Educating Your Judge: Custody Battles, PAS & Litigation Abuse

The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges has an excellent guidebook for judges:  A Judicial Guide to Child Safety in Custody Cases.

If you are divorcing an abusive, pit bull or a narcissist (also known as a sociopath or psychopath), click on the book’s title.  It will take you to a PDF copy of the guidebook which you can read or print out (52 pages) and give to your judge and attorney.  You might be interested in looking at other publications ~ many of which are free or available at low cost ~ available from this group which is located on the campus of the University of Nevada in Reno at 1041 North Virginia Street:

National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges
P.O. Box 8970
Reno, NV 89507
Telephone: (775) 784-6012
Fax: (775) 784-6628

Judicial training is available on how to appropriately handle divorce cases involving family violence.  But, too many judges allow their courts to be manipulated as an instrument of abuse.  This can be particularly true in child custody battles.

This book is free, and it can help clueless twit judges get up to speed.  It will also put judges who are abusive behind their own closed doors on notice.  The book has 14 nifty bench cards that a judge can use as a check-list during trial proceedings.

You might want to highlight key provisions such as:

A Word of Caution about Parental Alienation (PAS)



Under relevant evidentiary standards, the court should not accept testimony regarding parental alienation syndrome, or “PAS.” The theory positing the existence of PAS has been discredited by the scientific community.

Best Interest of the Child Standard   


Generally speaking, it is considered detrimental to a child and not in his or her best interest to be placed in sole custody, joint legal custody, or joint physical custody with the abusive parent.

Courtroom Behavior of the Abusive Parent



There are some behaviors, however, that indicate disrespect toward the other parent. These behaviors should raise red flags for you to determine whether they result from a pattern of control.

Often abusive parents present well, as they are skilled at maintaining control. An abusive parent might:

• Believe or claim that the other parent is stupid, unsophisticated, or inflexible.

• Anger easily.

• Behave in an arrogant or superior manner.

• Attempt to present as the true victim in the relationship.

• Appear vulnerable or otherwise engender empathy with the court or with third parties.

• Be unwilling to understand another’s perspective.

• Expect the child to meet the parent’s needs.

• Advocate or adhere to strict gender roles.

• Patronize the other party, counsel, and even the court.

• Attempt to create an alliance with you.

• Minimize, deny, blame others for, or excuse inappropriate behavior.

This controlled courtroom presence of the abusive parent may contrast with the at-risk parent’s behavior.

Helpful Blogs

My blogroll lists the blogs of warrior survivors ~ people who have walked or are walking in your shoes.  If you click on the links to these blogs, you will find a wealth of information and resources.  A link to the judicial guide is also on my blogroll.

Update:  There is a corrosive element in the protective mothers’ movement.  If you are new to the protective mothers issue, I hope you will take the time to read Lundy Bancroft’s post:

Defending A Women’s Rights Activist Who Is Under Attack



© 2010, Anne Caroline Drake
    All Rights Reserved.

32 responses to “Educating Your Judge: Custody Battles, PAS & Litigation Abuse

  1. Thanks for this post! It is really important to get the word out on this, especially to judges that seem not to know about this (or act like they don’t most likely). I have followed Veronique’s blog for a long time, and actually repost on my old site recently a Virginia Whore of the Court warning she had. And of course, Claudine is my warrior sister…


  2. I was just surfing around, Nancy, and discovered the Cook (“Crook”) County (Chicago) circuit courts are looking at having a separate DV court.

    Y’all kick serious booty! Great work!

    Anne Caroline

  3. It appears that you’ve put a great amount of effort into your article and I want to see a lot more of these on the Internet these days. I really got a quetch out of your post. I do not have a bunch to to say in reply, I only wanted to register to say fantastic work.

  4. I am in need of so much help.
    My ex who is an aggressive, “pit bull” attorney and requires a 30k retainer. Has filed for full custody and currently has a restrianing order preventing me from seeing, talking, to my 10 year old daughter. There is also a restraining order from me contacting my ex, my daughters school, and injuctions placed on parties who are aware of his abuse.
    He has had CPS “lose” an investigation regarding an assualt by my ex in front of my daughter.
    Put me into a corner about signing a dismissal for the arrest and case.
    And now I am possibly losing my home with no job, no way to help my daughter, no funds to hire council to go up against this attorney who has a reputation for taking children away from one parent or the other (usually the one with the most money to offer). Uses therpists who have personal relationships with her to have the opposition shown as a molestor, incapable, mentally ill, whatever cruel thing they can put together so that they lose custody. They will supeona your computer and look for anything to convict you of a crime.
    It is the dirtiest crime I have seen.
    My daughter is emotionally falling apart. This is clarified by a nueropsychologist who examined her. One my ex and both went to.
    My ex is a very wealthy and extravagent person. I am fine without those things. I am sick of the child being used as a pawn to protect money, or estates.
    Someone help.
    My courtdate is 5-10-10.
    If i lose my daughter. She is another victim of domestic violence not to be heard or helped. and more ammo for this attorney to continue rake in large amounts of money, and not consider what happened to welfare of the child.

  5. Wow, Jackie!

    It’s just disabled me on welfare and about to be homeless here with my computer. So, I understand the terror you must feel completely. I also understand how few solid resources there are available to us. Too well.

    That’s the bad news. Since you’ve found my site, I know for certain you are an inordinately resourceful person. Have you connected yet with There’s a link on my survivors’ blog roll. Nancy Carroll and the Battered Mothers Custody Conference are fierce. They are women who have walked in your shoes.

    My first bit of advice is stay away from anybody who thinks of herself as a victim. They’ll whine, but they won’t have the solutions you are seeking.

    My second bit of advice is to see whether someone in this group lives in your area. Why?

    You’re going to need back-up on May 10 in court. If you live in Vermont, contact Wynona Ward (do a search on my website to find her).

    Also, on my web site, do a search for Vernetta Cockerham. She finally got justice because we packed the courtroom in NC with people wearing purple and white ribbons. Women in your position have followed her strategy with success. It worked for a woman in Canada with just two people.

    Since your ex is powerful and wealthy, you’re going to need more than a few folks standing tall with you in the court room.

    If you are lucky enough to have supportive family around, tell them they need to take the day off and show up in court for you. Ditto for people at your house of worship, local domestic violence shelter, senior groups, prosecutor’s office, soccer mom group ~ whoever you can persuade to stand tall with you and surround you with a circle of protection. If they have trouble appreciating you need help, sit their butts down and have them read Nancy Carroll’s blog for awhile. If that doesn’t get their heads out of their butts, nothing will wake them up.

    It’s the best way I know to equalize the balance of power for someone in your circumstances.

    Nancy Carroll’s site has an amazing wealth of information. If it is out there, she finds it and posts it on her blog. She knows just about everybody in the country who has walked in your shoes.

    I don’t know if it will arrive timely, but I would order ASAP the judicial guide on my blogroll. It educates judges about PAS in custody cases. You can politely give a copy to the judge’s clerk and ask for it to be given to the judge. It is a polite way to educate clueless judges about PAS. I would give the presiding judge a copy as well and tell him/her about the judicial education that is available to prevent PAS. If they give you a lot of blah-blah-blah about ex parte conversations, tell them you are there to educate them ~ not to talk about your case. If they still give you shit, try again with the local DV prosecutor or a reporter in tow.

    The links in this post will take you to most of the relevant posts I’ve done on how to protect yourself ~ click on the “litigation abuse” tag in one of my posts ~ you’ll find everything I’ve written on the issue:

    If you’d like, I’d be happy to post a “be there” invitation in the off-chance someone in your area happens to read my post between now and May 10 and might be willing and able to show up in court to support you. Nancy Carroll gets way more visitors to her site ~ she’s tied into the network of women who raise serious hell on this issue. I’m sure she’ll be happy to do whatever she can for you too ~ it’s just her and wifi at the public library. We can blast a post on all our blogs ~ it’s the best way I know to find a fierce advocate in your area ~ we’ve got about a million visitors total.

    If you live in the Pacific Northwest, I guarantee you that I’ll come. If you are unlucky enough to live in OR, you’re seriously going to need back-up.

    Caludia Dombrowski is in the KC area. Vernetta is in NC. Nancy is in Indiana and is your best bet for finding someone in your area. If you are in Chicago, I’ll call DePaul’s law school to see what might be available for you.

    Finally, I would request a face-to-face urgent meeting with the executive director of your state domestic violence coalition. They’ll try to refer you to a do-nothing non-profit or an underling or local clueless shelter worker. No. No. No.

    Those folks don’t know how and can’t help you. Ditto for “justice centers” that are way better at fund-raising than actually helping somebody litigate.

    If you live in NYC, look up Mike Dowd:

    He founded the Pace University Women’s Justice Center in White Plains, NY. There’s a link in the post about Mike.

