Thursday, September 8, 2011
Managing a Blamer with an Assertive Approach
...After the hearing, the judge ordered Sam and Sarah into a custody evaluation, and awarded Sam temporary custody of their son, Jay, pending a full evaluation and hearing on custody. Sarah was given visitation three days a week, with exchanges at her cousin’s house, and required to undergo a substance abuse assessment.
Sam also produced a deed showing that their home was only in his name, claiming it was his separate property. His attorney said that if anyone should move out, it was Sarah. He said that she could stay with her cousin. The judge seemed sympathetic with Sam and told Sarah she must move. Her temporary restraining order was dismissed.
After Tammy said that Thomas had molested their daughter, the court counselor was required by law to contact Child Protective Services (CPS) and inform them of the sexual abuse report so that it could be investigated. To be safe, the court counselor recommended that Tammy have temporary custody and that Thomas have supervised visitation until an investigation could be done.
Soon afterward, the court ordered a full psychological evaluation of the family and a hearing on it in three months. Until the hearing, Thomas was ordered to have three hours a week of supervised visitation at a local agency, which he had to pay for.
Thomas was a trusting, problem-solving person. Known as being friendly and cooperative, he originally believed he would easily succeed in his case. But after he was ordered to have supervised visitation, he was furious: “How could the judge assume I’m guilty and make such an order? Why didn’t you tell the court Tammy was lying? If she’s going to make a bunch of allegations, then we need to make even more allegations against her.”
His attorney responded, “Slow down. This is just the beginning. We can’t be passive, but we can’t be too aggressive either. This is the court’s procedure, and we need to follow it as perfectly as we can. We have to take the high road and expose her false statements while not appearing to make wild accusations ourselves. How you appear to the court is just as important as getting out the facts. We now have a lot of work to do to accomplish both. We have to be very assertive."...
To learn more about the Assertive Approach for yourself or your clients, purchase your copy of Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with a Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
The above was excerpted from Splitting, to read more of this passage, order your copy of Splitting by visiting www.unhookedbooks.com. To learn more about Bill Eddy, visit www.highconflictinstitute.com. To learn more about co-author, Randi Kreger, visit www.bpdcentral.com.
Bill Eddy Attorney, Mediator, and Clinical Social Worker
Randi Kreger -Co-author of Stop Walking on Eggshells, author of The Stop Walking on Eggshells Workbook and The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder