10 tactics for child custody battles with sociopaths

Last week Dr. Liane Leedom wrote about the tragic case Dr. Amy Castillo, whose children were murdered by their psychopathic father after several judges issued rulings that failed to protect them. I hope this terrible and extreme case will be a wake-up call for family courts.

Lovefraud frequently receives e-mail from men and women involved in child custody disputes with sociopaths, who hopefully, are not murderers. Here is one of them:

I am involved in a custody case with a sociopath, however, my case is being fought in Europe where I recently relocated to (I am American, he is European). After being the sole caregiver of my children for five years, I had no choice but to leave them with their father and return to the States. When we separated he took their passports and left the country for a year. It was NOT possible to obtain new passports for children without BOTH parents’ signatures.

By the end of that year my financial situation was desperate and I had no choice. I came back to the States, got myself back on my feet and recently I started my own company as a Virtual Assistant, allowing me to work anywhere in the world. While in the States I came back to Europe every six to eight weeks to visit my children. Well one month ago, I relocated back to Europe to live and continue my fight for custody of my children.

The court case had already been ongoing since January and in typical sociopath style he has lied and forged documents. Even so, my ex was recently given sole custody (temporarily while custody is decided) and that I must pay him 900 euros (around $1,300 USD a month!). As if that could not be bad enough, he sends me on a regular basis (the most recent being today) faxes full of lies and accusations that he then turns around and uses as evidence in his court case!!! Furthermore, I do NOT have 900 euros a month to give him. I just relocated and started my own business and this is a real slap in the face with all of the financial damage he has done to me as well as my credit in the U.S.

I have fired my attorneys and hired the best Custody/Family attorney where I live. He has been in practice for 30 years and not lost a case! Also he is known to be a very strong and tough attorney. I wish I would have had him in the beginning. So with this I feel confidence.

The reason I am writing is because although I have a very positive outlook and feel that I am a strong person, as I know that most of you can agree, it is very difficult dealing with a sociopath. When I receive these horrible faxes my stomach just drops and it can make me feel very anxious for hours after. So now I have stopped reading them at all. I do not know what I am looking for by sending this email. I think I just need the support of knowing there are others out there going through the same things as me and that this is manageable and that I will make it through. I would greatly appreciate hearing what others have done in a situation like this. Thank you.

Like most parents fighting a custody battle with a sociopath, this woman faces a difficult times. Below are some general suggestions about child custody and sociopaths.

Get him or her to walk away

If your ex is a sociopath, at best, he or she will be a lousy parent. At worst, he or she will intentionally try to damage your children. Therefore, if at all possible, it may be best to cut the sociopath out of your children’s lives.

You may want to consider offering the sociopath an incentive to walk away. Tell the sociopath to give up parental rights, and he or she won’t have to pay any child support. You may feel that you need the child support payments, but chances are that you’ll never get the money, or it will always be a struggle to get it. The money isn’t worth having the predator in your family’s life. Figure out a way to support your children without it.

Sometimes this works—there are sociopaths who care more about money than kids. But many times it doesn’t, because the sociopath considers children to be possessions. Or, the sociopath just wants to win the battle with you, and destroy you in the process. In those cases, you’ll end up in court.

Tactics in custody battles

I am forever grateful that I never had children with my sociopathic ex-husband. I avoided the most tragic of circumstances involving these predators—a child custody battle. Therefore, the suggestions I make below come from my research and what Lovefraud readers have told me.

If you’re fighting a custody battle with a sociopath, here are some tactics to follow:

1. Document, document, document.
Keep a journal of everything that happens. Often, the craziness is so intense that you don’t want to remember what happens. Your journal will be important when you need to tell a cohesive story of what has been going on with the sociopath, especially if you need to tell it long after events have transpired. Save every scrap of paper, every e-mail, every fax, every receipt. Develop a way of organizing the information, whether chronological, or by topic. Keep copies in a safe place.

2. Have witnesses
It is best not to deal with the sociopath alone; every interaction then becomes he said/she said. Have a trusted friend or relative present during child exchanges or other interactions as much as you can. You may even want to consider tape recording and videotaping some of what goes on.

3. Get your own information
Do not allow the sociopathic parent to control information about your children. Make sure you get information directly from schools, doctors and others.

4. Hire an aggressive, competent attorney
Child custody cases with sociopaths are not normal cases. The sociopath will not play by the rules. Your attorney must understand this. The sociopath will lie in court, although his or her performance will appear heartfelt, like he or she is “just concerned with the welfare of the children.” The sociopath will make outrageous accusations. The sociopath is also likely to retain an attorney who is also sociopathic. Therefore, your attorney must be up for the challenge.

