Educating Family Court Professionals on High-Conflict Custody Battles

involving individuals with diagnosed (or suspected) Cluster B personality disorders such as Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, or Antisocial Personality Disorder.

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The Mission of One Mom's Battle

The 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 in the Family Court System. Education on Cluster B disorders will allow family court professionals (Judges, Commissioners, Magistrates, CPS workers, Guardian ad Litems (GAL), Parenting Coordinators (PC), Custody Evaluators, therapists and attorneys) to truly act in the best interest of the children who are depending on them.

Cluster B personality disorders, whether diagnosed or not, are the common denominators in high-conflict divorce and custody battles. The three disorders that are most common in conflict are: Borderline Personality Disorder (more common with females than with males), Narcissistic and Antisocial Personality Disorders (more common in males than in females). With each of these three Cluster B disorders, there is a pronounced lack of empathy and a repeated testing of laws, rules, and personal boundaries. The disordered individual views child support and financial obligations as a weapon to hurt and control the healthy parent, even when they have the means and financial resources to support their children. There is a high level of manipulation to meet their own needs which fluctuates with their mood or state of mind. In addition, there is often fraud or other criminal activities. Substance abuse and other forms of mental disorders often go hand in hand with Cluster B disorders. Any of these pervasive issues should pose as a “red flag” to court professionals.

The narcissist, when compared to a dead-beat parent, is a welcomed relief to the court because they show interest in being a part of their child’s life. This portrayed interest is the furthest thing from the truth. At OMB, we refer to this as the courtroom mask – the narcissist is wearing a mask in the courtroom or when the eyes of a court professional are upon them. Outside of the court setting, the mask falls and the narcissist’s true colors show. This is where it is critical to pay attention to words versus actions. It is imperative that Family Court professionals begin to err on the side of caution whenever there are claims of abuse, whether the abuse is emotional, psychological, physical, sexual, legal or financial - abuse is abuse.

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The History of One Mom's Battle

In 2009, One Mom’s Battle (OMB) began with one mother, Tina Swithin, navigating a high-conflict divorce in the California Family Court System while in pro per. When Tina named her blog, “One Mom’s Battle,” she truly felt alone and isolated in her journey. After going public with her story in 2011, Tina quickly realized that she was not alone, and that narcissistic abuse affects both men and women. Tina continues to champion children’s rights versus mother’s rights or father’s rights. Ultimately, Tina’s family court nightmare came to an end in 2014 when a Family Court commissioner labelled her ex-husband a “sociopath” and revoked his parenting time (and contact with the children). Tina has dedicated her life to raising awareness on narcissistic personality disorder and its impact on the family court system.

Offerings

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From The Blog

More from the Blog

Testimonials

  • You no longer need to go through the ordeal of divorcing a narcissist alone. Through this battle, Tina Swithin is a beacon of clarity. You will realize that you are not alone, you are not crazy, and someday you will start to whisper “thank you” to the darkness… thank you to the pain, the fear the struggle even thank you to the narcissist ….because in the darkness you will find light you never knew you had inside your heart, strength you never imagined.

    Christie Brinkley Actress and Supermodel
  • Tina’s books have become a lifeline during my custody battle. While reading her first book, Divorcing a Narcissist: One Mom’s Battle,” I felt like someone finally understood my battle and then wrote about it. It’s very difficult to explain what happens in the Family Court System and Tina does it beautifully and honestly. I thank Tina on behalf of every one of us who struggled to articulate what we were going through. Thank you for sharing your story so that thousands of men and women feel less alone. I believe that this book should be a required reading material in all psychology classes and in law schools across the world.

    Kelly Rutherford Actress, Mom and Philanthropist
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