PTSD Mothers Entrenched in Custody Battles

The perversion of American family values just took on a new twist. The federal government is aware of the crisis in Family Courts across America. Thousands of mothers are losing custody of their children, to their abusers. Hundreds of thousands of people have written to their senators asking for senate oversight hearing on the failure of family court to protect children. Instead of the federal government protecting our family values with our tax dollars, we are now spawning a new generation of PTSD sufferers due to legal Abuse Syndrome, injuries sustained from chronic siege of a custody battle.

LEGAL ABUSE SYNDROME (LAS) is a form of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  It is a psychic injury, not a mental illness.  It is a personal injury that develops in individuals assaulted by ethical violations, legal abuses, betrayals, and fraud. Abuse of power and authority and a profound lack of accountability in our courts have become rampant. Dr. Karin Huffer, author of the groundbreaking book, Overcoming the Devastation of Legal Abuse Syndrome, has devoted over 20 years to researching, diagnosing, and treating PTSD and other trauma disorders.

Women are often fearful that their reporting of domestic violence will precipitate retaliation by the batterer, a fear that is not unwarranted (Sisley et al., 1999). As a result, in 82% of disputed custody cases, fathers achieve sole custody despite the fact that only 13% had been involved in child care activities prior to divorce (Dr. Phyllis Chesler). The trauma of divorce is barely related to the cessation of a relationship, and more closely related to the combative nature of these divorce and custody battles in the Justice System. Losing access to the baby you carried and birthed causes an irreversible trauma to the child and its mother. A mother’s reaction to such a trauma is natural by design, and not a mental illness. Sociopaths who enjoy the luxuries of brand name lawyers latch on to a mother’s reaction as a way to judge her parenting abilities.

The most difficult aspect in divorce proceedings is the issue of which parent is going to maintain custody. This thorny issue is the single area where mental health professionals, often psychologists, are called upon for expert testimony. Pre-existing conditions, such as mental illness preclude immediate determination of custody and prolong the case, to the delight of sociopathic abusive men. Here again, psychologists are called upon to test the relevant parties for competence and some determination is then made by the courts for custody and visitation arrangements. However, in the case of PTSD sustained due to legal abuse in the very prolonged battle for custody, this injury is now being used against mothers, as they are being judged for their ability to be a fit parent.

Chronic strain in the courtroom during a lengthy divorce and custody battle is a near-guarantee for single mothers to develop PTSD. In the most fully developed form, this syndrome is called post-traumatic stress disorder (DSM-IV). A new wave of mothers are now unable to work and support themselves and their children, and receive social security benefits, courtesy of the federal government. Along with the SSI, mothers are entitled to accommodations in the courtroom such as extended time and recording devices. Additionally, these mothers appear in court with ADA advocates available assist the disabled inside the courtroom. The crisis in the family courts across America is now a federal burden, and your tax dollars are supporting this highly flawed systemic established.

About calany

Coalition Against Legal Abuse in New York - send us your story. we post all without censorship. We are not liable for your offense.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

61 Responses to PTSD Mothers Entrenched in Custody Battles

  1. rebeccainfl says:

    Six years ago when I tried to leave my abusive husband, I believed that the legal system was a professionally governed organization where my rights and my property would be protected. I went into family court believing in my history teacher’s promises that we live in a land and have a government whose words, “And Justice For All” are backed up with our justice system and the laws of our land. I also knew that I could be found dead if I did not escape this man. Since my family court experience, I now know that there is no justice in family court and in fact there is extreme injustice and the laws of the land are applied only and possibly if you have enough money to take the case to appellate court as Family Court is a special court (a court of law) that is not a court of equity.
    Court of law verses a court of equity.
    Family court is a court of law, not a court of equity (where the court will provide a remedy). This is important for survivors to understand. We have been seeking remedy in a court of law, family court. The professionals in the business, do not tell us that we will not get remedy in this court. They tell us that we must go to Family Court and they sell us a bill of goods, using our state of despair and helplessness to make money. In a court of equity, there is a jury of peers who will listen to the facts. There is no jury of peers in Family Court, there is only one judge who does not understand the dynamics of domestic violence. The judge is the sole trier of the facts and is given the authority to make decisions that affect the survivor’s family, financial, physical, emotional, and mental health. Some individuals have said that the judge does not even read the file, s/he leaves that chore up to the clerk, and the clerk and the attorneys make the decision for you. Many lawyers feed the fire of what they term a “high conflict divorce” (meaning a divorce from a personality disordered individual), to line their pockets and after you have finished, the attorneys and the system (who have all knowledge of your financial information) know that you do not have the money to appeal the judge’s decision to a higher court. Behind closed doors, this is communicated to all parties and your fate is then sealed. You are stuck with this decree. Needless to say, if you have children, this court decree becomes a double-edged sword that cuts you and also your children.
    While I do not advise people to stay with abusive mates, I cannot advise survivors to trust family courts and all the professionals who benefit from family court. This is another double edged sword, you are cut both ways. If you stay, you will suffer and perhaps lose your life. If you leave, you may save your life physically, but your children will be forced (by the court of law) to live without your protection with an abusive parent and you will give away all of your finances (and the finances of your family) to protect yourself and your children. Family court will order by the law, remember they are not a court of equity, where a jury of peers will look at the whole environment and make recommendations that are equitable. Family court is a court of law and the law states that a parent does not have to be a good parent to have parental rights. Of course if you try to protect your children, then you are alienating the children from the other parent. The court of law may decide to take the children from you and give them to Foster Care or to the abusive parent to preserve the rights of the abusive party.