5. Do not allow lies to become part of the court record
Sociopaths lie. Sociopaths lie convincingly. You cannot allow unchallenged lies to become part of the court records. Once they are, they take on the aura of truth, and put you in a very bad position. Some lies, like accusations of child abuse, may haunt you forever.

6. Be cautious in stating that your ex is, in fact, a sociopath
Unfortunately, many judges really do not understand what this means to the welfare of a child. Like the general public, many judges equate “sociopath” with “serial killer,” and may consequently believe that you are overreacting. So it may not be in your best interest to prove that he or she is a sociopath. Focus on proving the behavior.

7. Stay calm in court
You must present a calm, professional image when you go to court, even as the sociopath lies. Do not allow the sociopath to make you emotional. The sociopath will accuse you of being unstable, and you will prove it by your behavior in court. Keep your emotions in check, at least in front of the judge.

8. Make sure court orders are explicit
Insist on detailed court orders. The order should not say, “parent has visitation every other weekend.” It should specify exactly which weekends, starting at what times, returning at what times, who is responsible for transporting children, who is responsible for bathing and feeding them—everything must be spelled out in detail. If there is any ambiguity, the sociopath will exploit it.

9. Make the sociopath abide by court orders
If the sociopath fails to honor the orders, do not cut him or her any slack. Record any violation. Call the police if necessary. Continue to document everything that happens, because you may need to go to court again. If you ever decide that you need to cut the sociopath out of the child’s life, you’ll need evidence to do it.

10. Take care of yourself
You will need all your resources to deal with the sociopath. Therefore, make healthy decisions in your own life. Eat right, avoid drugs and alcohol, get enough sleep, exercise and develop a support network. In order to care for your children, you must care for yourself.

Post your suggestions

I previously reviewed the book, Win Your Child Custody War, on the Lovefraud Blog. This book is full of information that may help you, from how to gather documentation to how to hire an attorney and private investigator.

If Lovefraud readers have any more suggestions that may be helpful to others involved in custody battles with sociopaths, please post it in comments below.

764 Comments on "10 tactics for child custody battles with sociopaths"

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  1. KarmaChameleon says:

    Also, having your daughter’s dad examined by a psychologist may backfire. Not every evaluator is skilled in recognizing spaths. Our evaluator recognized my son’s father is abusive, and that he does not accept our son, but he INCREASED visitation so they could ‘work on their relationship’. A court ordered therapist was put into place, and she does not know how to deal with my spath ex either, so the mental health community has done nothing but harm in our case. If your ex is put through evaluations, chances are you and your daughter will have to go through evaluations as well, and it is not a pleasant experience.

    Some people get lucky, you just never know if you will get a truly qualified psychologist, so if you can just remove your daughter without having her dragged through the evaluation process, that could save everyone a lot of grief. Best wishes. :)

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    • NoMoreWool says:

      In comparison to Karma, I think I dodged a bullet. Our court-ordered evaluations just said the sociopath tried to manipulate the tests therefore the results were suspect and the written analysis basically said the sociopath will lie to get what they want. I was lucky in that the judge recognized the manipulation occurring between the sociopath and the children and therefore discounts what the children have been coached to say. On the flip side, the whole argument is now reduced to a he said/she said type of situation and it is very difficult to get the visitation with the sociopath reduced in the absence of third party/verifiable facts.

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      • charisosmom says:

        The he said/she said thing is the most frustrating, because you KNOW what you’re saying is true and what he’s saying is a lie, and you can’t get anyone to believe you. I hate having my words only carry as much weight as his.

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    • webixer says:

      i dont say it is easy but you really may preffer to tone down on your socialpath. The reason is many children cannot understand what all the wars and arguments are with their spath dad (or mom).
      So is it really necessary to do those “at police station exchanges?”. Most socialpaths are after money. Just make it impossible to get.
      In these conflicts play the game. Try to secure your child in the raging madness.
      I bet my child would be surprised if she found out me and mom are in an incredible tag of war. The psycho mom had found a perfect prey to be dependent on financially. Not so fast psycho mum.

      Its that in the game, i have managed to secure the child’s welfare and needs. For me, no bad deed on the child goes unpunished. I have my own ways. I have my game in place. I know mum can go hungry and sleep outside in the cold. But in that cold hungry outside my child will have enough to eat and a warm comfortable place to sleep on.

      Its a game psycho mum brought on.
      One that i have learnt to play.

      So you wont be seeing any video of me and mum arguing. How can it exist. The psycho is not even allowed to call my phone!