    It is a long shot because you don’t have much lead time and law schools are winding down/students are focused on final exams, but I’d call the legal clinics at local law schools AND the professors who teach family law. You might get lucky and find a domestic violence survivor and/or PAS expert who will foam at the mouth about your story.

    This brings me back to your state’s DV coalition executive director. These folks know the fierce warriors ~ they can call in favors ~ link you to effective resources. The director should be (some aren’t ~ too lazy) in the middle of the network of effective resources. You might also find someone like this at your local prosecuting attorney’s office. Trust me. These folks have Rol-a-dexes full of names. They should know somebody who can and will help you. The trick is getting them to introduce you and follow-up to make sure you don’t get creamed (they take your information to get grant money ~ do nothing meaningful to help).

    That’s all the ideas I have for today. With all the cases of PAS, there should be a formal network in place to help you. But, there isn’t. The guys have their network and help each other. But, sadly, each woman is pretty much on her own. We need to get a sistahood going on. We’re not there yet. The Battered Womens Custody Conference is a group of PAS survivors ~ they are well-versed in the problem and are as close to a solution as you are going to get. Just stay away from the whiners.

    Please come back and post another comment if this doesn’t work out for you. Your comment might trigger an idea that will work for you. I know what it feels like to be alone and terrified and up against somebody powerful and wealthy. I don’t want to see you wind up where I am.

    Sending hugs and good wishes,
    Anne Caroline

  6. I am in Austin, Texas.
    Our court is at the Distict Attorneys, 200th judicial.
    Monday, May 10th (the day after mothers day in which I am not allowed to see my child) at 8:00 AM.

    I am scared, sick to my stomach, with what will happen to my little girl.

    My ex has a fetish for Vietnamese women that he constantly invites in to visit as potential brides.

    This seems not to matter in the system.

    How do I post a call to other women in our shoes to call me, email me, or show up on Monday.

    I would also like to contribute to your effort anyway that I can.

    Even open a satellite office here.

    Austin, Dallas, and Houston. Provide ATM machines for the litigators who feed off the broken home with domestic violence. The Mad Dads are making an incredible statement on child support and women living beyond there means.
    Basically asking the system to cut down the percentage line.

    Most single moms from these situations don’t live in extravagent homes, or elaborate lifestyles.

    The Domestic Relations office here in Austin wrote this bill.

    Children’s Bill of Rights
    List composed by attorney Rob V. Robertson

    Marriage is a contract between adults, and when it ends, the matter is between the adults also. Yet no parental action has a greater impact on children. Children love their parents and want to be with them. Even in times of great stress, parents have a responsibility to conduct their legal affairs in a manner that will protect their children from adult conflicts.
    At a minimum, children are entitled to the following

    Bill of Rights:
    1. Neither parent shall deny the child reasonable use of the telephone to place and receive calls with the other parent and relatives.

    2. Neither parent shall speak or write derogatory remarks about the other parent to the child, or engage in abusive, coarse or foul language, which can be overheard by the child whether or not the language involves the other parent.

    3. Neither parent shall permit the children to overhear arguments, negotiations or other substantive discussions about legal or business dealings between the parents.

    4. Neither parent shall physically or psychologically attempt to pressure, attempt to influence, pressure or influence the children concerning the personal opinion or position of the child concerning legal proceedings between the parents.

    5. Each parent will permit the child to display photographs of the other parent or both parents in the child’s room.

    6. Neither parent shall communicate moral judgments about the other parent to the child concerning the other parent’s choice of values, lifestyle, choice of friends, successes or failures in life (career, financial, relational) or residential choice.

    7. The parents will acknowledge to the child that the child has two homes although the child may spend more time at one home than the other.

    8. The parents shall cooperate to the greatest extent practicable in sharing time with the child.

    9. Each parent will permit the child to retain, and allow easy access to, correspondence, greeting cards, and other written materials received from the other parent.

    10. Each parent will respect the physical integrity of items possessed by the child which depict the other parent or remind the child of the other parent.

    11. Neither parent will trivialize, or deny the existence of the other parent to the child.

    12. Neither parent will interrogate the child about the other parent nor will either parent discourage comments by the child about the other parent.

    13. Neither parent will intercept, “lose”, derail, “forget” or otherwise interfere with communications to the child from the other parent.

    14. Neither parent will refuse to acknowledge that the child can have or should have good experiences with the other parent.

