20 Strategies for Surviving a High-Conflict Custody Battle
By Grace W. Wroldson, Author & Strategy Coach for Moms
The U.S Family Court System Debacle
As a protective mom, I suffered for eleven years in the U.S. Family Court System. In one battle, I lost my rights to my ex – an angry, bitter, wealthy narcissist who used the most expensive bulldog attorney to attack me as a way of defending himself. It was a 5-day trial that spanned two years and took three and a half years to get to. The saga was full of motions, pre-trial hearings and multiple requests for continuances. The truth is, I found the family court to be like a game of chess. He moves, you move. You move, he moves. It comes down to strategy and thinking long-term. Sometimes you lose a pawn but you protect the queen. Sometimes you lose a knight (inadequate attorney) but save the child. In order to be effective at this high-stakes game of family chess, I had to have adequate representation –someone seasoned who knew this legal game well.
We have to think both short-term and long-term.
Family Court – A Narcissist’s Legal Game
The legal game was not something that I agreed with or understood. I thought the courts were about truth, fairness, and justice. What I learned was the winner is often whoever had the biggest club and the most money to fuel the fight. In other words, whoever had the better lawyer and unlimited money to throw at it had the advantage. When you add factors like ignorant family enablers and flying monkeys, it becomes very upsetting. It was a rude awakening for me. I learned that the truth doesn’t get a straight line to a judge; rather, a bunch of half-truths, twisted facts, and skewed evidence can make its way to the judge. I also learned that court professionals often don’t see through narcissist manipulations and are each biased in their own way.
Unfortunately, the system isn’t exactly designed to think “in the child’s best interest” as it ought to be. I witnessed our court and judge think in terms of parents’ rights. Even worse, if the narcissist is able to make people feel sorry for them, they can get their way (for a time) just on pity alone. Another fact is that the lawyers make an hourly wage whether we went to court or not and whether I won or lost. It’s a sad fact. I often wondered, who is thinking about the child beside me?
I learned that I had to think both short-term and long-term. This included thinking about logistics and not just strategy. Thinking logistics meant calculating the costs of using family court routinely and asking myself, “How long can I afford this battle? What other options are there?”
We have to think about logistics, as much as we develop a strategy.
Learn more in my video below
—Grace W. Wroldson, mother, survivor, thriver, certified life coach, and author of 5 self-help books available on Amazon
To watch this video or read the full INSTANT PDF, click here.
Books available on Amazon & Audible!
Read my books:
- Co-Parenting with a Narcissist: 7 Self-Rules to Stay Sane (A Survivor’s Story)
- How-To Fight a Narcissist in Family Court and Win: Super-Smart Strategies for Success
*Disclaimer: These are helpful tips based solely on the author’s thoughts and opinions. The author is not a qualified mental health professional nor a crisis caseworker. She cannot give legal advice or appropriate counsel and is therefore not liable for any injury or harm. Please follow your doctor’s, therapist’s, counselor’s, and lawyer’s advice, as well as your own good common sense and intuition based on your unique case—to see if these tips could be helpful. Child custody situations may vary where some of these will not be applicable for your circumstance. Furthermore, court orders may dictate otherwise. Please use your own good judgment when reviewing this document. This is for personal Self-Help only. These were created from the author’s own lived experience and not based on any laws or rules of the courts. This is copyright protected by the author and is not to be sold, distributed, or quoted without the author’s written consent.