Family Court System

Divorcing a Narcissist: The Family Court System Needs an Overhaul

cryingNote from Tina: If I ever begin to question “why” I am doing what I am doing, I will re-read the message that I received this morning. The Family Court System in our country needs a complete overhaul. Literally makes me sick to receive messages like this. Sending love and prayers to “A” and her beautiful little girl ♥ Tina

Dear Tina,

I just read the Kindle version of your book. One of the therapists at the DV group I have been going to recommended it. It helped me to feel not so alone, and like it really “wasn’t me” and wasn’t my fault. It really is amazing how identical so much of what you wrote about is how my ex is, the same things said, the same words, the same mind games and manipulations, the same alcohol, the same twisted parents, I’d swear you were taking about my ex. I chose to message you instead of posting this on your wall because the ex has people monitoring my page and posts and everything.

I am so distraught and upset right now. You are so right about the Family Law system being screwed up. It is, and these guys use it for their own games using our poor children as pawns, nothing more than objects. I fled my home with my daughter after my ex made an attempt on my life and was nearly successful.  After many threats that our daughter (8 months old when I left) would be “motherless”, I filed for divorce in a neighboring state and was granted an emergency motion and temp custody. The court finally found it did not have jurisdiction and insisted we file in our home state. My ex beat me to it and the court made a decision based on his prejudgement filing alone, without a hearing, and granted him one full WEEK with him. I was notified mid-day on Friday and the visit was to begin 48 hours  later- on Sunday.

My daughter is still primarily breastfed- easily 80% of the time. She has never had a bottle, refuses breast milk from a cup and only wants to nurse- straight from me, her mother. She is allergic to cows milk, so she has not been on that or any other “substitute”. The longest she has EVER been gone from me is 4 hours, and she nurses right before and after. None of that mattered to the court. I was even able to get letter from her pediatrician strongly advising against such a dramatic change so quickly and asking that they please not unnecessarily traumatize our infant daughter, but my ex and his lawyer insisted. He even went so far as to say that he’d “just put her on formula” despite her NEVER having had formula and refusing a bottle.

Now my baby is 420 miles away, I am beyond worried, and don’t know what to do. I just don’t understand how the court can make such a major decision after only seeing one twisted side of the story which involved lies, and then claim it is in my baby’s best interest. I don’t know what to do next, how to get through this, how to help my baby. I feel so absolutely destroyed.

Your strength is encouraging to me. Though I also am a bit feeling like this is only the beginning of a long never ending road. It seems as though he is going to follow the same pattern that you went through. I pray for some of your strength. Thank you for writing this book and speaking out. “A”


One Mom’s Battle: Our mission at One Mom’s Battle is to increase awareness of Cluster B personality disorders (Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder) and their impact upon shared parenting and the Family Court System which includes Judges, CPS workers, Guardian ad Litems (GAL), Parenting Coordinators (PC), Custody Evaluators, therapists and attorneys. Education on Cluster B disorders will allow these professionals to truly act in the best interest of the children.

History of One Mom’s Battle: In 2009, One Mom’s Battle began with one mother, (Tina Swithin), navigating the choppy waters of a high-conflict divorce in the Family Court System. Since then, it has turned into a grassroots movement reaching the far corners of the Earth. Tina’s battle spanned from 2009 – 2014 during which time she acted as her own attorney. Ultimately, Tina was successful in protecting her daughters and her family has enjoyed complete peace since October 2014 when a Family Court commissioner called her ex-husband a “sociopath” and revoked his parenting time in a final custody order.

Tina Swithin: Tina Swithin’s books are available online at Amazon (print, Kindle or audio format). Each year, Tina offers life-changing weekends of camaraderie and healing at the Lemonade Power Retreat.  Tina also offers one-on-one coaching services and a private, secure forum called, The Lemonade Club, for those enduring high-conflict custody battles.


13 thoughts on “Divorcing a Narcissist: The Family Court System Needs an Overhaul

  1. That is one of the most gut wrenching examples of how badly the “justice” system is broken! Hopefully this glaring incompetence on the part of the court will pave the way for more intelligent and thoughtful rulings. In the meantime, I am praying, along with everyone else, for the safety of that sweet baby and her momma!

  2. Wtf. How did this happen??? I’m speechless. As a Mom in a volatile situation with my ex, and attempting to coparent, this is terrifying!!! I’ve been pushing to get into court with my ex, but after reading this, I’m apprehensive. This makes me want to cower into a corner and forget the fight… Am I alone here??

  3. Suzie- Every court is different. Every path and story is different. This is one that has moved me deeply. I can’t retreat into that corner because my children are depending on me. I need to be able to look at them one day and say that I did everything in my power to protect them.