    Is abuse too profitable?
    These facts are evident to all concerned, but sadly ignored because the profit is so great to the players involved in this business of terror. Why hasn’t the system changed? Why is there no media coverage? Could it be that this system is profitable to lawyers, judges, dcs, cps, clerks, domestic violence shelters, victim advocates, guardians, psychologists, expert witnesses, etc? Our elected officials are lawyers and media companies follow the advice of their lawyers. The American Bar is a private body comprised of lawyers. Is it too much about profit and not about the protection of children and families?
    Victims of abuse are not aware of the injustice until they step into the court room with an abusive partner and begin to realize that the Family Court is a playground where the disordered can manipulate all the players. The players will not change the system because they have those mortgages that need to be paid and profits to be made. The judges will not speak up, because the attorneys will not fund their elections. The devastation of families and children are ignored perhaps because it is too profitable for the court system.
    What are those of us who have suffered left to do?
    We have become survivors of a dysfunctional organization and many of us suffer with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Depression and Anxiety. If we did not develop PTSD surviving in our relationships with a disordered individual, we will develop PTSD when exposed to a system that is set up to punish and keep us exposed to trauma. Your attorney will threaten to withdraw and drop you (especially) when you begin to challenge the attorney about the game being played with your life and your children. The attorney expects that their bill is paid, even the trumped up charges. The Bar of you state will claim you have no claim against the attorney, just pay the bill. The bar tends to pat the team player attorneys on the back for doing a good job and not challenging the dysfunctional system.
    I believe that all we can do is keep challenging the validity of this system, writing, talking to others, counseling, presenting reality to others and asking all to support a change to this system. Are the states who insist that we divorce in this type of court responsible? Perhaps Family Court needs to become a court of equity. Some survivors are suggesting that If there is any domestic violence, (also financial assault by any party), the case must be heard in criminal court with a jury making the court a court of equity. A jury will then decide your fate, not a judge or a clerk who wants you to return and keep financially supporting their lifestyle.
    Those professionals involved in this system need to stop turning their heads to the rape and assault of American citizens and families. If you have been raped by the family court system, keep talking and sharing your story. I wish that I had the opportunity to have heard your stories before I entered this court of injustice that permitted more abuse and financial violence. I would have been safer financially and physically if I had avoided hiring the attorneys that I hired. These attorneys were not even remotely aware of all facts of my case, they were only interested in what money was available to pay large fees to continue the game of injury and the transfer of wealth to their trust funds.
    There was more justice when I was able to present the evidence to the court and file pro se. If you file pro se, you will have to learn the laws and I recommend that you have a disability advocate with you. This is important because in the presence of your abuser, you may become symptomatic and will need support. The court claims that the pro se litigant clogs the system, but perhaps this is a system that should be clogged.
    Perhaps another avenue is to file civil charges for damages. A very serious damage is the formation of complex Post Traumatic Stress due to the legal abuse. You may want to check out attorneys who litigate brain injuries.
    Are there many attorneys who will dare challenge the system and become a whistleblower? I’d like to see a national foundation set up to challenge and assist those who have been injured. I humbly ask those of you who know of solutions to write “Lovefraud” and help those of us who are still in shock from the legal abuse perpetrated by the family court system. We must help each other, because we do not have the assistance from the legal system, victim advocates, our legislators, or the media.
    Rebecca Potter, LMHC is a licensed psychotherapist who practices in West Palm Beach, Florida. She may be reached at:

    • Caroline Samiezade-Yazd says:

      I took my case to the California Appellant Court regarding Commissioner Thomas J. Nixon, after having my civil rights clearly violated in his courtroom for three years. Three doctoral psychologists attested my children were severely parentally alienated from me. When the appellant ruling was handed down, I was so disappointed in the ruling, but even more so in the system. The ruling ended up just being a “good old boys club” decision. Though each of the three appellant judges had an OBLIGATION to protect the “Best Interests of the Children”, they appellant judges clearly were more interested in protecting Nixon. Things will have to change in Washington DC at the federal level of legislation and through the Office on Violence Against Women (Judge Susan B. Carbon, Director) before anything can happen at the States level.

    • angelique says:

      I needed to read this….I can see it happening clear as is one of the main reasons I filed previously and then took the divorce out…they have no DV training and no they don’t read the files….I didn’t have representation because my low income lawyer wanted to make more money and couldn’t understand the ptsd even though she supposedly specialized in it…he even had his new girlfriend attack me and the kids through all sorts of avenues but he paints his affair with this woman as a healthy stable relationship and I have been wasting the courts and his time, money , etc….I couldn’t believe what I was hearing….my address was even impounded and when he found it out and his family sent me mail the judge would not demand an answer on how he got my new address and let his lawyer just go on and on with untruths or twisted verstions or tiny snipets….when the divorce is a traumatic event as you say nevermind how the divorce is handled…at times I have lived in such fear of the possibilities of what they may let them do that I wanted to flee and just disappear….how can you do that though when you are disabled and your kids have disabilities from the ptsd ? they need services….so yes I get riled up and shoot off emails to the lawyer letting him know I know what he’s up to and it’s not going to wokr….meanwhile I know that’s what they want… the same time though it’s kinda funny and painful how he has made 170000 in payments and thats more than he contributed to our whole marriage or any bills or anything as he was /is an addict and disappeared most of the time or I supported him … credit is now ruined, I flip out at people because I’m exhausted emtotionally, pepole can’t understand how I can still be tortured…I knew this was coming though…I just didn’t think the court would allow it…..
      at times I even thought if I just got back together with him it would be less harmful to the kids becuase maybe there is truth to “he’s a great dad”….reality is NO he is doing this because he can and because he’s selfish and hurt and it’s his way of latching on and not letting go and making sure I don’t….meanwhile he isn’t really upset he can’t see the children…..they would just get in the way of his plans, way of life, etc…..he didnt want to be with them or see them before so why would he claim to now?

      • eralyn says:

        I don’t know if you get updates to your post but I just read your post and you sound like me. I had an excellent credit score, a 22 year old business, a home I bought myself, not so much as a traffic ticket and the same has occurred in my case. I will write more later. I know the giving up feelings but I hope you are at a place of recovery. I do know mothers who have. They had great support systems which I know was a great part in that. Me, not so much.

        I will post my story/rant later.

        You are a strong woman. Remember that.

    • I could easily have written your entry and have you noticed we are supposedly not on trial for a crime, we are told that without rights to a pro bono attorney or a jury trial, that we have done “something” to punish us with the real or threatened loss of our own children! Welcome to hell!

