If you and your children need protection from a sociopath, then you are in for a fight. Antisocial Personality Disorder is hard to get diagnosed and even if you do, people are vastly uneducated about this condition. This is especially true in rural court systems. If you go into court and call your ex a sociopath, they will think you are nuts.
My ex was diagnosed and I had to pay the expert to testify. The judge still didn't understand what antisocial personality is. The focus became the father not conforming to our society’s social norms, as opposed to violating social norms in a ways that are grounds for arrest. So, if you have a diagnosis, that’s great. If you don’t, you must focus on the behavior itself and forget the label.
If it is at all possible, begin collecting evidence of each behavior BEFORE you leave. Whether the abuse is verbal, emotional, or physical… document it. Assume right off the bat that no one is going to believe your story. Take photographs of damaged property, injuries, and any weapons the sociopath may own. Invest in a digital recorder and learn how to use it. Keep your evidence in a secure location and NEVER let on that you have it.
Get as much on file with the police department as you can. Once you have begun building your case, it’s time to go. Take your children with you. Domestic violence shelters have a lot of information on how to leave your abusive partner. Listen to them. Be prepared to take legal action as soon as you are safe. Don’t wait for your abuser to file legal action against you. The person who files first has a small legal advantage.
Asking family court for an ex-parte order of protection is easy, but it is a dangerous trap. Once you do this, you surely open the door to purgatory. Why? Because in family court, it is you against the sociopath. He can, and definitely will, make up any and every exaggeration about you that he can. Read this carefully: PERJURY IS NOT PROSECUTED IN FAMILY COURT. The sociopath will lie, and he will lie big. He will frequently get away with it.
Criminal Justice System vs. Family Court
If you have good evidence, consult with a domestic violence advocate or attorney about pursuing a criminal order of protection. Find out if your abuser’s actions violate any state law. If you can build a good criminal case, you will be in a much stronger position in family court. Here’s why:
1. Criminal court pits the sociopath abuser against the state (as opposed to you).
2. The state carries the burden of proving the case.
3. It won’t cost you anything- the state carries the financial burden of prosecution.
4. A criminal order of protection always trumps a family court order, no matter what.
5. Your abuser will have a harder time launching an attack against you, since you are the state’s witness.
Read : Beware of Family Court
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