      As for exchange points they are nowhere. I see child at school.
      And pick child from school for short holidays and return back child to school. Done my best to ensure the school is a safe emotionally healthy place. All expenses met. And a healthy meal.
      Just in case psycho mum is dying of hunger at home.

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      • charisosmom says:

        I’m hoping my daughter doesn’t know we’re fighting. If it were up to me, she wouldn’t. But when they call from their house and he yells at me while she’s there and in front of him, there’s not a lot I can do. I don’t instigate anything, I don’t tell her anything negative about him or his wife. But I can’t control what happens when she’s with him. She lives with me, so I know she’s provided for. And he picks her up from me which is fine, because words are never exchanged. He doesn’t have enough guts to do it face to face.

        How do you deal with having your kids with her without her being allowed to call you? How do you co-parent without speaking to the other parent? What if something happened, one of your kids got sick? She can’t call and tell you? I’m not trying to sound like a smart ass, I’m genuinely asking.

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        • webixer says:

          believe me i do not judge you at all. Its a struggle for everyone trying to find balance in the madness.
          I could go to court (again) if need be but i would do it as a last resort.

          Like i said mostly its about the money with the psychopaths. So i decided we do bills. I pay the ones i know she can abuse the child in regard to and she pays the ones i know she cannot run away from.

          So anything school and clothings i do. She had thought she will use the child for me to rent her house. No way.
          Its up to her to rent her own house according to her capacity- or sleep in the gutter, which i am okay with. I had tried buying food to make her life easier only to realise she is using the food to feed other men, whom now she would ask for rent. So no more food from me psycho. She now has to work to eat.

          Her calls were abusive. Wont receive them any more. She can sms. I can pay for hospital and would.

          When she threw away school uniform and she smsed me about medical bill. I asked her to pay half the medical expense.

          Reason being i was to replace the lost uniform because child cannot go to school without uniform.

          Didnt care about the medical expense.

          That because i know she cannot allow the child to die. It is only in the child she has a hope of controlling me and possibly the child for her future.

          Plus i now know this woman. She would move heaven and earth to contact me if there is a serious threat to the child.

          Its her bs that she know is headed nowhere. Its all a game. And i will play i till the child is old enough to do direct contact. Then i will dump her for good.

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    • charisosmom says:

      My husband and I met with an attorney yesterday. He seems to think we have a strong case for having our residency restriction lifted. No family here, better opportunities where my husband’s family lives, and her dad not being consistent, etc. He didn’t feel as strongly about the court ordered eval and counseling. He says unless I can prove abuse it’s not likely. How do you prove this? You can’t. And of course when I say the word ‘sociopath,’ even someone who is hoping you’ll hire them at $265 an hour gets a look on their face like, really? So I think our plan is to go for lifting the residency restriction and move out of state, and if we can do that, they really will drift apart because he won’t go through all that effort. Plus we’ll offer him no child support, and considering he’s facing jail time already, I’m hopeful he’ll use that as enough of a win for him to let it go.

      I’m still taking my daughter to therapy, though. Regardless of anything else.

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      • KarmaChameleon says:


        That sounds great, if you can move away and avoid the drama, best outcome!! Evaluations are very dicey for sure.

        As far as contacting your daughter while with dad, all that should be defined in the parenting plan, if not, you are left on your own to do the best you can. I am only allowed to contact my son for 15 minutes between the hours of 6 and 8, and same for dad when my son is with me. However, the child can contact either parent whenever he wants, but either parent is not allowed to contact him back, we have to contact each other, not the child. It is ridiculous. We have lots of issues surrounding this since the spath is emotionally abusive to my son – my son ends up hiding in his room, texting me in secret, or sneaking a phone call.

        I had to contact my attorney again this morning, since the spath has now decided that he won’t be picking my son up from school as the parenting plan dictates, he’ll pick him up later, and I only heard about this due to spath copying me on an email he sent to my son last night’reminding’ him that he wouldn’t be picked up from school. My son has no recollection of his dad ever telling him that, and regardless, scheduling changes are to be discussed between parents, not between parent and child with the child being messenger. I’m so sick of the spath I can’t even stand it. Of course this has been going on for years and the therapist is fully aware of it. I have found a more aggressive attorney than the one who mishandled the lawsuit, but I am so sick of 16 years of constant BS.

        I hope you can move and have a happy and peaceful future with your family.

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  2. KarmaChameleon says:

    I just wanted to share a small victory with my Love Fraud friends. This weekend the spath came to pick my son up, and he came to the front door, repeatedly ringing the bell while also ringing my son’s cell phone. This scared my son and also irritated the crap out of me. After they left, I texted the spath and said ‘you have been told repeatedly not to come onto my property and to text when you arrive and wait in the car. Do not step foot on my property again.’ I followed up with ‘I know you yelled and cursed at (son’s name) last visit. Your behavior is abusive and unacceptable and with not be tolerated.’

    My son came home from his visit and told me that his dad pulled him aside and explained to him that he could not attend my son’s doctor’s appointment this week because ‘your mom is being mean to me’.

    My son and I celebrated that he chose not to come with us. :) Spath also emailed me saying that because of my behavior, he did not feel he should expose our son to my negative attitude, etc.

    Many other things have occurred lately involving the spath being a jerk, and I had the court ordered therapist call him and address the issues with him. I’ve also been waiting for my attorney to come back from vacation so I can take whatever action possible against him for coming onto my property again, and for insisting on coming to my house to pick my son up instead of picking him up from school as the parenting plan dictates.

    Having a doctor’s appointment without the spath is a small victory, but I wanted to celebrate it here, with those who would understand how happy my son and I were. And we got good news about my son’s medical condition as well, so it was a happy day all around!

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    • NoMoreWool says:

      Yay for small victories!! and yay for your son not buying into his your-mom-is-the-problem-not-me BS!

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    • charisosmom says:

      I agree with NoMoreWool, small victories are victories nonetheless! And good news about your son’s medical condition – congratulations!

      I hope your new attorney will fight harder. It just blows my mind that he’s so blatant with his emotional abuse and still no one does anything. My ex is sly about it, making it harder to prove. He’s very careful about when he says things, and always has some justification for it.

      My daughter saw the counselor on Monday. The counselor told me basically, my daughter feels as though I don’t like her step-mother and is ‘sharing gossip’ from one house to the other, so they discussed tattling and different ways to deal with what ‘you think mommy said.’ When I asked her why she’d make up things SHE said, she said she definitely feels like there is a lot of tension between my daughter and her step-mother and that she probably feels those things, had to vent them to her because she felt guilty, but threw me under the bus so as not to get in so much trouble. I suppose some of it makes sense, but I still feel like there is more to it. It can’t be good for her to hear her dad yell at me that she is a monster, and why after all this time is her relationship with her step-mom so shaky? Am I being overly concerned worrying about this? I mean, I guess no one has an ideal childhood. Maybe I’m expecting too much? She said my daughter doesn’t need intensive, on-going therapy but if I want to bring her in once a month or so I can. I’m definitely going to do that until I’m sure the behaviors aren’t still going on at her dad’s house, if for no other reason than I know she can handle better whatever is being thrown at her, and so he can’t accuse me of not helping anymore. I’m trying desperately to do my part here.

      In the meantime, the attorney general’s office served him with court papers on Tuesday. I got texts from him in the morning asking if I knew why he was being served (I guess he wasn’t home?), then after a while if my not responding meant I did know, and then a while later it was just ?REALLY?. I was in a meeting all morning so I didn’t get them when he sent them. So my husband and I are thinking that while he’s trying to deal with the child support thing might be the best time to hit him with lifting the residency restriction. Maybe he’ll just give up because he’s overwhelmed.

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      • NotWhatHeSaidofMe says:

        Sorry but that is a crap therapist. She has NO CLUE about the manipulations of a sociopath. The emotional assaults NOW don’t show up the damage until years from now. Just because she doesn’t exhibit dangerous behavior NOW doesn’t mean that this crap isn’t affecting her.

        The gossip conversations about you are used to sever your daughter’s connection to you. At the least, it undermines her security with you. An insecure child is then easier to manipulate and control.

        A therapist who is aware of manipulations by those who perpetrate alienation of affections would KNOW THIS classic sign: That they are “restating what you say”, which totally messes with a child’s reality, again CLASSIC NLP. Heck, this classic form of manipulation messes with our reality and we’ve at least learned about liars. Your child is SOOOOOO vulnerable to mind control.

        You will be VERY fortunate if your ex gives up because he’s overwhelmed. A sociopath revels in the battle and thus has great endurance because it feeds their need to WIN. Is there is any way to bargain with him to end the child support requirement if he will lift the residency restriction that would be best for your child?

        ps My daughter came home one day crying and crying, telling me that my ex was saying terrible things and she cried “I can’t say anything to defend you because they are taking care of me.” Throwing you under the bus could very well be a way for her to seek relief from the pressure of the mind control they are doing to her.

        Again, a therapist who is experienced with manipulations of cult leaders and sociopaths would KNOW THIS, I should be explaining it to you. She should have done that. And THAT is how I know she is a crap therapist.