    • Melanie says:

      Wow. Firstly, a beautifully written articulate & succinct description of the peril we have been forced to endure, and secondly gratitude for some points you made that I had not considered, putting a name to the “bigger picture” of the Money game in which we are just pawns.
      I too was massively ignorant & naive to the magnitude of the abuse that would forever change my life, and more disastrously, the life of my little girl, then only 3 years old. Not only was I blind to the psychopathic nature of my Abuser, but I also believed without question that the courts would protect us. So sure was I in my understanding of what Family Court could do that I could not do alone, so focused was I in the unexpectedly glorious task of being a new mother & introducing my daughter to the world and watching in amazement as she blossomed in my care, that I taught her that telling the truth no matter what would always eventually protect her physically mentally & spiritually. And then we watched and endured in astonishment as agency after agency belittled, humiliated, ignored, abused & berated us as liars, my vindictive nature allowing me to teach the language necessary to accuse our Abuser of society’s most reviled crimes.
      When I could no longer justify teaching my daughter one thing while she observed the escalation of my psychological abuse, I finally filed for a
      Protection Order, prepared as best I could in advance & found Confidential Shelter through my local DV network. I was terrified, my daughter had regressed to bed wetting & for the first 3 weeks in the shelter we just breathed. My daughter had taken to standing stock still & gulping for air, but I don’t remember when that started & inretrospect she was suffering a nightmare that I can still barely fathom. After her weekend visits with her father she was returned to me absolutely filthy, in the same Clothes I had dropped her off in, with her knickers full of excrement, a circumstance that had never happened before. At this point I was reading literature about DV, & in one of Lundy’s books he described EXACTLY this scenario. “Why Does He Do That?”became my first real comprehension of what we had been experiencing, and I am ashamed to say that living in a constant state of heightened survival mode, I had never had the time to reflect on or draw the dots between what became obvious as a (literally) text book case of Psychological abuse. As my daughter felt safer, she began to talk more about things I had absolutely no notion of: Daddy had lots of girfriends, Daddy didn’t take her to the gym, he took her to his sister’s house; Daddy had a bday party for her a couple of days before her bday because it would interfere with his softball game;’Daddy was a bad bad Daddy and lied all the time; Daddy gave her the black eye that was an alleged accident at the kids’ club at the gym;’Daddy took Mommy’s medicine from her safe & took it to her grandparents house; Daddy told her everything was a secret because if she told Mommy, he would shoot her dead.
      My 3 year old daughter asked a friend of mine for a box of bandaids so she
      could “cover up the holes” when Daddy shot Mommy.
      Ultimately my baby would be more forthcoming with medical professionals than w/me, so convinced was she that Daddy was hiding somewhere &’would hear her & then kill me. She kept her terrible knowledge inside of her to protect me, telling me after one visit that she wished she could cut a hole in her tummy to let the bad secrets come out.
      And then that horrible day that she disclosed that her father was molesting her. The transcript of the interview she had at the sexual assault centre actually made me vomit.
      Supervised visits were arranged; twice he was reported to CPS, facts no one bothered to tell me & when I found a summary report by accident & questioned CPS about them, I was told they were designated “referral only” which means they didn’t think a professional supervisor with a decade of experience’s opinions were worth investigating. I was (& still am) refused access to all files relating to me & my daughter & in February of 2012 “my” attorney called me as I drove to pick up my daughter from preschool…24 hours away from moving into a confidential DV section 8 apartment & the long road to wellness, I was informed that an ex-parts hearing had been held that morning & the judge had agreed with all parties that Custody should be immediately transferred to her father. “My” attorney, it transpired, was retained by my sister, helping disburse funds etc at the behest of my parents, a continent away in England. My sister was the client, & my Abuser was able to manipulate her into believing…whatever he wanted; whatever familial hot buttons he had learned from me, in couples’ therapy w/ years of careful & brilliant gas-lighting.
      My daughter has just turned 8. I am out of money, out of ideas, & practically out of my daughters’ life. Two years ago she asked me “why is it taking so long Mommy? [for me to rescue her]” & this long story, that includes the betrayal of the court system, the local PD, the Prosecutor,’the GAL, the therapist I vehemently argued against using, the attorneys, and there were more, one In particular who told me to never call her again when I asked if she could meet me at the ER because my daughter had been obviously sodomized, doctors who refused to examine her & told her she was lying, and of course my family, with whom I have not spoken in three years.
      Yes, yes, yes; the System is broken, seemingly beyond repair & I haven’t seen my daughter in 345 days. I am scared for her, I am angry that I have missed so much, I furious that Money was the only motivation that got a desired result & I didn’t have any. There isn’t much money in defending a DV client.
      Thank you for your article & allowing me to share the bare bones of our story here. Although I cry as I write this, your comprehensive understanding of the problem that is affecting thousands of our innocent children makes the world seem a little less lonely, & gives me some hope that I will rescue my daughter before it’s too late.

    • Kari says:

      You are 100% right! We need to get things going! So many mothers are being abused in every shape and form! I’d love to start a group or anything to get things going!! Please email me so we can try to stop this corruption 😔

  2. Caroline Samiezade-Yazd says:

    This is what is happening to me. I have a reputable doctor who has documented in writing in my medical record that my PTSD is secondary to the loss of my children. With this, I am now going to see if I can find a personal injury attorney who will file a personal injury lawsuit against Alameda County in California. My commissioner’s name is Thomas J. Nixon, if anyone else has this commissioner, and is having these problems, please contact me at Please place the word Nixon in the header, in case it goes to spam. Maybe a class action lawsuit can come of it. Thank you.


  3. Dawn says:

    I have been in a visitation battle for nearly two years. My son developed ptsd and made suicide attempts at age ten; however, the Judge continues to bully me through this lengthy process. I too now have begun to struggle emotionally, financially and more. My ex has a court appointed attorney and never been financially responsible. He breaks every order but before I can even think about filing contempt of court I’m already dragged in there for one reason or another. To date, my son has been through three therapists to help him deal with the physical, sexual and emotional abuse. All have stated there should be no communication but the Judge is not satisfied and continues to allow this battle to continue. My son and I have no choice but to give up to the man in a black robe who has made himself our God. Just where do I go from here when I’ve nearly lost everything and nobody stand behind me?

