Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pitfalls to Getting a Domestic Restraining Order When Child Custody is Involved

The Castillo Children

Here is the message that I hope every mother facing child custody litigation will hear:

DO NOT walk into family court expecting to be granted a domestic restraining order if child custody is involved.

Family Court will not protect you. It will not protect your children. In fact, it is very likely to deliver all of you into the hands of your abuser, whether he be a sociopath, narcissist, or something else entirely.

Does that seem harsh? Unbelievable? Nah, that can’t possibly be true. Just ask Dr. Amy Castillo.

Her ex, Mark Castillo, was diagnosed with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (a kissing cousin of Antisocial Personality Disorder). She endured a lengthy two year custody fight, during which time she repeatedly asked the family court for help in protecting her children. His “friends” , AKA the disciples and the followers, came to court and testified as to what a “loving” and doting father he was.

Her request for a domestic restraining order, because he had threatened to harm the children, was denied. The judge felt that there wasn't clear and convincing evidence that abuse had occurred.Mark Castillo celebrated by taking the children, two, four, and six years of age, into the bathroom and drowning them.
He recounted how he held each of them under the water for a full ten minutes, using his stopwatch to make sure the timing was just right. Once they were gone, he laid the children out on the bed and then botched his own suicide attempt. Apparently, swallowing 100 Motrin isn’t fatal for a narcissist (insert an eye roll).

This mother wasn’t believed because family courts stereotype women unfairly and without evidence. The courts assume that both parties are just bickering and the mother is exaggerating. However, even when the evidence is good, domestic restraining orders are denied. In my situation, I had eyewitness testimony and photographs to back it up. My ex didn’t even try to deny it.

The result? The judge said,” There is no way to make an order of protection work with the custody arrangement. I want to move forwards, not backwards. So, if he does this again, you are welcome to come back and file again.” Oh yeah, he also ordered me to attend couple’s counseling with the sociopath.

The only thing more frightening than asking for a domestic restraining order against a sociopath is being denied the right to protection. Now he can terrorize you and your child with the judge’s blessing.

“When you’re in fear of your life and for your children, and you make that move to step out and do something about it, and then you go to get a protective order, and you don’t get it, it’s just really devastating. . . . It’s like a discouragement to make a change in your life that needs to be made.” - Amy Castillo

So, no matter how bad things are and no matter how afraid you are NEVER go to family court for a domestic restraining order unless there is absolutely no other option. The next couple of blogs will talk about better choices, and how to make your case as strong as you possibly can BEFORE you step in front of a judge.

You can read about the Castillo case here Court Records Document Turmulous Relationship

and also here Why this Mother wasn't believed

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