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  3. KarmaChameleon says:

    Yay for your ex being served!! I wish you the best of luck in being able to move – sounds like you are handling this like a champ!!

    Trust your gut concerning your daughter. It’s good that she has a therapist to talk to. And she knows you are the one taking her to therapy which sends a strong signal to her that you care and are trying to do the right thing. Way to go, mom.

    No one has an ideal childhood, but what you and your daughter are experiencing is beyond ‘not ideal’.

    My spath has turned a corner recently and become more blatant with his abuse. He used to be very sneaky and manipulative, so everything was difficult to prove. This is what has me very concerned and is why I have asked my attorney about a restraining order, since he refuses to stay off my property, and feels he can show up whenever he wants. And some of his emails have been really creepy, so I think something is going on with his mental state. My attorney is still on vacation so I am very anxious for her to return and help me with this.

    Meanwhile, please keep us posted on your situation, it makes me so happy when the good guys win!

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    • NoMoreWool says:

      Karma –
      Document the escalating behavior. Timestamped photos and videos from your cell and printouts of the emails – all of them not just the creepy ones- so you can prove how erratic his behavior is. File it all away in case you need it down the road. Keep digital copies in the cloud that someone else can access if needed. Spathic “mental states” are very worrisome and you and your son may not be safe. Take care!

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  4. KarmaChameleon says:

    New development – spath emails me today saying he can’t keep my son as he is scheduled to Monday because they are having construction done on their house and have to stay in a hotel so he wants to bring my son home right after therapy. I won’t be home from work yet. I have previously told spath he is not to come here when I am not home. I just told him AGAIN this past weekend he is not to come here when I am not home.

    He is obviously playing games and the fact that he is being so blatant about it in email is scaring me. I called the therapist again and told her this is yet another manipulation right on the heels of the other ones that she just talked to him about. She doesn’t get it. I think she actually believes him, which scares me even more.

    I see this as his disordered behavior escalating, and escalating quickly. He could have chosen to take my son out to dinner after therapy so they would get home after I am home, but instead he wants to bring him straight here, violating the specific boundary I set. Am I reading too much into this? Not only that, but as of a few days ago, he was fine keeping my son overnight. Now this hotel story?

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    • webixer says:

      Allow me to comment?
      Find ways of disentangling from socialpath.
      If he is the one one with child on his schedule do not care what he does. He can sleepin hotel or in the ditch.

      Severely hold onto your boundaries.
      If you are not comfortable with him in your property then that should be it. no arguments. no discussions.

      Find ways of punishing him that you can carry out through.
      Example tell him you will call his boss for intervention and indeed call his boss if he wont stop! Use all means necessary to have him respect your boundaries. Your boundaries are important for your sanity. Use everything within your power to defend them.

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      • KarmaChameleon says:

        You are right about enforcing the boundaries. I am waiting to hear back from my attorney concerning what can be done about spath refusing to follow the parenting plan in regards to pick ups and drop offs.

        There is NO NEED for him to come to my home. He is to pick up and drop off my son at school. Now spath is arguing that the parenting plan says he has to pick my son up ‘after’ school, not ‘from’ school, which means he can pick my son up whatever time he wants and from my home instead of the school.

        Totally bizarre behavior; he has been picking my son up from school for 2 years now since the newest parenting plan was put into place; now he is arguing semantics? What the hell? And this is after two phone calls from the therapist this week trying to get him under control, and after I told him repeatedly that he needs to follow the parenting plan and not come here! His last email said unless I can prove that he can’t pick my son up from my home instead of from school, he will be here. It sounded very much like a threat to me.

        I went to a neighbors house tonight and asked him to watch out for the spath. My neighbor is a retired man who helps out in this community and he was very concerned when he heard what is going on. He said he will come over here and sit with me whenever I need him to. I wrote his number down and showed it to my son so he also knows if he ever needs help, he can call my neighbor. What is going on with all this?

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        • webixer says:

          You have a good neighbour and at least a few support persons on this forum. That is good.
          It may be difficult to start but this issue of boundary it is you who should find ways of enforcing them not your lawyer.

          It is taxing to keep engaing your lawyer on specifics and semantics. Let your lawyer handle the bigger things.

          Violating boundaries and making your life hell is what spaths like to do to make someone upset, angry and helpless.
          i know from experience (an older brother) only a determined consequence based course of action and “following through on consequence” can get a spath to respect your boundary.
          Semantic dont matter.

          You dont want him to come to your home. You are not comfortable with that. His options are that he can pick child at school or where ever. That is what to enforce.Period. No more coming to your home without consequences.

          Everyone has a weak point and that is what you can choose. Is he employed? A weak point is loosing his job or looking bad at job.
          So tell him. “If you show up at my home i will ask your boss to help me pass strong objection to your coming to my house”.

          It is very important to follow a consequence.
          If he comes to your house go ahead and call up his boss and ask him to tell his/her employee to respect your house.
          Every time he comes to your house repeat your calls to this boss for assistance on this matter.

          If he is self employed you can do the same using one of his best customers.

          I assure you unless you start doing this kind of action your spath will continue making your life a living hell.
          Do not be afraid that he may get sacked or anything.
          If he want to keep his job or other consequences he can always choose to respect your boundary.

          My words are a simplified version of what you would find if you googled enforcing personal boundaries.
          When they find they have a loss through violating your boundaries. They stop seeing harassing you as being worth it and finally you really can have your life.

          So what areas can you carry out consequences? think about them. Do not over worry about morality. You are dealing with an immoral person who is forcing your neighbor to come to your rescue.

          Its challenging but its time to toughen up mom.

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        • webixer says:

          Just a light moment.
          My older brother who would not leave me alone….
          His weak points were several;
          1. not doing child maintenance on a previous marriage – i restarted process for him to do maintenance

          2. I organized his sons to ask for property.
          3. employer – It did not reach this but i was ready to engage his employer to assist me protect my boundary.
          4. His other children sired all over – I was ready to look for them and bring them to him to know their real father who was happily away from their lives.

          He saw it was no jokes as soon as children maintenance issues started cropping up.
          He stopped his madness.

          My ex, mom to my kid is fully aware i will enter her house and cause racket and probably get her landlord to throw her out if she misbehaves or abuses child.

          And indeed am very ready to do such a thing.
          But as long as she keeps her madness in control and i am reasonably satisfied the child is reasonably well treated she will never hear from me. All child exchanges happen at school.
          When with child i rarely talk to child things about her mom.

          But i can sense she has noted her complains about “mum is loosing my pictures” is getting significant attention from me and lately she has this thing of “mum is a good mom. see. she bought for me snacks for school”

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          • KarmaChameleon says:

            I appreciate the sentiment, but the spath has already filed one lawsuit against me for taking matters into my own hands to protect my son. I can’t afford another lawsuit. He has money to burn and has no issue dragging me and my son through the court system, even though he ends up getting very little out of it. I have to watch everything I say and do because he records it all for legal purposes.

            I have to follow the law. I feel confident that when my attorney gets involved, something is going to happen. She had to get involved a few months ago for a similar reason, and spath backed down immediately. He is a bully who needs to be repeatedly shown that I am not going to accept his behavior.

        • NoMoreWool says:

          This is why it is so important to spell out in exact detail in court orders the behavior the sociopath is expected to follow. Example: “Mr. Spath is to pick up child between 4:00 pm and 4:15 pm at 123 School Street on the first and third Friday of every month for visitation. Child is to be returned to 123 School Street between 8:25 am and 8:35 am on the following Monday.” This specifies the behavior expected of the sociopath in the way stating pickup after school and dropoff before school does not. Somewhere on here is an article about closing up loopholes in custody orders. It may be too late for you to re-do the custody order/ parenting plan, since I am thinking your child is almost 18, but it is something to keep in mind if you get the opportunity.

          I insisted my attorney provide me with a draft of anything being submitted to the court, then I edited it top to bottom to close up any loopholes I saw. At first the attorney was skeptical, but after seeing the sociopath in action he started writing documents with fewer loopholes. Even the judge caught on at the end and made certain to state things like “3 pm” rather than just “3 o’clock.”

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          • KarmaChameleon says:

            You are so right. Since the agreement seemed so clear to me at the time, I thought it was fine. The ink wasn’t even dry before spath was exploiting loopholes. It’s amazing how they will do anything to exploit and not follow any agreement.

            I’m finally meeting with my attorney tomorrow morning. As usual, the court ordered therapist has not been helpful in the least, she is back to explaining to my son that he should forgive his dad because his dad loves him, etc etc, in essence teaching my son that abuse equals love. I am so sick of her, but the only way to get rid of her is to go back to court, because the spath would never willingly agree to switch therapists. Especially since I would insist that the new one be well versed in Cluster B personality disorders. Luckily my son knows the therapist is full of it and he just gives her lip service to get through the sessions, then tells me how much he hates having to go to therapy.

          • NoMoreWool says:

            Karma (and all parents dealing with sociopaths)
            This is why it is so important to look at a court order, parenting plan, basically any legal document, through the eyes of “what can the sociopath get away with” rather than “is it clear?.” Anything that has wiggle room will be exploited.