    • Quwanda says:

      I have been going through the same thing first hand my daughter is 8 years old and suffers from ptsd she talks about killing herself as well because she is being forced to see her father…I have been back and fourth to court to stop the father”s visits and the judge looks at all the reports and does nothing…she is so focused on what the law guardian is saying and this lady has become very bias in this case she tells so many lies on my daughter…as a parent I do not know where else to turn I contacted the media, I wrote to my congress, and I even started a petition for kids that’s suffered molestation…any other suggestions

      • Barrera says:

        I am currently going through the same, my x was abusive, and 10/13 my 10yr. was they call inappropiatly touched by her 14yr and 11 month old step brother who has been around her since the day she was born. My ex said that I am coaxing my daughter to make up such aligations and has stuck to this for the past year. we filed for divorce in 2011 and still are not divorced. I have had two attorneys and they both let me go, the latest one let me go he says” because I can’t pay the minimum $500 per month, who can unless you are rich, that’s a car payment. He let me go because of is relationship he has with my ex’s attorney, he spent our last two court dates complaing to me how this is affecting there friendship! are you kidding me I paid this man almost $16,000 for nothing.
        He even would allow my ex’s attorney to verbally attack me. This women wrote an email, saying that My attorney needs to tell me to get over what has happended to my daughter and it is ‘NORMAL” for tweens and teens to do these things and the kids should go back tothe noraml routine with dad. My Life is not the same and niether is my poor daughters. they make me look like Im the one who left her twice when she told her dad not to.. I have done and spent all the money I had from our former home and emtied my 401K, with three years going on 4 years of no divorce and now fighting for my daughters wished whic are to never see Her half brother and not to be forced to see her father who has betrayed her trust and just ships her to his mothers so he can have a social life. The abuse from him still continues from him because his family has money and Im tapped out, now looking in too a pro bono, because i can not affored another $4000 retainer fee. My life has been a Nightmare and my poor kids, the one this happened to hates her life, which is so heart breaking for her to feel this way when it could of been avoided if her father would have only listened to the truth.

  4. Thank you for this insight. I have seen this abuse first-hand. My story is so close to what is described it is scary to me. I have been looking for information about what to do. Right now, my daughter is alienated from me by her dad who won custody of her. It was worse than being raped, i know from experience. It was the single worst thing that has happened in my life to lose my daughter. Her dad doesn’t see the pain he causes, he just convinces my daughter it is my fault she is hurting without her mother. He makes sure each and every visit is less than what was ordered and it is ok because of the clause the judge added that if my daughter wants the visits, then i must email 48 hour notice of intent to visit, so her dad will tell her what she wants and she agrees. He forbids me to meet her boyfriend. I can only say so much right now my stomach is turning into knots and hard to type through tears. I miss my baby, she is 16 now. I pray we can address this severe problem as a society.

    • tonja says:

      Oh my gosh..i have the same situation…im dying everyday and its been 14 years. He has alienated me from my boys and they think I abandoned them…he also thinks for them…i just want to die

      • mario says:

        That is quite sad. I am sorry for what you are going through. Unfortunately there are mothers who “fake” PTSD to do the same thing….just like in every situation…there are men and women, mothers and fathers who abuse or fake a sickeness or fake domestic violence to control children. In the end, God is our judge and ultimately one as a parent, male or female…must draw strength and not give up. Our children are too important…even after brainwashing to give up. The reality is that eventually children figure it out. They figure out the truth and the boomerang effect happens where they alienating, brainwashing parent now must face his children who unfortunately trusted him/her only to find the alienated parent has tried all along to be a part. That is why it is essential to stay true to letters to children (create an email account for them where you can send birthday cards etc.) Stay true to your duty as a parent…even when you are no longer popular and God will see you thorugh it.

  5. It is a national crisis along with the War on Women. Money, power, politics, and abusers are in good hands with each other. The judicial system needs to be held responsible for the emotional outcome for these children lost because of what they did the moms.

    • My children & I were also victims of the legal system. It’s been so long years since i held my babies. It hurts so bad to have lost my babies. Nothing and no one can ever give me my children lives back. I have tried to talk to so many people for help and no one cares about me or my children. I am not the same person I used be. I do not trust to manypeople. It’s sad how the same people that we were told to go for help as young children, are the same people stabbing us in the back.

  6. Caroline Samiezade-Yazd says:

    As many of you know, I lost my 5 children to their father and have been denied reasonable access to them since 2006. In investigating my case, some new findings have come to light. I would like to know how many of the women who have lost custody of their children, and their ex-husbands are from the somewhere in the middle east or Israel. These women can be from anywhere in the USA. Please email me at Thank you

  7. Paula says:

    I no longer feel alone after reading all of these responses. I have represented myself pro se in the past against a criminal and civil attorney well. Our case reopened now with the same Judge dismissing in the past my exhusband’s allegations. Now he’s entertaining them with no tangible evidence. I have exhausted all resources in my state to hold the judge, CI and ex’s attorney accountable to state statutes. There is NO accountability. So my children are in therapy and I haven’t seen them for 9 months. Ex was arrested for DV but apparently nobody in our court system cares. My children are being brain washed by my ex and his new wife. My parents are being neglected of their grandparental rights as well. I allowed my former legal counsel to withdraw last year because I could no longer afford them. No court date set after 17+ months into reopening of our 2005 divorce case with shared custody..Parental alienation is very real but unfortunately courts don’t recognize this syndrome as arguable in a court of law. The only people that win are the attorneys, Custody investigators and a vindictive ex spouse. Who suffers are our children. I have lost two jobs because of this distraction and have given up on fighting the court system. My children are angry and don’t understand most of this EXCEPT for what the ex and his new wife tell my children – all of this is my fault. Both under the age of 13yrs old. I have thrown my “walls” back up and am left at the mercy of our court system. Finding an attorney to step in “pro Bono” is pointless and leads nowhere. I am not depressed, Angry, yes. LIfe is short and despite our court system not being held accountable for lack of action and adherance to state statutes – I put on a smile everyday, work hard and have turned this over to God.