    15. Neither parent will directly or indirectly attack or criticize to the child the extended family of the other parent, the other parent’s career, the living and travel arrangements of the other parent, or lawful activities of the other parent or associates of the other parent.

    16. Neither parent will use the child as a “middleman” by using the child to communicate with the other parent on inappropriate topics.

    17. Neither parent will undermine the other parent in the eyes of the child by engaging in the “circumstantial syndrome” which is done by manipulating, changing, or rearranging facts.

    18. Neither parent will create for, or exaggerate to, the child differences between the parents.

    19. Neither parent will say and do things with an eye to gaining the child as an “ally” against the other parent.

    20. Neither parent will encourage or instruct the child to be disobedient to the other parent, stepparents, or relatives.

    21. Neither parent will reward the child to act negatively toward the other parent.

    22. Neither parent will try to make the child believe he or she loves the child more than the other parent, by, for example, saying that he or she loves the child more than the other parent or over-informing the child on adult topics or overindulging the child.

    23. Neither parent will discuss child support issues with the child.

    24. Neither parent will engage in judgmental, opinionated or negative commentary, physical inspections or interrogations once the child arrives from his/her other home.

    25. Neither parent will “rewrite” or “re-script” facts which the child originally knows to be different.

    26. Neither parent will punish the child physically or threaten such punishment in order to influence the child to adopt the parent’s negative program, if any, against the other parent.

    27. Neither parent will permit the child to be transported by a person who is intoxicated due to consumption of alcohol or illegal drugs.

    28. Neither parent will smoke tobacco materials inside structures or vehicles occupied at the time by the child.

    29. Each parent will permit the child to carry gifts, toys, clothing, and other items belonging to the child with him or her to the residence of the other parent or relatives or permit the child to take gifts, toys, clothing, and other items belonging to the child back to the residence of the other parent, as the case may be, to facilitate the child having with him or her objects, important to the child. The gifts, toys, clothing and other items belonging to the child referred to here mean items which are reasonable transportable and does not include pets (which the parents agree are impractical to move about).

  7. Dear Ann,
    Please post. Please post.
    I will do the same for anyone who needs it here in Austin, or even San Antonio, and Dallas.

  8. Will do, Jackie. I’ve sent you a private e-mail message asking for details of when and where people need to show up on May 10. When I get it, I’ll post it and ask Nancy and Claudine to get the word out.

    Although I’m happy to write it, I think it will be more powerful in your own voice.

    Good luck,
    Anne Caroline

  9. Anne,
    I am a friend of Jackie’s. She found your site and suggested that I read it. I am truly inspired by your words, efforts, and support for all of us. Jackie is a good mother. She lifted me up in 2005 when I was going through my divorce. Since then, I have survived 2 custody battles, and there is still a case unresolved that I need to do due diligence on and try and get dismissed due to inactivity for over a year! The mountain is high that we have to climb. One mistake and we could loose our kids! I work in legislation as a staffer. I am horrified at the growing number of “Mad Dad” organizations that are forming in the State of Texas. They are joining forces and becoming so powerful. Making their case proving a mother’s involvement and bond with their children irrelevant! Can you imagine?

    To give you one example of what Jackie is up against on May 10th: I am a character witness for her. I can truthfully state that she is of sound mind, and offer a challenge to opposing council’s attempt to discredit her in brutal ways. My daughter and I were also present to provide support to Jackie and a playmate for her daughter Brooklyn during a supervised visitation 2 weeks ago. To help ease the tension. Turns out, the woman conducting the supervised visitation was not appointed by the courts but hired by the high profile attorney for the ex-husband. She submitted a false and prejudicial report about the visit to the attorney. I video taped a portion of the visit and the woman flat lied about Jackie, her emotional state and stated she was “impaired in some way”. I was there, video taped it, and I assure you she was NOT. This woman went so far as to specifically state that absolute vodka was on the counter. She also slandered me. Saying that I was Hyper and suggested that drugs and alcohol were present. On a personal level in puts me in great fear and in harms way of helping Jackie! This woman is accusing me on public record that I drove my daughter to a home where drugs and alcohol were present which could now jeopardize my custody arrangement with my daughter! This is a perfect example of why women are so terrified to speak out. I want to help, I am here to help, but at the end of the day, I am taking a risk. Why? During the next Legislative Session, I will be lobbying a bill. I have named it after my daughter, Lola’s Bill. What I want and need women to join my efforts, is simply to put into law the 3rd option to an ad liedum. A Psychologist Ad Liedum. To give an option other than a costly attorney or guardian ad liedum. If for valid reasons one parent requests psychological intervention for parents individually and with their children, and then report their findings back to the courts for review. It offers a healing effect to everyone without the legal costs, stress and fighting. It takes the family welfare out of the attorney’s pockets and into healthcare where it belongs! Anne, healthcare can be covered by insurance. I don’t know of any carriers that provide insurance to protect against judicial harassment. Today, a hostile custody battle disrupts the balance in everyone’s life, most importantly the children. There is no reason why our mental healthcare providers should not be given more of a chance to help heal the wounds and redirect the hostile parent, as well as expose the bad behaviors to the courts.

    For the life of me, I do not know why not one law maker has already done this. I will work feverishly in Jan. 2011 to get law makers to pay attention to Lola’s Bill in Texas and if I succeed, hopefully with your support and others like you, we can take this to Washington. For the sake of the children and the hope for the embattled.

    Thank you for all that you do and how much hope your letter gave Jackie today. God Bless what you are doing.


  10. Dawn,

    Thank you for visiting my little site and leaving a comment. Also, thank you for your courage in standing tall with Jackie. I pray her pro bono attorney will prep you both so that the bitch attorney representing her ex doesn’t rattle your cage.

    I’m quite concerned about Jackie. I have sent her two e-mail messages today and have not gotten a response. Although I never, ever take on individual cases, I called the Texas Council on Family Violence on her behalf this morning and spoke to their executive director Gloria Cherry.

    Ms. Cherry will be in the office on Tuesday, but my sense is that she will be out the rest of the week. She claims a shelter in Austin is quite vigilant and progressive. This would be an ideal place to find folks to go with y’all to court on May 10. But, it takes time to organize a big crowd.

    I’ve drafted a post which I sent to Jackie, but I need details about where people should meet ~ address ~ court room ~ something that tells people where to show up.

    Ms. Cherry also told me that she has arranged for PAS training for the judiciary. So, that should cut down substantially on the bullshit in Texas courts. . .not by May 10.

    She claims the Austin shelter has an attorney they can bring in.

    As I said, I never, ever get involved in individual cases. I stuck my neck out and put my reputation on the line for Jackie. I expected to hear back from her today. So, if you know how to reach her, please tell her she needs to respond ASAP to my e-mails and to Ms. Cherry if she wants real help on May 10.

    If you do a search for “Group Health” on my web site, you’ll find research that supports your position on the long-term health impacts of domestic violence and child abuse. If you click on the links, you’ll find a wealth of research.

    Also, if you haven’t checked out, I urge you to do so. That’s where you’ll find the lobbying force you seek. I think the name of the organization is Battered Womens Custody Conference or something like that. I think they had something like 600 women like you at their meeting last summer. They’re fierce warrior women who are demanding change.

    At this point, I don’t have the resources to help anyone. I’m barely hanging on myself. It’s just disabled me without enough income to pay the rent doing the best she can with exceedingly limited resources.

    The resources and information available on this site wouldn’t be here anymore but for the generosity of the NNEDV picking up the $15 to keep it going. I’m sharing this with you because I think it is important for you and Jackie to know what is possible with a whole lot of passion, resourcefulness, and creativity.

    I’m glad the two of you have connected because it really sucks to go through what y’all are experiencing alone and terrified.

    Good luck,
    Anne Caroline

  11. Pingback: Be There: 200th Judicial Court, Austin, TX on June 7 @ 7:45AM « Anne Caroline Drake·

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  15. Thank you so much for your fabulous blog! I need help and am wondering if you have advice/resources for me: I have just lost my daughters per a temporary order based on a character assassination by my stbex and male members of MY family. My ex has NPD, possibly anit-social personality disorder and is a sex addict. My lawyer failed to enter the evidence I provided and this played a part in the judge’s decision, but more than that, the judge used the court to levy church influenced punitive measures against me…I am trying to leave the Mormon church and besides myself and my attorney, everyone else involved in the case is LDS. There is even a possibility that the judge is distantly related to my stbex. The judge gave my daughters to an emotionally and verbally abusive father and he has become increasingly abusive since they have been with him the last two weeks: isolation, threats of violence, verbal abuse, threats against pets, etc. I just found out my stbex is now pursuing P.A.S. as an offensive move for our next court date in less than two weeks and this judge will be more than willing to listen to anything that makes me the “vindictive” parent…I am an “apostate,” after all. There is much more regarding the police in rural AZ and CPS not helping my daughters. I have very little support/help from community due to my recent disaffection from the church. Please help!

  16. Concerned Mother,

    Yes, you’re in a challenging situation to be sure. My baby sister is LDS, and I got to know a number of missionaries a few years ago. So, I’m quite familiar with how it all unfolds.

    My best advice is to connect with Stop Family Violence. There is a link on my survivor blog roll. Be brief when you leave a comment and specific about what you need or they won’t be able to help you ~ they have lots of demands for services and very few resources.

    I also strongly encourage you to read Carolyn Jessop’s memoir. I’ve written a review which will give you a bird’s eye view of what she did in similar circumstances. The help you need will most likely come from your fellow apostates. Trust me. There are lots of them out there. But, as you know, the network isn’t easy to tap into. I’m clueless about how this underground network operates, but I do have a wild and crazy idea.

    Martha Beck, one of Oprah’s columnists, is an apostate. Her daddy, who was a powerful leader in the church, sexually molested her ~ she wrote a book about it. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to do a “hail Mary” play to try to get help from her. She might surprise us both. My sense is that Carolyn Jessop, however, is more approachable and open to helping other mothers who are walking in her shoes. She didn’t respond to my last e-mail message so my guess is that she might be overwhelmed with requests for help.

    Finally, I’m going to suggest you check out Rights for Mothers ~ they are on my survivor blog roll. The woman who writes that blog knows everything you need to know. . .except the LDS part of your challenge. However, women leaving evangelical “Christian” marriages face the same issues. IMHO, the whole PAS business is rooted in the patriarchal power politics of fundamentalist religions of various stripes.

    Unfortunately, I do not have the resources to help you. I’m barely keeping myself afloat. However, I do answer all the comments people leave. I’ve discovered that none of us is alone ~ there’s always somebody out there who has walked in our shoes. The challenge is to find those people and to learn from their experiences.

    Good luck and God bless,
    Anne Caroline

  17. Pingback: Judgement and Decree — It’s Over, But Is It Over? « the journey that never ends·

  18. Anne, keep up the good work. Your so good about keeping this type of situation alive. It is about the children. They become a dollar sign in the courts to attorneys and the judges. The more money you have, the value of the child increases, and “best interest” is lost. 3 years later I am still blocked from any contact with my daughter. You would think I was a convicted felon. This behavior is because of a narcissistic ex husband. They are not thinking about the future effects on the child, but covering their own hidden agenda’s, and faults. I pray for the kids nowadays. There is a plague in this country for the welfare of children.

  19. It appears that fathers who manipulate the legal system as an instrument of abuse have found this site and are leaving comments to further their cause.

    Their comments will be deleted.

  20. This has been my nightmare life fir the last 3 years. 2 weeks of trial. My kids have suffered, he was awarded the house with the 80k equity, he keeps his 6 figure salary and we were almost homeless. I’m 70k out of my parents money. Now that I want to relocate he is objecting with a 50 page response full of blame abd accusations and another court date

  21. In our situation his family has not spoken to the children abd neither has he since the divorce yet he abd his girlfriend ( who he left for, sadly I didn’t leave even with the dv) sends the children nasty emails and texts. If we dont respond the judge says I’m alienating the children and the cycle continues. The courts look the other way at abuse of the children by him verbally abd physically because he claimed I am a racist. People think I’m lying when I tell them our divorce is on going. This manipulation of the system has to end if anything to save the tax payer s money for continuous litigation.

  22. Woops. Jackie here. Comment was dropped. In summary. I am looked at as a plague. Family tainted by his story and what’s on papers. No friends. And my State Senators that this is committee they chair. Are Democrats. Which his lawyer is in charge of campaigns for them. The money paid. Overrides justice. I got my daughters cell phone # from a relative. I texted her since she never answered. Her first time to make contact was with words of panic, sadness, and begging for help. I got as much as I could from her to give to authorities. And promised to text her the next night requesting she be sure to respond. I spoke to 5 people who know about her current condition. All have injunctions and don’t want to be sued. My temp orders state I am barred from calling CPS (Who are under investigation in Texas for child related death’s and subsequent pardoning of killers.- Search San Antonio Express News and Senator Carlos Uresti in charge of investigations. We’ll see what REALLY happens) And Judge Special who is now over TEXAS CPS has said “Its old News”. This CPS had a level 3 investigation on my ex called in from LAX. Case – dropped. 2nd case. No. I do feel broken more than ever. A childs call and now her father’s intervention again. Money paid for the protection of an abuser. Money is not protecting my daughter, and making it legally worse. The payees my ex has on his list are my eldest. Living large, snubbing the craziness with her new degree as a social worker. IOW. Be careful who you believe in. They move on. I’m stuck in perpetual hell and hurt. Victim. No. Pissed. My child. Victim. And not a commodity. But how does one ever live again like before. You can’t. Texas money revokes justice.

  23. Dear Anne. After you read my brief comment. Is there a way to send Senator Carlos Uresti an urgent call to really investigate the CPS DEATHS AS PROMISED HOLDING JUDGES, LAWYERS, ETC ACCOUNTABLE. My daughter with so many other children are being ignored because of lawyers like beavers. I am again cut off illegally from my daughter after her texts for help.

  24. Anne, I have been stuck in an agonizing custody battle for almost 6 months now. I am 26 and my ex is 37. My daughter is only 11 months old. I found/read A Judicial Guide to Child Safety a few months ago. I showed my attorney and requested he submit it to the judge but it went virtually undiscussed. Ive almost given up hope that I am going to be trapped sharing custody of my baby girl with my abusive ex.
    I need some help and some advice. I don’t know how to get the judge to read this. My ex and I have each hired our own custody evaluators and I don’t know how to explain to them the seriousness of the abuse without being seen as if Im attempting to alienate him. I need some serious help. Our trial is set for Jan. 05, 2014.
    The details of my case are messy to say the least. Not only is he abusive but he has a perverted sexual addiction as well. And I have reason to believe he and his mother set me up and manipulated me and essentially tricked me into having a baby. My ex has made so many false claims that I am pretending to be concerned about my daughters safety simply because Im angry with him as well as accusing me of wiretapping/hacking into his email accounts, harassment, intentional public embarrassment and deformation of character. Im not even entirely positive if I am legally allowed to post anything more detailed than that as we have spent the majority of case disputing his privacy rights and minimal discussion of the safety and welfare of my daughter.
    Our trial is nearing and I am losing hope. I was hoping, due to my inability to discuss the details of my case live on the internet, that you might email me in private.
    Im desperate. Ive reached out for help in so many different ways but haven’t received a single response yet. I don’t know what else to do.

  25. Your angst is shared by many protective mothers. Because I don’t have the energy, resources, or time to advise individuals, I share everything that I know as soon as I know it on this site.

    My thinking is evolving into suggesting that protective mothers place more faith in the court of public opinion than in any court of law. Your odds are better, and justice is more swift and effective.

    In your comments, I sense more concern regarding your relations with your ex and his mother than your kids. I totally understand this, but you need to make the best interests of your children your ONLY concern. You’ve already decided that he’s a jerk, and you want him out of your life.

    Now, it is time to get him out of your head. Make him irrelevant. This is NOT easy. But, it is the first essential step in regaining control over our lives.

    Unless you have solid evidence that he has engaged in criminal behavior like sexual molestation, it is highly unlikely that he will be prohibited from seeing his children. While I can fully appreciate that this causes you considerable distress, this is the harsh reality of life. We often are called upon to deal with circumstances and situations which we find abhorent. So, how can you best protect your kids?

    My suggestion to you is to work VERY hard to achieve an amicable out-of-court settlement which IMHO is always in a child’s best interest. This allows you to best control the outcome and try to find a way to remove your children from the center of a battle which too often is more about the ill will between divorcing spouses than their best interests.

    What’s the court of public opinion? Your friends and family. Build alliances focused on your childrens’ best interests. Although it will be exceedingly difficult to cool your emotions toward your ex, do it. This is about all about how best to give your children a bright future by playing the cards you have been dealt to the very best of your ability.

    Gradually, your friends and family will subconsciously choose sides ~ your side ~ because you will be the voice of reason, maturity, and calm even if and when you are a bundle of nerves underneath the surface.

    I’m an old woman. Trust me on this one: there isn’t a mother on the planet who doesn’t know she messed up with her son when he turns out to be an abusive jerk. These women often desperately want a do-over, and you can win her over to the side of her grandchildren (which essentially will be your side) by being cautious and diplomatic. Again, not easy.

    Your friends and relatives will enforce good behavior from your ex and his mother far more effectively than any court of law. It takes time to build this team, but you will need their support as you move forward to be the best mother you can be to your children.

    And, that’s the answer. Be the best mother you can be.

