I have to laugh every time I check my analytic's page. Especially the keyword phrases that people use when searching for information on co parenting with a sociopath. Don't misunderstand- I'm not laughing AT them. I am laughing at the absurdity of the fact that ANY of us are having to learn how to co-parent with a bonafide sociopath. Unbelievable.
That being said, I have personally been put through the ringer trying to figure out how to convince a judge that my ex is a sociopath. You would think that a psychiatrist testifying to the fact would be enough. NOT.
I have worn the search engines out looking for information about how to beat one in court, how to win against them, how to protect my child from one, how to testify against one, how to explain ASPD to your attorney, and how to co-parent with one. The answers are hard to find.
Here is what I HAVE figured out about winning a battle against a sociopath: It is possible and it isn't that hard. I have developed a theory I call K.I.S.S and Tell. So, far it has been working for me. Here is how it works:
K.I.S.S. stands for Keep it Simple, Stupid. Sociopathy is hard to explain to someone who has never lived with it. The traits are not. Predicting the impact on a child isn't hard either.
Q: How do we tell a judge a sociopath is bad for a child? (Again, laughing... it is sooo wrong we should have to do this, duh!)
A: Tell him about morality as a predictor for future criminality and values as an ability to instruct and inspire the child in preparation for becoming an asset to the community BUT don't throw a label onto your ex.
After all, aside from the abuse and neglect that our children must suffer now, our biggest concern is the impact a sociopath will have on their future. (I am not minimizing abuse and neglect, but I am avoiding it. Bringing this up in family court is an almost guaranteed way for a mother to lose custody- even if the sociopath admits to it and even if you can prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt.)
If you run into court saying your ex is a sociopath and he tries to make you look crazy, then the judge WILL think you are crazy. The ex will snicker and laugh and say, “see, I told you she was nuts!” Emotionally detach yourself from your case. If you focus instead on proving a pattern of behaviors and painting a picture for how this will impact your child, you will come across as grounded. Judges like grounded.
I highly recommend the book “Teaching Right from Wrong – 40 Things You Can Do To Raise A Moral Child” by Arthur Dobrin. It is all about how to raise an ethical child- which a sociopath knows NOTHING about. It is also a valuable blueprint for telling a judge what your child needs and how you can do it better than a sociopath.
So, try to keep your case simple. Complicated equals confusion. Sociopaths thrive on confusion.
… and tell. What is a sociopath's ONLY FEAR? The truth being revealed. Do tell about what has happened in your life and the hell that your child is going through. BUT be clear that you can separate the past from the future. The reality is that in the current court environment, you WILL be forced to co parent with the sociopath. If you suggest anything less you run the risk of losing your child to the sociopath completely.
I used to keep my mouth shut about the abuse. I was embarrassed. Now, I tell every chance I get. Once people hear it they start noticing things on their own. The sociopath hates it, which triggers his issues and causes him to make a fool out of himself. I made the mental shift from victim to survivor and people are starting to see through his act. Me telling has caused him to sabotage himself. He is not winning anymore.
I believe in K.I.S.S. And Tell because I tried it the other way and I LOST. Then I learned that I was not alone. Thousands of mothers and children go through this very thing. The more outraged against the injustice we become- the harder we fight to reveal the truth – the tighter the noose around our neck gets. In this way, we mothers have a LOT to learn from corrupt father's rights groups and perhaps from sociopaths as well.