  8. lisa morrissette says:


  9. My name says:

    Profound! Turn this ver to God and fight the system. It is our tax money that the feds generously give to judges through Title IV-D and Title IV-E incentives to separate parents from children. Information, uniting and pieceful disobedience in NOT paying taxes on income is whats recommended alngside giving it all to God in the end. First, death to Federal Reserve!

  10. Donna says:

    OMG…I am also living these stories. There has got to be something we can do. I am either crying or mad every single day. The lies, the injustice, the money and above all the USING of children to hurt and destroy someone else. I AM SICK OF THIS!!!!!!

    • Melinda says:

      The using of the children is not only what I’m encountering but the PAS that goes with it.

    • Connie says:

      Donna, do you blog? And would you be interested in discussing your story on TV?

    • Alana says:

      State of California class Action Family Court, San Diego let’s get it started ladies and gentlemen I’ve there’s a pattern Read enough I’m going threw this with my sons father the differences is my sons grandma got cusdy she committed fraud & submitted docs & manipulating evidence look

  11. It’s about time! Phyllis Chessler wrote
    Mothers on Trial over twenty years ago and it is a valuable resource that all women should read! This is exactly what happened to me when the actor, Ed Asner, goaded by a new and toxic relationship with a woman who hates me, conducted two custody battles, using the damage and trauma from the Northridge Quake to renew his attacks, keeping us in a damaged condo and telling everyone I refused to leave!

  12. notsoalone says:

    I am humbled by reading these stories. I was just feeling so alone and wondering why this was happening to me. I feel so powerless. But I know now that other women are also suffering. How can this be allowed?

  13. Bella says:

    This doesn’t really apply to me, I already had PTSD from two tours to Iraq where I watched my first husband die on 9/11/05. My husband (soon to be ex) has never actually hit me, but he has been emotionally abusive for the last 2 years. He is trying to take my 2.5 year old daughter away because I have PTSD. We need more mothers who are veterans to stand up and say that we are still AMAZING mothers despite what we have been through.

  14. Melinda says:

    Is there a recovery to sue these parents for causing PTSD and to sue the legal system in which I recently discovered even more evidence that the Dad did know these authorities. I’m trying to cope but I know I have PTSD. It was bad enough after I let my son go half the week with Dad to be a good co-parent to having him take custody. I have tape recordings of said involvements with the county from him(legal in Az). I cry, I get angry, I get frustrated, I get lethargic, I have no motivation to work, and the only thing keeping me going is my little boy wants out of there. Of course I encourage the relationship but he’s a sociopath / narcissist. My fear is even if I finally took over could I be a good mother after PTSD? My bff did the battle, won and fell apart. She still can’t hold it together from the severe PTSD that custody brought to her. A class action lawsuit and website dedicated to fighting these sociopaths would be a good start.

    • Emtmommyof1 says:

      I am going through a lot of what you ladies are describing. And it’s hell! Going on 3 years of false accusations, ( yes proved); lied durning active police investigation ( yes proven); lied on affidavit (yes proven) again… So how did it end… The judge allowed access to text messages from my phone, to my bff, mother and husband… From 2 to 3 years ago, and here in Kentucky they can use it against you. We all text after a doctors appointments, to give information and so on… Well he found out my ptsd along with fibromyalgia and possible M.S.. And guess what.. The judge stopped in the middle of his first witness and told Attroneys to figure it out..they did and who got the worst.. Mom! And to hear our child talk about how it’s great that this has changed, and how great dad is, all in the same sentence getting upset he can’t stay. The judge allowed him to know my thoughts, my feeling and most of relieving my past. That because I’ve lost weight that I’m using drugs.. And that is far from it. Everything my Attroney objected to; was over ruled. We never had a chance to present my case and now he has more control. How do you win, not only for yourself but your child when the judge won’t even let you talk, or your Attroney? Trying to explain triggered on a constant daily occurrence. Still working full time, and doing all kinds of things; still I’m the bad parnet. While he can tell our son whatever he wants with no dismay along with re victimizing his mother all the same time?

    • Kicha says:

      Yes we women going through this should band together in unison and request a special investigative reporter who can help us find a lawyer who would take this case…for all of us.

  15. Reblogged this on Moms' Hearts Unsilenced and commented:
    Imagine having an abusive person threaten to take your child away from you, and therefore, take your child away from the mother he/she needs — what would you do? You’d try to protect your child via the court system, expecting them to care about facts and evidence, and most of all, a child’s right to be in a healthy, peaceful situation and not exploited as a weapon of abuse. You’d expect the court, the system, to care about truth, but not only will they refuse to help you protect your child and yourself, you are punished for doing so — for not going along with the abuser’s manipulation of the system to cause you financial and emotional stress, to psychologically control you, to take over your life and schedule and to humiliate you.

  16. mothererased says:

    I am writing my memoir, a story of being alienated from my mother when my parents divorced, forty-three yrs ago. (an excerpt has been published and won an award, so I am hopeful the full book will be published in 2015. )I believe my mother had post traumatic stress from the abusive marriage, so by the time they separated, my father was able to bully my mother right out of my life, and even convince her I was better off without her. There were no custody battles-just a broken, fearful mother and a father who held way too much power. (and my father had planned to ‘run away w/ us’ if my mother had gained custody).

  17. I do not have PTSD, however my ex-husband does and is disabled because of it (SUPPOSEDLY). I have been serving in the US Military for 20 years and I met my former spouse in the Military. He left the Military after 6 years and began working for a Company which eneded up firing him 3 years later because he was beligerant to another employee. During this time he owed me thousdands of dollars in child support and with the help of his girlfriend (now wife) managed to help him get diagnosed w/a severe form of PTSD, which prevents him from working and/or paying child support. He was diagnosed 6 years after he was discharged from the Military, really???? Meanwhile, I’ve had physical custody of my son since 2004 and in 2014, NYS gave my ex permanent and legal custody of my son because I was transfering overseas w/the rest of my family. Mind-blowing! Family Court decided it was in my sons best interets to live w/someone who had been an absentee father for 80% of my son’s life even though he is unable to work due to PTSD, takes a butt load of meds and owns 9 guns…YES 9 hand guns and doesn’t even hunt. Meanwhile, I am stationed overseas and only get to talk to my son once a week and get this I got slammed w/paying all costs associated w/visitation. Now he’s suing me for custody! I’m ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTED WITH THE NYS JUDICIAL SYSTEM.

