Lovefraud receives many e-mails and phone calls from parents who are in child custody disputes with sociopathic ex-partners. If this is you, you are desperate for help and advice.
Personally, I think these are the most tragic cases involving sociopaths. Sociopaths are incapable of loving anyone, including their children. Children, therefore, are pawns in their game, and the game is to torture you. In the worst cases, the game is also to turn your child into a Mini Me, a budding sociopath.
To make matters worse, sociopaths are capable of putting on such convincing appearances—smoothly blending partial truth with lies and accusations—that judges frequently believe them. Sociopaths also manage to find attorneys like themselves, who know every way to manipulate the legal system to create havoc for you. In short, family court battles with a sociopath are a nightmare.
A book to help you
What do you do? Child custody cases are incredibly complex. You probably have never done this before, so you don’t know what to expect. Perhaps you’ve never had any contact with the courts before. Where can you turn for help?
I recommend a book called Win Your Child Custody War: Child Custody Help Source Book—A How-To System for People Serious About the Welfare of Their Child, by Charlotte Hardwick.
The book has 650 oversized pages of information and references related to child custody disputes. It covers just about every topic that may come up in your case, including:
- Documentation and evidence
- Contact log
- Home schooling
- Neglect, abuse and violence
The book takes a no-nonsense approach to what it will take for you to prevail in your case. It uses a military analogy—you are the general of your war, you have an army to lead, and your ex is the enemy with his own army. For those in the midst of a child custody battle, the terminology probably feels appropriate.
The book is written for all people involved in child custody disputes, not just those dealing with sociopaths. In some cases, therefore, it seems to underestimate the lengths sociopaths will go to in order to win.
The chaper on Lies and Perjury, for example, starts out by stating, “Telling lies successfully is almost impossible. The truth will come out.” Those of us who have dealt with sociopaths know that this is not always the case.
Later in the chapter, however, there is an enlightening discussion of how liars—read sociopaths—recruit people to their side. It goes like this:
- Save Me—the liar gives “facts” that will invoke pity and identify the liar as the victim.
- This fosters a desire on the part of the recruit to offer support and protection.
- The liar makes obvious a small thing that the recruit can do to help.
- The liar claims facts so detailed, painful and horrendous that the recruit will blindly mistrust—even hate—anyone who opposes the liar. That would be you.
- All information about the liar’s enemy—you—is subconsciously filtered through the negative “facts” that the liar has told about you.
- Once committed to the liar’s army, the recruit’s own pride is at stake. He or she must help the liar win against the evil enemy—you.
Unfortunately, once you’re in court, many judges do not understand the implications sociopathy. They do not realize how severely a sociopathic parent can damage a child, especially when that parent presents such a respectable image in the courtroom. So sometimes it doesn’t even pay to try to convince the judge that a parent is a sociopath. To them, it’s just a pejorative label.
The only thing that really counts is documentation. Win Your Child Custody War gives detailed instructions on how you should collect and organize documentation, even providing forms for you to copy or adapt.
Documentation is one of the most critical parts of your case, and you must be meticulous in keeping it.
Worth the investment
I recommend this book for anyone who is involved in a difficult child custody dispute. The book has a few technical problems—like spelling and grammar errors–but overall, the information is extensive and detailed. At the very least, it will tell you what to expect, and that can be important in itself.
The book costs $75, but if you are serious about the welfare of your children, it’s worth the investment. To order it from Amazon.com, click on this link: