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Issues to consider before taking a sociopath to court

Lovefraud recently received the following email:

I was previously married to a sociopath, and we have a 4-year old son together.  I have sole legal and physical custody of our son, but have been fighting to reduce the amount of visitation for quite some time.  I recently read that having a forensic psychological analysis done on the entire family would reveal that my ex is a sociopath and possibly prevent him from having ANY visitation going forward.  Is this true, in your experience?  Do you have any advice for me as I embark on this process?

Many, many Lovefraud readers have realized — to their horror — that they’ve had a child or children with a sociopath. Once you realize that your former partner has a serious personality disorder, and that this person is incapable of feeling love, even for the children, your natural instinct is to want to protect the children from him or her.

Figuring out how to do it, however, is incredibly difficult. Following is a list of points to consider whenever you are contemplating legal action regarding your sociopathic partner and children.

The sociopath

1. The sociopath’s objective is to win — whatever he or she regards to be winning at the time. It may mean not only winning the court battle, but winning in a way that leaves you crushed, broken and destitute.

2. The sociopath is capable of doing absolutely anything in order to win. This includes lying under oath, accusing you of doing things that you never did, convincing other people to lie (knowingly or unknowingly), falsifying documents, threatening you and the children, and more.

3. Sociopaths often love going to court. For them it’s great drama, an opportunity to be on stage, and they are terrific actors. Sociopaths can break into tears, crying about how much they love and miss the children, even though they totally ignored the kids while you all lived together, or perhaps even abused them. They can discuss your “mental problems” in a voice dripping with concern, even though the only thing wrong with you is him or her.

4. Sociopaths usually pursue child custody for one or both of these reasons: They want to maintain control over you by controlling the kids, or they don’t want to pay you child support.

5. A typical sociopathic strategy is to keep dragging you into court simply to cost you money. The idea is to bleed your finances until you can no longer afford to fight.

The law

6. Here’s information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:

The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the fundamental liberty interest of natural parents in the care, custody, and management of their children. This protection does not disappear simply because they have not been model parents or have lost custody of a child temporarily.

Know that if you’re attempting to keep your partner away from the children, Constitutional Law is not on your side.

7. No provision in the Constitution says children are entitled to loving care, or even safety, from their parents.

Judges

8. In Family Court, judges are the kings, and you are a serf.  Judges have wide discretion to decide what will happen to you, your kids and your money. Their decisions are law, and other judges are loath to change or reverse any court ruling.

9. Most judges do not understand sociopaths and how they behave (just like everyone else in the world — including you before you met your partner). Many judges believe that sociopaths are hardened criminal or murderers. So if you say that your partner is a sociopath, and he or she hasn’t killed anyone, the judge will likely think that you are exaggerating and are simply being vindictive against your former partner.

10. Most judges, like most people, believe that children should have both of their parents, so they often want to keep both parents in the lives of children. Even if a sociopath has physically abused the spouse, if the children themselves haven’t been injured, and sometimes even if they have been injured, judges may not keep the kids away from the abuser.

11. Numerous scientific studies seem to “prove” that children do better when both parents are in their lives. Unfortunately, most of these studies do not consider whether a parent is disordered. On the other hand, there is very little research indicating that sociopaths make terrible parents. So you may go to all the trouble of proving your ex is a sociopath, only to have the judge say, “So? That doesn’t make him (or her) a bad parent.”

12. You can line up all your proof, evidence and psychological reports — and a judge can disregard all of it, deciding your case the way he or she wants to.

13. For all of these reasons, who you get as a judge matters — a lot. When you know whom your judge is, you should find out everything you can about him or her. They are supposed to be impartial, but that isn’t always the case. Some judges are biased against men. Some are biased against women. Some judges will listen to kids, some will not. This person holds your fate in his or her hands. If you know the judge you will be dealing with, take that into consideration before deciding how to proceed in any matter.

Lawyers

14. Be very, very careful about choosing a lawyer. Some lawyers are dedicated to serving their clients. But some lawyers are only interested in making money. You should shop around and get referrals — preferably from someone with a case like yours. If you feel at all uncomfortable with a lawyer, or if you feel that the person does not believe or respect you, do not retain that lawyer.

15. In dealing with a sociopath, lawyers must be up for the challenge. They must understand that the sociopath will stall, delay, fail to produce documents and ignore court orders. Lawyers should never assume that sociopaths are going to do what they’re supposed to do. Sociopaths believe that the rules do not apply to them.

16. Somehow, many sociopaths manage to find sociopathic lawyers. This means not only will the sociopath do anything in order to win, but so will the lawyer.

The court industry

17. The court sometimes isn’t just the court — it’s an entire network of psychologists, experts, guardians ad litem, parenting coordinators and others. In some cases, all these people just keep each other in business — at your expense. (Read yesterday’s article: Connecticut parents say court-ordered expenses bankrupt them.)