  18. paul says:

    My ex wife was diagnosed with ptsd last year and dicided to move 90 miles with her new husband who bought a house. My daughter who turned 12 is begging me to take her mom to court so she can live with me. My ex is not working now and is trying to get ssi. I’m afraid it might back fire and I will see her less than I am and have to pay more support because she was fired from her job. Worried in michigan. Any suggestions please email me .

  19. Rani says:

    I live in AL, and lived through this for 2.5 years, still am actually. My son’s father did not want our son, but then when it became clear I was having him, he went on the attack, stacked his cards right, and took me to Court for custody. I had recently moved to AL from NY, and so being an outsider, was an easy target. I was the ‘unfit’ mother. I was thin, a dancer and dance teacher, and so did not fit the plump look. I went through 4 attorneys, spending over 200,000$ in total. I, as well as my father, are currently filing for bankruptcy. This is how badly this financially maimed my family. I had to resign from a very good job with the city, because I was in Court every week, or in counseling, or going to emergency hearing after hearing. I was breastfeeding my son, and before he turned one, was forced to stop due to the visitation that was given by our Judge. Without so much as a hearing in her court room, she ordered 50/50, and it stuck that way forever. I was labeled a liar, was made to pump milk from my breast in the midst of an emergency hearing that lasted from 11am until 11pm, when my son was only 5 months old, then again was made to pump (to prove that I was in fact breastfeeding and producing milk) in the middle of a deposition. The attorneys wanted me to make a deal that day, and i would not, and so the craziness continued. My reputation was ruined, and so many untruths were scattered around this small town. I was followed, video recorded from my own yard, and when we entered depositions found that the opponent had over 300 video recordings and voice recordings of me and my everyday goings ons. I was drug tested more than once, and due to my small frame, was accused of eating disorders and drug use. I’ve never used drugs, have never been arrested, and hold an MFA, come from a good family, etc. The opponent, father, had a drug arrest and was sentenced to 4 years in prison for selling Meth, and yet, this was not even entered into the information for trial. How did this happen??? His attorney was running for Judge. And she won. He actually drove the tractor that pulled her fat ass in the Christmas parade. Sorry to be crass, but this garbage really happened. I am an intelligent, drug free, wonderful mother, and got lucky to get off with 50/50. The attorney now judge wanted me to have every other weekend. Knowing what kind of circus went down, makes me terrified for those mothers who could not afford to go bankrupt in order to keep their children. There is so much more to this story, things not imaginable that really happened. Here I am 3 years later, my son about to be 3, and this thing creeps up on me. It won’t leave me. I constantly feel I am being watched, followed, recorded. I have trust issues, and the relationships w even my family suffered due to this. I found this page, because I wondered recently, ‘do I have ptsd?’ why can i not shake this? do i need counseling? and my research online led me here. I do not know the answers to what we mothers can do. but it scares the living hell out of me to consider the shape of our nation’s children if we do nothing. even the ‘family counselor’ who i was forced by Court to see weekly, wrote a letter that stated ‘the mother should have primary care’, and that ’50/50 would never work in this situation’ yet in court, on the day the judge made her decision, he backed off of his letter, stating that the ‘father was actually more reasonable’. how did this happen? his office was right next door the this attorney, who became judge. you see how this works? are you getting this? it’s about money, status, positions in the court, etc. it is NOT about children. no one gives a shit about you or your children. My advice:

    Play the game. Be quiet until you get through court. try to work something out outside of the court room. This is not a place of justice for you. This is a cancer that you are about to pay to spread. join some kind of parenting group, such as breakthrough parenting, or some etc. Get all of your ducks in a row, watch your back, consider the worst and prepare for it. Do not be loud and vigilant. Do not post crap on Facebook. Play the role of the most perfect mother. Go to church. Even if you don’t. Do it. Just play the game. It’s a game after all. WE all know that no mother is perfect, but mothers are amazing. They are strong, and they have to be a chameleon in cases such as these. If you think something is not right, you smell red flags, listen to your guts. Research ‘how to present yourself in the court room’ for example. Do your homework. Get street smart. Remember: Your children are at stake!!!

    Let me say this again: Play the game. Keep your voice low. Be the ‘negotiator’. Be the one who is ‘easy to get along’. Do not raise a stink or call out injustices. Until this is OVER. Because if you think they will not take away your children. You are WRONG.

    What is my final statement on this: Yes. I do have PTSD. But I’m too smart to give any more money to the GodForsaken System. Instead: I will meditate, stay positive, believe in my God and his Universe, and know that what goes around comes around. Spend every waking moment with my child telling him how wonderful he is. And I am writing a blog/book that will soon be my own testament to just how bad this can get. I have learned a lot from this, but the most important thing I have learned. Be quiet, Be meditative, Be smart, Be stealthy. Be Patient. And love yourself and your child.

    Peace and Love and God have Mercy–MERCY on anyone going through this. You are not alone. You will survive.

    • Mary says:

      I live on England. Everything you say is the same here. I have gone through this so far fir 7 years. Abusive ex has spent 1 million pounds plus so far. I have a court hearing on July.where he is going for full custody.
      My child has put a rope round dhis neck and self harmed he says becasue of his dad’s behaviour to him
      I am not religious but pls pray for all of us
      This is legalised abuse
      We must get together and stop it

  20. Tisha Snyder says:

    I am currently on disability for ptsd caused from domestic violence and losing custody to the abuser.Years later i have new baby and state took her #1day after i brought her home.Ive completed classes,parenting,ect.yet,im being sent to psy tests that are so detailed.all asking detailed questions about past.when i was the victim,this is so emotionally traumatizing,any help or advice?

  21. Stephanie Ruscigno says:

    How can I help?
    2 vets who committed suicide over this loss devastated me.
    The problem just more acute to me a la military. Unite.

  22. Em says:

    I have PTSD from the abusive relationship and the custody battle. I lost my daughter in July because of it.
    I die every day.
    He has money for lawyers and I don’t. He’s an older white man, well known in my city. And I’m a young black single mom.
    I’m still fighting. But from what I’m reading it’s hopeless.

  23. guest says:

    I have ptsd due to multiple traumatic events that happened in my childhood I am a mother of three my children were taken by the state due to me going to a mental hospital I had a 1 1year and half long battle trying to get my children back from state I am a good mom and love my children with all my heart I went to trial and was given the choice give up my rights or have my rights terminated and not have a chance to be a mother again I don’t think that the court system should take away kids from a loving home …. I am heartbroken and my oldest kid is too my other children are too little to know what’s going on I want something to be done about this messed up twisted court system they are devasting people and ruining people lives and they don’t even blink itsclike they enjoy what they are doing …. I had a therapist that knew me very well and told me she was apallef by what happened I feel for everyone who has gone through something familiar.

  24. can I share this link somehow? This is exactly what I faced and still going through but no one but us gets it 😦 God help us.

    • calany says:

      Sure, please re-blog with credit, or share the direct link.

      • DIANA GUEST says:

        I just wanted to say that if anyone is in California, Google Sacramento County Family Court, Corruption, Judge Peter Mc Brien, Racketeering, Collusion, all these words. Sorry but I’ll post more detailed links and information later. Judge’s are being brought up on these above charges. As well as many Attorneys in Sacramento & California. Also on Netflix, search the documentary called “Divorce Corp”. There’s SO much information you ladies need to know. It may not even be limited to California. We need to get together with a class action lawsuit. I lost custody illegally as well in 1995, Never got to see my 2 kids grow up, they were fed lies all through the years and are now 23 & 26 today and hate their Mom. Won’t give me a chance even. I just found out about the charges within the last month. Please GOOGLE the above information and I will provide more as soon as I can. Anyone in California, please email me at
        maybe we can put our heads together and get justice for what all of you have been through. Give me a brief description of your custody case. Please be BRIEF though. Don’t let what happened to me happen to you, because your kids CAN be brainwashed into hating you forever!! Bless you all. Diana Guest

  25. Liz says:

    I have lived this nightmare for 12 years. I have PTSD and I can’t believe I have survived so far. 3 girls lost in this corrupt, evil system called family court. The only light at the end of the tunnel is when your children break free if their controller and abuser. My 18 year old escaped as she put it and now lives in my state. Goes to college and we now can have a relationship and are able to express our feelings and what happened . the father is still trying to manipulate her but she stays strong in her wants and needs. He refused to pay for her college her medical insurance and not giving her ss card or birth certificate.just because he did not want her near me. Continues to try to bribe her with gifts and buying her a car if she moves back to his home.. Anti social narcissistic personality at its best…….. My 17 year old tried to commit suicide. My 15 year old hates me and identifies with the father and very abusive step mom who was the children’s babysitter. He is a col in the army and has used his status for perpetrating his agenda. I pray everyday, cry everyday and hope they will follow their older sister in escaping this horrible nightmare. I am not the same person as I was, I have trust issues am angry all the time and am severlt damaged like my children are…I cherish the relationship with my child who escaped but I know she will have problems in the future so I help her as much as I can to help her understand this unfair society. I feel for all of you .. Just pray and hold on!

  26. Danah Mason says:

    For 12 years I was the main parent in my home while my Husband worked long hours, sometimes weeks gone at a time. I endured every kind of abuse during our 16 yr. relationship/marriage. My daughter who is 20, my son, and myself were very close. After finding out my Husband was having a 5 yr. long affair with a woman I trusted to provide daycare for my son, I filed for divorce and a OFP, which was dropped after I was told if I didn’t I would never see my son. I let my son go with his Father temporarily, not knowing my husband plan was for us to never see each other again. I had bruising all over my face at the time we seperated, yet the judge signed 5 restraining orders against me. My ex, his girlfriend, and her 3 children with no solid evidence. That same judge awarded sole temp. custody to my abuser. My legal aide attorney withdrew and out of my ex-husbands 9,150.00$ monthly salary, I was awarded 500.00$ a month. Leaving me homeless, without a running vehicle, and no phone. My credit was shot also. Then the judge ordered me to pay 254$ of my monthly alimony to my ex out of my only income of 500$ per month. Now I face time in jail. My son hasn’t spent anytime with me, my daughter or anyone he used to have in his life in over a year. The GAL spent 40 minutes with me, pretended to like me, said good things about my home. When her report came out it was total opposite, awarding me one supervised visit a week 30 miles from where I stayed, in my fathers basement, knowing I had no drivers license, it was taken by child support. Along with my cosmetology license, making me unable to work. I was under doctors orders not to work, due to depression, ADD, anxiety, panic disorder, and PTSD. The child support office, after receiving the doctors order, put me in contempt of court, still saying I was able to work. Not one person in this case has come to me asking if I miss my son. I had no criminal record and not one complaint previously.i now get arrested almost every time I attend my sons hockey games. My ex and his girlfriend make up stories landing me in jail. I know have 6 criminal charges. My life has been destroyed, my sanity barely hanging on, and no one seems to want to help. I spend my days wondering how my son is doing with me.

  27. Julie Von Berckefeldt says:

    ‘The crisis in the family courts across America is now a federal burden’

    THE BEST news I’ve ever heard. Hear, hear. I AGREE! Let them now carry the heavy burden they caused so many innocent moms to bear.

    [My response after 7 years of psychological torture. Can smile now but couldn’t for many very dark and confusing nights tossing and turning and wondering ‘What the hell is wrong with family courts? Are they insane?’]

