do however get public pressure when the grievance is outrageous.
But somebody has to die to have that occur!

Attornies are very hesitant to apply for a change of judge after a case has been heard.
Ultimately it’s YOUR choice……but you run the risk of your attorney quitting.

This is the importance of why we should sit in on other cases our assigned judge is hearing….and learn all we can about our particular judge.
Ask others who have gone in front of them…..(remembering all cases are different)….
But, get all info you can from all angles and make your own descision prior to being heard in the first hearing.

Information is knowledge.

Some judges are financial/numbers judges, some are emotional judges, some are straight facts, some are known to support men, some hate this, some get annoyed at that…..
gotta know the judge in relation to YOUR case.

marisac

I have copies of my court transcripts and at one hearing my attorney asked the judge to recuse herself 8 times!She refused.These judges who abuse discretion should be punished. They are not God or above the law. They are supposed to uphold the law!!
I have been doing research for 4 years now. I have found some interesting sites. The most recent is a site that allows you to “vote” for the worst judges all across the country.You can see how many votes each judge has(one has almost 4,000),they have there own pages.You can do a survey rating the judge and leave comments. I think everyone who has had a bad Judge should visit this site.And if your judge is there VOTE! Reading the comments has helped me to realize that there are alot of BAD judges out there.There certainly are cases that are worse then mine. Your heart aches for them and your mind can’t even comprehend it.
Another site that I am hoping I won’t have to use is a site that tells you how to impeach a judge. After trying to resolve your issues thru Appeals if that fails you can petition to impeach a judge. I never knew that. And if my appeal fails I will be petioning to impeach her. In the process it also tells you to contact local news medias. It is ashame that we have to go to such measures.
I filed 2 complaints with the judicial complaint board prior to my appeal to no avail.Apparently a judge turning over her custody cases to another judge and keeping only mine was not bias. I just can’t even phathom that. So the system is messed up all the way to the top!!!
I wasn’t sure if i could post the web sites on here so if anyone would be interested let me know. there is alot of info out there. and being informed is helpfull even if it just makes you feel better hearing other’s stories. It is a strange sense of comfort.
Thank you for allowing me to vent. I wish you all well and hope that your cases take a turn for the better.

Ox Drover

Some places judges are appointed and some are ELECTED, so if your judge is ELECTED, then get you a poster on a stick and come election time get you out there and be an ACTIVE person for who ever is running against them!!!! It may not be much, but it might make you feel better.

Sometimes if you appeal they have to at least RECUSE themselves so might get you another judge and just the fact that you appealed should give them a reason to be “prejudiced” in your case and maybe might give you a reason to get another judge. Whewwwww, and sighhhhh, it is difficult when it is your kid’s life you are playing with and you can’t get ain impartial judge!

Personally I hope those judges who award visitation and the kids get kidnapped and/or killed—and BTW folks, this is NOT AS RARE AS WE WOULD LIKE TO BELIEVE, YOU CAN FIND HUNDREDS OF CASES, THOUSANDFS, ON THE INTERNET, should be disbarred and thrown, THROWN off the bench! But that’s not the way it is.

Saw where a woman found her DAUGHTER that had been kidnapped at age 2 or 3, the girl is now like 15-16, on FACEBOOK and the father was arrested. The girl did not even know that her “stepmother” was not her real mother. Now, her father is in jail on kidnap charges and her “mother” is not her “mother” and some stranger she never met has “destroyed her home” and her world.

The reporters also raised the question—was the reason the father fled with the kids because the bio-mom was abusive? Or because he was? So, we can’t tell from this distance what was going on. I know that if I had a kid and my kid’s father was abusive I THINK I WOULD TAKE THE KID AND RUN if I had to. I could’nt judge a person who did run, and I wouldn’t judge a person who didn’t run. We can’t know from the outside until more information is brought out. I assume the man will go to trial but in the meantime the girl is in a stew no matter which of her parents is the Psychopath!

marisac

It is the night before my son leaves for Disney for 10 days with P-dad. I am so nervous! Had to have my attorney file special relief today to get father to confirm where he is staying on the drive down,while there and the drive back.Because child told me they were sleeping in the car!!So, dad leaves me a message thanking me for trying to ruin our sons vacation and that i have stooped to an all time low!!This is a man who leaves is child alone at walmart,campgrounds etc at 6 years old!! This man has not worked in 1 1/2 years his unemployment is about to run out and he was at his cousins hous 2 days ago trying to sell him something saying he wanted to go to disney but didn;t have enough money!!! God help this judge if anything happens to my son!! I hope i can get through the next 10 days. I have reread the posts on here and I can’t even believe the things we and our children have to go through. Something has to change. Don’t we have the right to protect our children? Thanks for listening.

Ox Drover

Dear Marisac,

I am so so so very sorry you and your son are going through this mess. I will keep you both in my prayers, ((((((Hugs)))))) I wish I had an answer for you besides Prayer, if you can find some place to stay with someone you trust at night at least while your son is gone,, so that you are not ALONE without adult company maybe that would help you get through the nights (which were always bad for me when I was worried about anything) (((((Hugs)))) and God bless and keep you both safe!

marisac

OxDrover,
Thanks for the thoughts and prayers it means alot!! And the hug too! I just got off the phone with my ex father in law he called to tell me that my ex was there tonight asking for money. He was playing on his sympathy using the child. Asked him for $500.00. My father in law wrote him a check for $300.00 and he flipped out!!Screaming and calling my father in law names. Telling him he didn’t ask for 300 he asked for 500. And proceeded to scream and call him names in front of all the neighbors. I feel so bad for my father in law he is 82 years old and not in good health. Now I am gonna worry about him for a few days.And plus now i am really worried that he is not gonna have enough money to stay for 10 days and get back home. M yfather in law said he will not wire him anymore money. I know my ex will be able to get in the parks cause he stole my Disney hopper pass when I kicked him out. This all goes back to the eval that said he needed parenting classes to learn to make better decisions.I hope God will please help me get thru this and keep my son safe and see that he gets home alright. Thanks again you are wonderful to care.

Ox Drover

Dear Marisac,

I also feel for your x-FIL as well, bless his heart! I know the pain of having a P adult child. WEll, maybe he won’t stay the entire 10 days and will come back early! (((hugs))))) and will continue the prayers!

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