    Protective mothers get into trouble when they take family angst onto the Internet for the world to see. It is never in a child’s best interest for the world to be well-versed in private family matters. While your ex may very well be an asshole, this isn’t a fact which should be shared with your children or the world.

    The upside of the strategy I have just outlined is that your ex will eventually discover that he can no longer get to you. He’ll find another target, and the world will discover on its own that he is, in fact, an asshole. This is how you win for your kids. As kids mature and leave the nest, they always, always gravitate toward the parent who did the best they could do to provide a loving, solid, secure, and safe foundation for their futures ~ the person who enabled them best to fly. One of the most important life lessons is how to deal effectively with conflict. The best solutions are win-win rather than win-lose.

    Obviously, you will need a lot of support during this process from people who are well-grounded and mature. Avoid at all costs people who encourage you to turn this important decision regarding your childrens’ futures into a pissing contest. Base all your important decisions on your love for your kids and what is best for them.

    Please take especially good care of yourself during this process. You will have moments of triumph and horrendous dark nights of the soul. You are on a hero’s journey, and you might want to tune into Elizabeth Gilbert’s wisdom on this. Nobody wants to be called onto these journeys, but this is exactly how we emerge with a strong sense of character and humor and acquire wisdom. It is how we grow and become the best we can be. Your children will be blessed with a mother who has tremendous strength and dignity. They’ll be quite proud of you, and this is the victory you’re really after, eh?

    Good luck and best wishes,
    Anne Caroline

  26. With all due respect that is not at all the message I was trying to portray nor the advice I need. It’s devestating to hear that my words have been misinterpreted to make it seem as though my daughter is not my first priority. My daughter is my one and only concern.
    I was trying to be brief and to the point as well as careful about what I publish. I obviously didn’t do a very good job. Settlement is not an option. I’ve made countless offers and suggestions. In spite of my poor ability to express my intended message and concerns I know I am doing everything the right way (even if it turns out to be wrong I always have the sincerest and best intentions. I know I’m not perfect) and every decision I have made and continue to make is for my daughter. She comes first, second, always, only. My worries and fears are for her.
    The criminal activity, addiction, and potential dangers are being investigated at the moment by our expert evaluators.
    I suppose with no back story my brining up my ex’s mother would lead anyone to believe I’m just angry. This is not the case.
    Thanks for your time.

  27. I didn’t deserve this. I invested considerable energy and expertise in compiling and sharing with you strategies which have proven to be effective and ineffective for protective mothers.

    I didn’t even remotely suggest that your daughter isn’t your top priority or that you are an angry person.

    Your expectations for an out-of-court settlement at this time are premature. This doesn’t typically happen until the eve of trial.

    Now, I’m going to humbly suggest that you calm down and read my response again. Just to be clear: It sounds to me that 1) you are doing a good job at trial preparation; 2) you are justifiably terrified because you can’t control the outcome; and 3) you don’t want to leave one stone unturned in your efforts to protect your daughter.

    Best practices aren’t guarantees. They are simply strategies that worked well for someone. The idea is to ponder how you might effectively improve upon them in your own case.

  28. This sounds like my life & exactly what i am going through! I feel so helpless because the father of my kids is blowing thousands on expensive lawyers and bragging about it, because he knows the free lawyer i already had appointed to me for a pfa hearing basically failed me by convincing me to hurry and sign the modified pfa so that i did not have to face him in front of the judge because it would become a long complicated process! Now this man has 50/50 custody and harasses me over long emails daily pretending he is the innocent victim and i am to blame, but then during the exchange of kids yells at me in front of the kids telling me he will destroy me in court and that the kids will not see my family members that they love when he is done and that he will put me through hell if i dont do as he says! I am so desperate for a lawyer that will take more than 15 min before the custody hearing to understand that he is textbook dv by proxy! This man used my name to put me in debt and made it impossible for me to work to be able to afford a lawyer with the schedule he is on , and to top it off i cant even find a lawyer in my area that specializes in dv by proxy cases! I am so afraid for my kids while they are with him because they are nothing to him but pawns in his game against me! He is doing unsafe things to get me upset and is saying horrible things in front of them while they cry and scream for me in the backround. I dont know what to do because i feel i need represented as well as he will be with his expensive lawyer. I started a go fund me but dont even know where to begin! All i know is my kids are going through hell and he is destroying me by making me aware of what he is doing while putting on an act for everyone else! My go fund me is But even advice would be greatly appreciated

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