18. Research shows that whoever pays for a report gets the report that they want.

Psychologists and other experts

19. Many psychologists do not understand sociopaths. They do not understand the experience of being targeted by a sociopath. They do not understand how sociopaths affect children. If you are going to retain a psychologist, make sure they get it.

20. Sociopaths are quite capable of manipulating psychologists. Sociopaths can play the victim, talk about loving their children, paint you as the person with problems — and some psychologists will swallow it all, hook, line and sinker.

Justice may not prevail

For all of these reasons, you need to have your eyes wide open before making any decision about embarking on a court action. You cannot assume that your experience in court will be about doing what is right, discovering the truth or protecting the children.

Going to court is always a crapshoot. It may cost you thousands and thousands of dollars, and you may end up with nothing.

Therefore, pick your court battles carefully.

 



31 Comments on "Issues to consider before taking a sociopath to court"

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  1. kaya48 says:

    Thanks for the advice for court proceedings. Yes, I do keep a low profile, keep my emotions under control and just stay calm. Nothing can be worth than living this nightmare for 20 years. Of course my soon to be ex loves the drama. Especially because he is a cop and believed that he gets “favoritism” from the legal system. He put an injunction against me just to annoy me. He conveniently asked for it in the county where he is a cop. I have never set foot in this county. My attorney was outraged at his fabricated lies and accusations. The judge dismissed it and it was dropped. He thought he would look more like the victim if he says that he is afraid of me. So this plan did not work out. Instead he looked like a complete loser in open court. I am prepared for anything because he is pure evil .



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  2. jm_short says:

    Therapists can also be psychopaths, so beware.

    After a 12 year absence from a deadbeat father who didn’t even send a birthday card to my son, let alone child support, my son began to work with a therapist at college. I had hoped he would help my son stay on track at school. Brandon had been through special schooling previously that provided supports. So I thought having a therapist would enable him to transition better than leaving him to his own devices during his first time on his own.

    After a few weeks, my son told me that he and the doctor thought it would be a good idea for him to reach out to his father. Although the man had kidnapped his two other boys by a previous marriage, my son was now old enough and big enough to prevent that from happening. I got in touch with my ex-in-laws, and several weeks later, my son heard from his father.

    The downward spiral of our relationship was intense. He found out that his father was extraordinarily wealthy, through association with an heiress. His father could do things for him that I couldn’t even dream about. By accidental discovery I learned that the therapist had been excommunicated by his own children, had made his life’s work teaching fathers how to claim “parental alienation syndrome” against their ex-wives, and convinced my son that I’d driven his father out of his life.

    Our relationship ended with this comment….. “Now that I’m independent, what do I need you for?” The heartbreak of losing my son is what drove me to write my book, “Carnal Abuse by Deceit”, which many of you may have read or heard about on this blog. If you’re raising the children of a disordered parent, I believe it could help you with their development.

    When I ultimately learned about the bias of my son’s therapist, I dug deeply on the internet. The Judge in his divorce case cited him from “having no empathy” for his children. All of us here on this blog are well versed on the character disorder that evolves from “no empathy.”

    Today, we have a great deal more transparency in researching the credentials of doctors and other practitioners. It’s so important to get as much background as possible. They have a tremendous impact on the people in their care.

    What I’ve learned about the decisions that you make, or the ones that are made for or in spite of you regarding your children….. all you can do is the best that you can do. The rest is in God’s hands.

    Wishing all of you with children the best possible outcome. If I have one suggestion, it’s to shower them with as much loving kindness, hugs and affection as you can, while you can.

    All the best-
    Joyce



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    • aintgonnatakeitnomore says:

      Knowing it’s in God’s Hands, I still have to do as much as I am able to do. I don’t sit around and wring my hands, I am pro-active. If I’m hungry, I look for work and Do ANY Work I find. If I’m cold, I take ANYthing I can get to cover myself. If I need shelter, I do what it takes to get that too. Within ethics, of course. I don’t rob a bank or prostitute myself for my needs. Or my kids’ needs.
      It’s not knowing if I’ve done all I CAN that’s nerve-wracking. Or *knowing* I did not. Then regretting that. Some regrets have horrific implications. Dismemberment, disordered brains or death can even result.
      I have to cling close to Him, hold His Hand tightly. And never let go. Or I’ll never know for sure. And that can drive you insane. IDC if the spath or NPD/BPD wins. Let ’em win. In the real world, they have lost. –lost their soul. And their peace.
      I am responsible for only that which I am responsible for. Children are it; possessions and lifestyle are meaningless without peace. They’re pretty poor companions even in the best of times. And children grow up. It’s a matter of a few decades at most.
      His Word never returns void.



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  3. jm_short says:

    Ain’t-

    You are an instrument of God in your children’s lives. Knowing that you are doing what you feel is best is the only way you’ll have peace with the outcome, even if that outcome looks different than you thought it would.

    Joyce



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