How a mom can avoid getting bullied in court


I sometimes find it quite outrageous what strangers assume when they judge a mother. Especially in family court proceedings.

At the moment when a mother has to make a decision whether to leave the toxic relationship or not, she is making a decision for herself as a woman and a human being.

With her decision to leave, she is saying, “I deserve a better life than this. I don’t want to be treated like this anymore. I don’t want to be with such an evil person anymore.”

And that decision has far-reaching implications – not only for her toxic ex, who, after all, helped create the subsequent trajectory of his life with his behavior – but most importantly for her child, who is the most innocent and the most in need of protection.

Do the strangers out there think that an empathic mother who has been in a toxic relationship until now is unaware of this fact?

That she didn’t wait for months – if not years – with the final step to protect her child and still give something more and try everything to save this unspeakable relationship or to keep it alive until her soul could only shout Stop! because she has long since disregarded the tolerable inner limits again and again in the process?

And now youth welfare office employees, guardians, contact guardians, experts, judges and last but not least educators and teachers come along and evaluate the mother’s behavior in the course of the grueling separation and court proceedings.

Preferably too critical rather than too benevolent.

Her interactions with the child are observed with a wary eye.

If the child’s father has previously had conversations or written pleadings in which he has described the mother as overprotective, then she will be looked at with these glasses on.

She should be affectionate and warm-hearted. But not too loving and warm-hearted – because then she is gloomy and can’t let go of her child.

What a mother with small children does in this time is simply unimaginable

She knows that the child’s father is irresponsible and yet has to leave the clumsy toddler to him.

She knows that the child’s father manipulates the child unspeakably and overtaxes him or her emotionally, and yet she has to give the child into contact, even though she knows that the child won’t return to their proper home for the next two or so days.

She witnesses how her four-year-old says in bed the night before that he doesn’t want to go to daddy and clings to her leg the next morning in front of the kindergarten because he knows that daddy will pick him up from there.

She witnesses her 8-year-old playing games with his father on his cell phone that are only suitable for 14-year-olds.

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Contact is necessary

The mothers understand that.

And in most cases, women want their child to grow up with a father and to be happy to go to their dad’s.

But what if he doesn’t like to go? What if the child is completely out of control? Or even starts to shut down and doesn’t say anything at all? When he cries, even panics?

Then, first and foremost, the mother’s behavior is targeted.

Is she doing enough to make the stay with the father palatable for the child? Does she give him a good talking to? Does she not tell the child that the father has written another lousy email? Does she try to avoid anything that could put the child in a conflict of loyalties? Does she insist that the child goes to the contact – even if it is necessary with unalterable firmness, if not with a required strictness?

Woe if not. Every mistake of the mother, no matter how small, is mercilessly evaluated and criticized.

I know of a case in which a guardian ad litem even wrote in a statement that the will of the child should also be broken.

There I break however immediately.

Sweetheart, you can’t do that!

If you experience something like that, you have to stand up.

I know, if you come from a toxic relationship, then the probability is damn high that you are a woman who was raised to be rather too well-behaved, to want to please everyone, and to be sweet.

Now is the best time for you to get rid of this old parenting pattern and realize that if you don’t do this, you are doing a disservice to your child – and to yourself!

You are the mother.

You are the one who knows your child inside and out. Who is with them each day and night.

You notice what personality your child is developing before your eyes.

What strengths and animosities your child is developing.

How sensitively or robustly they react. What he or she wants and also what he or she is overwhelmed with.

You know what your child is like before and after the sessions. You see, hear and even experience this in person (does your child also punch you green and blue with rage?).

You understand. You feel them. You know where they come from.

Every fiber of your heart wants to explain it to the child – but that is not possible, your child is still too small.

Do you want to feel confident about managing child hand-offs with your toxic ex?


How do you explain to a small child who feels deep inside that there is something wrong in his life, that he has to go through this?

Now, for example, a guardian ad litem or even an expert comes along, talks to the child for half an hour and presumes to be able to judge what you as a mother should or should not do? That he knows better than you what your child needs in this situation?

Sure, that’s his job. An expert has been commissioned to assess you as a mother (your parenting skills) and thus your relationship with the child. And a guardian ad litem even does that on top, although it is not his job.

The moment it goes to court, a lot of strangers are talking.

That’s how it is when you have to let strangers make important decisions that are crucial for the child, because with a toxic child’s father you don’t have an ex-partner at your side who keeps the child’s well-being in mind, but mainly his injured ego and his wallet.

What does that mean for you?

Yes, even if they are “experts” and you don’t feel you are on the same level as them:

You are the best expert when it comes to your child and his interests! Don’t let anyone deny that!

No stranger can take away and belittle what you feel is the truth and what is right for your child.

Do not let that happen.

This doesn’t mean that you have to become a prick or that you should stubbornly not accept any impulses that can help your child and ultimately also you to sail through this extreme phase better.

But if you get to hear an impossible sentence in court that just defies with presumption and devaluation of your mothering knowledge, then you may already stand up, look at the person clearly and express your attitude powerfully!

For example:

“Thank you for your opinion. With respect – I’ve been with my child for four years now, and I can assure you that I’m a very good judge of how she’s feeling and that she’s currently overwhelmed with the situation.”

You are the mother, sweetheart. You are the empathic beacon – not just for your child, but for everyone involved in your process.

Show them by shining.

And not by hiding your light under a bushel, hunkering down and feeling small because everyone says so!

At some point, the time has come when you need to free yourself from the old beliefs around your role as a woman.

Now is the time.


Have you seen yourself in court, getting over it and positioning yourself clearly as a mom? Let us know in the comments and inspire the other moms! Thank you!

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