    : )

  28. Raelene says:

    I am a mother deals with PTSD and had full custody . of my son up to a couple months ago. My ex filed emergency custody of my son. On my parenting time he has been coming over checking up on Nate. Falseing accusing me my boyfriend being around .him my son is tramazed by loseing me

  29. Wow I did not know this exsistd. I have been going back to court for over six years plus. The father has an attorney. Most of the time I did not have a attorney. The father does not fallow the patenting plan at all .

  30. Mothers of Marin says:

    Evil Personified: Judge Beverly Woods, vile family court judge and abuser lover in Marin County CA.
    Her overt unethical and often illegal actions, rulings and behavior are widely known among local attorneys, court appointed supervisors and specialsists, therapists and even DV/Abuse agencies …..who all react sympathy but won’t take any corrective action to stop it.
    Even the supposed watch dog groups are mainly bark with no bite, leaving the sickening impression that if not encouraged, it’s been most certainly tolerated for more than 15+years, conservative estimate.

    Her blatant favoring of abusive fathers and case tampering were some of the reasons she’s been under investigation since 2014, yet still is allowed to rule and no end to the investigation in sight….that I’m aware of anyway.
    To say she’s the epitome of an abuser: mentally unbalanced, passive aggressive, anger/control issues, narcissistic, dispises most women (especially if they claim any abuse) while openly flirting with all men (watching is so uncomfortable, it’s instantly nauseating) is a massive understatement.
    There are no words to describe the horrific ordeal inflicted on mothers and children, PTSD is just part of the never ending nightmare they face: her perverse pleasure in humiliating, scolding and shaming already fragile mothers, subjecting such deeply woven psychological, emotional and mental scarring …..the result is like a bomb, causing massive destruction in every area on catastrophic levels.
    Within the last two years there’s been at least two support groups formed, one primarily focused on children wrongfully taken, the other comparing/compiling her illegal actions and the attorneys she always sides with…..both about an unethical disturbing judge who’s lost her moral compass long ago, allowed to destroy more families and lives in much the same pattern as their abuser.
    It’s appalling, sickening and gut wrenching.
    I pray to God that she, and her many conspiring groupies, are finally stopped and held accountable every single night. Please add that to your daily prayers – her victims deserve justice.

  31. A distraught mum says:

    I couldn’t agree more with this post, I am going through the loss of my two daughters whose dad abused me in every single way and demanded I abort the babies when I fell pregnant with them. He even admitted it in his court statement but yet the judge seems to think my depression is more of a risk to my children compared to the man who admitted in emails he sent me about how he was only violent towards me because I pushed him to it!! My psychiatrist, anti natal midwife, pre natal midwife, health visitor and children services all written statements to the court and they were all dismissed. Pre natal midwife who also a consultant in the hospital that was caring for me during my third pregnancy went as far as telling the courts that there prevention of me having contact with my children until a court ordered psychiatric evaluation is done is discriminatory. By the way my diagnosis is recurrent depressive disorder which started when the abuse started when I first got pregnant.
    To top it off I have a new born baby in my care and children services don’t want to get involved as they have no concerns. I requested for me and childrens medical reports from our family doctor, he’s never even taken children to doctor’s once before he had them living with him. My records show that from when I first fell pregnant nearly every doctor’s appointment there were reports of hardship of my relationship to him dating from 2010.Children lived with me three years after separation and I tried to get over our differences and allowed him to have children every weekend and half of holidays and he refused to bring them back after last contact and there are dads out there that’ll kill to have that given to them without going to court, that was something I didn’t want the kids to experience and my worst nightmare is now my reality.
    What kind of law says you are unfit to look after your other older children but fit enough to look after the most vulnerable newborn?

  32. Kicha says:

    I am so disappointed and dismayed that it is not recognized and there is not some legislative support regarding many factors that lead up to the PTSD in Mother’s…My case is not even recognized nor do I have legal backing in three cases whereas my absent parent was able to foster and then adopt several children with ACS support but he has DV prosecution, an OOP, and called ACS on me along with his now wife under false pretenses. He hasn’t even been supportive physically nor in other methods to any of his biological children so how could the courts and ACS not investigate any of them and allow them to foster or adopt any children…but accuse me of neglect when I have been the sole provider and raised them along with my three more children? In another case, my eldest son’s father has never partaken in his life not even a post card and he is an NYPD Officer…he was with multifaceted communities but had never tried to be a father to his only namesake although given a plethora of opportunities…he and his now wife were the first ones to falsely and vengefully call ACS on me bc my son went to see him bc he just wanted to be part of his life…He is an officer and my son has tried to invite him to his graduations, etc. to no avail…I am a single Mom of 5 who has tried to foster positive relationships with the absent parent and instead of a cordial and healthy relationship with them I have been met with acrimony, animosity, vengeous, and irreparable connections. I have taught my children to maintain a level of respect but they now refuse to want to have any type of communication with their father’s on their own accord. I hope someone can understand and hopefully assist those of us who have PTSD and some political action can positively move in the right direction to protect is and assist us to enact laws and make strides in efforts to protect single parents as a whole. To boot, my kids child support is going to an account for kids in foster care but my kids have never been in Foster care…I am disgusted by this but it’s been extremely difficult to find proper and affordable legal representation in my area…

  33. Can I just say what a comfort to discover somebody who genuinely knows what they are talking about on the internet. You certainly know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. A lot more people should read this and understand this side of your story. It’s surprising you’re not more popular given that you surely have the gift.

  34. Pingback: PTSD Nation | The Blog of Janie McQueen

  35. Cammie says:

    There is so much truth to this. I am willing to financially support this cause as the legal abuse exacerbated my ptsd and i just gave up and handed over the custody before I got a 100% ptsd rating and couldn’t work. I live in Washington DC and am willing to work to stop this at the federal level. Please contact me if i can assist. The govt pays me for my disability, but Id rather see this money used to stop these legal abuses.

  36. Cammie says:

    Im reading the book Safe People by Townsend and Cloud. I hate that PTSD and LAS robs us from trusting people again and this book gives me hope as I learn to discern a person’s true character before deciding if I want to engage with them. There is hope.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s