    It’s a daunting, horrible fight but I also hear the victory stories that motivate me to keep going. There are times that you will want to give up but don’t…allow yourself to grieve but them put the battle gear back on. (((Hugs))) Tina

  4. “A”. I can empathize with you. After being taken to court by the npd, he was granted 12 hour sat/12 hour Sunday visits with my then 5 month old who was strictly breastfed. Also every Wednesday from 5-8pm even though his bedtime was 7. The visits were and are still excruciatingly painful for me to endure. Just the fact that this monster has my little baby out of pure and simple evil and spite for me . Nothing more. In 2 months he will be 2, and the overnights will be forced by the court order. Baby is still nursing and has never been away from me at night. I ache thinking of how to get through this. My lawyer refuses to fight for me saying my case isn’t strong enough to change the order because the npd hasn’t hurt the baby “yet”. I don’t know what any of us can do but pray for miracles. Thank god for Tina allowing us to know we’re not alone.

  5. Tina has definitely helped us know that we are not alone, and this I know has helped me begin to heal and know that it is not my fault. It still baffles me how the court wants the NPD to have hurt the baby in an extreme way before something can possibly be done. All the while the NPDs are able to manipulate the system. I continue to pray, pray, pray.

  6. Then when he does start hurting the children, it isn’t “enough” because there aren’t bruises or marks which is where my case is currently. So, it isn’t just about hurting them– he has to hurt them bad enough….and hopefully not “too bad”. The courts basically hand them an abuse manual and tell them to play within the accepted areas of abuse and they will be fine. Makes me sick.

  7. I am just sick to death over this. I can not tolerate the broken system nor can I tolerate the insanity of those who wield their own children as a weapon to hurt another. This poor mother must be in agony. I am often brought to the story (in my mind) of the two mothers who fought over a baby in front of the King, both claiming to be the real mother. The King decided to settle the matter by splitting the child between them. The real mother of course was willing to give up her child in order so that it might be spared, and therefore, was discovered as the REAL mother.
    What we would not do for our children, and, the court system is cruel and unusual and barbaric in it’s practices. I am so grateful you are fighting this battle on behalf of all – so that change can happen. Great work. I am a huge fan.

  8. thougts and prayers are with you “A” the legal system, including attorneys, mediators, and judges, is behaving badly in everyway. it is sad, how us “good guys” “victims” are the ones who are silenced thru all this.
    our cries are the loudest and are unheard by the courts. when and how will it ever change. only we can try and do that to help those future victims of this horrifying situation… our struggles will not go unnotice.

  9. I have been in a divorce/custody battle for the past 7 years after escaping an abusive marriage to a lawyer. We are still in court. At this point my ex hasn’t had any visitations with the kids for a year with one and 7 months with the other, yet the court is still attempting to push reunification in spite of the, now teenagers, saying they do not want any visits because of the physical, emotional and verbal abuse documented and perpetrated on them. It has been a nightmare both financially and emotionally, but I will fight on. The court has told me basically to “keep my mouth shut” and the blog I had about my struggle was taken down nearly two years ago. One day, I will tell my story as nobody should ever have to go through what we have been through. In spite of DV convictions, DWI convictions, and testimony by experts, the “system” still won’t set me or the kids free from this nightmare. Thank you all for your efforts in your battles. Good luck and may the best interest of the children truly prevail.

  10. I am so glad I found this site! I am struggling to decide what to do right now. The latest issue ( there have been many!) is that my DD is severely allergic to cats, but her father refuses to get rid of his despite the allergist and co-parenting counselors encouragement. (I got rid of mine as soon as I found out.) He actually threatened that he will just stop giving her the allergy meds and see what happens. He says if she has an asthma attack or anaphylatic shock then he would CONSIDER getting rid of the cat. Other than that he believes she should just tough it out.(Prior to finding out DD was allergic to cats she had numerous issues with bronchitis, pneumonia, was put on inhalers and albuterol treatments. She has improved with the allergy meds, but still deals with chronic sinus infections, congestion, and cough, which makes her miserable. She improves in the summer because she is constantly on the run with her father from place to place, and is not around the cat much) I am scared for my dd. Do I quit pressuring him and dd just deals with the allergy meds and congestion, cough, etc., or do I push and take it to court and risk him not giving her meds like he threatened? I feel I am damned if I do, damned if I don’t. He makes her feel guilty about having symptoms. The lack of empathy is so frightening. I’m at a loss of what to do.

  11. So sorry to hear what the system hasn’t done for your daughter. I had a judge give my ex visition despite a letter from child protective services saying they had 2 open cases regarding my ex and his conduct with minor children. I really wonder what ever happened to courts protecting children. If there is even a chance that their decisions can negatively affect a child you would think they would advise against it. In my experience with divorce and custody coupled with someone with NPD the court system is clearly more about politics and not protecting our children.

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