            You are to share medical/dental/optical bills by percentages? Expect your child to be dragged to pointless, out-of-network office or ER visits during visitation just to force you to pay.

            Phone contact is not addressed? Expect calls demanding to speak to the children at inconvenient times – like 15 minutes after bedtime or in the middle of the child’s birthday party.

            Dropoff and pickup times not being specified by to-the-minute times and specific places you have already seen the effects of. There should also be a statement that if the sociopath misses pickup time (s)he forfeits the visitation with no makeup time. Not all judges are willing to do this, but if you can document a pattern of missed/extremely late pickups some are willing to modify the order.

            Also vague schedules like “every other weekend” while common are too vague when dealing with a sociopath. It needs to be specific by saying things like first/second/third/fourth Friday of every month, and sometimes even noting who gets a fifth Friday when there is one, since the sociopath will always interpret unsaid items to their advantage.

    • webixer says:

      Hi karmachameleon,
      I do not want to pretend i know what is a good course of action for you.

      So i hope your lawyer will be of assistance in helping you sorting out boundary violations.

      I will soon be out of lovefraud.

      It was great meeting you all people.
      And wish you all the best in your persuit of hapiness.
      Regards n bye to all.

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  5. rtr2018 says:

    This article has me wanting to ask a million questions. I had no idea my ex was a sociopath until after reading this article and comments. I am gearing up for jury trial with my ex because that is what they wany. My life has been a living hell since I left. My children suffer. I am constantly being followed by spath or someone they hired to follow me. Ex wants to know my where abouts at all times and actually won’t agree to anything unless I prove that I am telling the truth buy doesn’t allow me the same expectations. So many questions I have!!! Any advice would help MAJORLY!

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  6. rtr2018 – Your ex’s behaviors that you describe are typical sociopathic control techniques. The best thing you can do is educate yourself and your attorneys about the disorder. There are many articles here on lovefraud – look in the Sociopaths and family section:


    Also read the articles by Quinn Pierce and H.G. Beverly



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  7. rtr2018 says:

    OK! I guess the question I am most concerned with right now is, from what I gather…this will be my life going forwar? That this type of personality, it is just best for me to learn to counter the attacks? Also, I have great documentation of the controlling and irrational behavior…does this even matter in the courts eyes if the support and pick ups are being done?

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    • KarmaChameleon says:


      I’m sorry you and your children have to deal with this. Your spath sounds more disordered than mine, but I can tell you that early on I insisted on written communication only and I refuse to listen or speak to him. Recently I’ve started forwarding groups of crazy emails from spath to my attorney, and she responds back to me from a legal perspective, then I forward the email back to spath. This seems to work on a temporary basis to give my son and I some peace since spath is doing his best to upset me, and when he gets the cut and dry email from my attorney telling him what the consequences of his actions could be, he quiets down for a while. My therapist told me I should have my attorney handle all communication, but I simply can’t afford that, and my attorney would not be willing to deal with the volume of craziness that comes from the spath.

      I’m glad you are documenting everything. Spaths love the drama they create, so I hope you can remove yourself as much as possible to save your own peace of mind.

      Lovefraud has been invaluable to me, the people on here understand and support the others who are dealing with disordered people on a daily basis.

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      • Jan7 says:

        Karmachameleon, you can get the court to assign you a “family wizard” who will be the go between for you and your ex.

        See site onemomsbattle. com, her books and their Facebook page One moms battle it’s a wonderful support group for dealing with a ex with children & court issues.

        Open a fake email account then a fake Facebook page so that you can chat & ask question without your ex seeing what you are chatting about or his family/friends.

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    • Jan7 says:

      Hi rtr2018…check out the site Onemomsbattle. com, her books & their Facebook page One moms battle.

      Open a fake email account then a fake Facebook page that was you can speak freely & ask advise without your ex, his family/friends seeing what you are asking. One moms battle deals with court issues such as divorce & child custody when dealing with a disordered individual such as narcissism or sociopath.

      They also have a list of lawyers who understand how to deal with a sociopath in court or if they do not have a lawyer listed for your city just ask on Facebook page if anyone has a recommendation.

      Sadly you are not alone in your court battle against a sociopath but their is great support for you to get through the hell of court.

      Wishing you all the best!! :-)

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      • Jan7 says:

        ps google “low contact rule narcissist” to learn how to deal with a narc or sociopath with children. Best thing to do is ONLY send brief emails to your ex stating “you can pick up the children at 5 pm”. If your children are young exchange them at a very public place such as a fast food place avoid exchanging them at your own home unless you have a friend/family member to witness the exchange.

        Look into get a court “wizard” to be the middle man between you & your ex so that you have peace in your life from your ex manipulative game playing.

        Avoid phone calls with him, text message for several reason 1) you want to document everything for court to show you are a parent willing to work hard so that your children do not have to endure any fighting between parents 2) so that you don’t get sucked into his manipulative game over and over 3) so that you have peace in your life.

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      • rtr2018 says:

        Thank you so much. I am afraid of anything getting back to me being as though everything is exaggerated and i honestly don’t how private even my phone conversations are. Having an investigator following my every move is terrifying to say the least.

        Again, thank you so very much.

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  8. As depressing as it is, yes – he is what he is. He will not change. Keep in mind that his objective is always to get a reaction out of you, so the best thing is to not let him know if he upsets you. Dealing with him should be “just business.”

    And the courts – if he is fulfilling his court-ordered obligations, no, they are not concerned about controlling behavior.

    The best thing you can hope for is that you become “less fun” – meaning you’re not reacting to his manipulations – so he leaves you alone.

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    • rtr2018 says:

      Yes, very depressing to hear. He is and had violated some parts of the order,and our Parent facilitator has very negative things to say about his behavior so, a jury nay have more sympathy than a judge. A jury trial may hurt him more than help him. Possibly. It is very relieving to have an outlet of people to go to, now. I am sure you all understand how threatening and difficult it is to deal with someone like this. It’s even more difficult when spath’s family has money and really dislike you. My poor baby, I worry about this effecting her in the end.

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      • Forthegoodofmychild says:

        I live in the US and at the advice of a family law attorney have taken my daughter from her emotionally abusive father and his wife, as well as her grandparents. I left him one night years ago when the emotional abuse turned physical. We were together for 12 years.My daughter was 2 and he threw me out in the middle of the night with $15 and a trashbag with whatever clothes I could grab quickly. (We agreed to split 2 weeks earlier after I found out from mutual friends he’d cheated on me for a year and I ended up with the worst proof, an STD. I was given 3 months to have enough money to leave after I was laid off- not fired, as he says). I came back for my daughter and he threatened me with court and my “unstable mental condition” (I was in therapy for his abuse and was released a few weeks after I left) All in all, now I suffer from PTSD, although I am very self-aware and do NOT let it affect my child. It did however, affect the way I dealt with him. I buckled to everything he wanted and for years I’ve lost jobs because of his demands that I pick her up twice a week from school. I live 50 miles away. I also had her only on weekends and since I was “irrational” as he says, he named his mother as mediator, no contact between he and I at all. I’ve been in therapy as of late to again deal with issues as now his mother has been lying through her teeth to my daughter about me, telling her that I was supposed to show up this time and that and that Any didn’t come because I don’t really care. I wasn’t supposed to show up until the next day! My ex’s father has also started telling my daughter she is fat and ugly when he gets upset with her. She is 9 and noone has taken the initiative to watch her eating habits and work through it with her except me. I brought her to her pedi a few weeks ago right before I didn’t return her (we’ve never been to court – did I say that?!) and he made a report to the Department of Children and Families after questioning her. They did not take the case and after a month and a half, I am still waiting to hear why from them. He wants to see her and I don’t want to look bad in court, but I am also not giving her over to this monster and his wife (who gets angry and causes my daughter to be punished if she doesn’t call her mom or mommy in public). I am also wary of her grandparents and her father says he didn’t know about any of this. I agreed to meet at a food place and sit at another table while my daughter sat and visited with dad and grandma (they’ve called to speak to her and keep questioning her as to where she wants to live, go to school, etc) every time she gets a call, she cant sleep and when I prompt her to call them, she does not want to! Anyway, a few calls ago, he bribed her with toys and told me that since it was just her birthday and he didn’t have enough money that he got her a motorized scooter and he was in no way bribing her. Whty not tell her on her bday, then? Well, she told me he’s already gotten her a bicycle and she had a party (which I am not allowed at) and that the scooter wasn’t for her birthday. OK. So he lied and I am NOT facilitating a meeting where he can just grab her and go. He picked a place right off the entrance to the highway he is akes home. I have no attorney, they do appoint one at court if you don’t, but I need advice now and can’t get much without a retainer of at least $5,000. Any suggestions? I am painted as not being in her life when she can even say I have. She has! Unfortunately, she is somewhat brainwashed by them, but not all the way. How lucky am I?! Any advice? I don’t want to be the person who is seen as unstable, but they are painting a gruesome picture, although I hav been recording things, so I think the truth will prevail. I feel hopeless and scared, but I only have to trust that I KNOW I am doing the right thing…Am I? Ugh

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