Thursday, August 14, 2014

Trial by Fire: Battling a Sociopath in Family Court

"You are a warrior. Warriors don't give up and they don't back down. Pick up your sword and shield, and fight!"

- Scandal

The conclusion of my child custody trial was Friday, July 25th. It was bloody, shocking and traumatizing... but with God's grace, I got through it. It's amazing how low down and dirty some attorneys will get. Especially when a little ole woman has the nerve to challenge their ego in front of the judge. Nimrod was angry with me. Very angry.

Before it was over, facebook became involved. Nimrod showed up at my house throwing subpoenas and yelling he was sending my sister to jail in front of my son and 2 other cub scout kids, and both lawyers were trying to impeach each other (mine succeeded in showing Nimrod was outright lying).

As I write this, there is no ruling yet. I was forced to try the case in front of the same judge I brought up on appeal. If one good thing has come out of the appeals process, maybe it is that the best interest standards will actually be considered this go round. He asked the lawyers to brief him post trial. And, I do believe (hope) he will take the time to review the evidence.

The judge did say one thing that made me very proud of him. This case should have been heard over a year ago. My son should not have been left to languish in the family court machine for so long.

I spent nearly 3 to 3 1/2 hours on the stand being yelled at by a red-faced, irate Nimrod. I was accused of everything from shaving my son's legs and painting his toenails to having my ex falsely charged by the district attorney for assault. To sum it up, Nimrod 's testimony to the judge was that I'm one sick, sick puppy. Of course, there is no explanation for why, despite having me investigated and despite them hiring a discovery expert, they had no evidence at all that any of his allegations were true.

I almost wish the trial had been filmed. The drama would give Law and Order a run for their money during prime time viewing. The louder Nimrod got, the more accusatory his statements became. I resorted to asking, "Was that a question or a statement?" I'm sure I sounded argumentative as all get out!

I  got in the evidence of the sociopath's demeaning and abusive behaviors at exchanges, his refusal to communicate in matters regarding the child and my son's emotional problems. The therapist and teachers testified. Basically, my sons trouble separating from me, his anger issues over the lack of control in his living situation and his ongoing needs were addressed. The teachers testified to school problems and the father's inability to comprehend even kindergarten level homework.

Mostly, I tried to stick to the highroad and not complain too much about the sociopaths antics. I left it with the statement "Ultimately, I have to pick and choose my battles. Much of his behavior is just juvenile, and while it does impact my son (because they say these things to him and it confuses him) I have learned to let it go because in the big picture, there is nothing anyone can do about it."

Now we wait to see how much of the mud they slung sticks in the judges mind. I have no idea which way it will fly. The judge clearly feels pity towards my ex and favors him, but despite having 50/50 custody he has done nothing to actually parent our child (other than get him through the doors of the school when he has him.)

I will try to post more over the next week and get the briefs up for you to read.