I have had success in Court restricting parenting time with my daughter's psychopathic father. Circumstances were in my favor, so it was not too dificult to accomplish this. I was never married to him (thankfully!) I have always had custody of her and he had open visitation. He had a history of coming in and out of her life, which worked in my favor. He also has a long criminal record which worked in our favor as well.
His psychopathy, alcoholism, and abusive behavior have gotten worse over time. As his record got longer, so did the time gaps when we would have no contact from him. The periods of abandonment and no contact became more predictable than his involvment in her life. For important events in her life such as dance recitals, talent shows, etc. I would try to get in contact with him, beg him to show up for her. He enjoyed these opportunities to step up to the plate and my daughter would be thrilled when her show-dad was in the audience. I would try to line up arrangements weeks ahead of time so that she would be able to see him on her birthday and Christmas. It was always a crapshoot to see if he would cooperate or show up. I wanted him to be there for her so badly that I would buy and wrap the gifts myself for him to give her.
If I hunted him down, made the arrangements to bring her to him, and left myself open to his last minute change of plans, then about half the time she would see him. The other half of the time left disappointment and heartache for her. It got to be too much. I played his game and did my best to cover up what a pathetic excuse of a Dad that he was. Finally, I started going to counseling and it helped me realize that my efforts to "encourage" his parenting were actually hurting my daughter more than letting her see the truth. The inconsistent in and out of her life did not make sense to her. The time came when I could no longer continue all of the nonsense. I began to more clearly see that communicating with him and fostering this false relationship between them was not healthy in any way.
My daughter became old enough to see things more clearly. She began to realize that the hype of getting to see her Dad did not match the quality of time that he spent with her. He has always had his own agenda- which consists of constant involvement with multiple women as well as plenty of other shady friends. He began getting violent with his girlfriends in front of my daughter during their visiting time. That was the icing on the cake for me. I began ignoring his rare and random phone calls to see her, and a few months went by. Then he took me to court for witholding visitation! The first and only effort he has ever made through the court system in regards to his parenting time. (The state had ordered reasonable parenting time years ago as part of the child support work-up)
So we met before a court-appointed "referee" in regards to my withholding vistation. It was a horrible experience. You can check my previous posts if you are interested in the details. Basically, he lied to the referee, pretty much about everything. He tried to make me look like a horrible mother, and sat across the table from me verbally attacking every statement that I tried to make. I presented all of his dirt to the referee who was less than interested in maintaining any peace or fairness. He ordered a parenting time investigation.
We went back to court, this time in front of the investigator. She took a very long and detailed history of myself and of him. I had my facts straight, and made many references to his criminal record, ongoing criminal charges, etc. She offered us an agreement of supervised visitation, at his home, with a third party. I refused to agree with this, which led her to do a full and extensive investigation. It took over a month. She pulled up his complete record (over the past twenty years). They brought my daughter in and interviewed her. The investigator ended up recommending extremely limited supervised visitation at a state appointed facility (for safety purposes.) Her recommendation came in the mail with the full 100 page report and investigation on him.
I filed a motion to have the court adopt her recommendation as a formal order of the court. He never even showed up to argue against it, so of course the judge made it a formal court order. That was seven months ago.He has not called the
agency to make an appointement to see our daughter, nor has he contacted me.
Like yourself, I was concerned about bringing all of this to light in front of the judge. I thought they would disregard all of my valid points and grant him his rights as a parent. Especially after the first appointment with the court referee, I was discouraged. I was so worried that his parental rights would overpower my safety concerns for our daughter. They were rude at the court, and the referee acted as if we were both nuts, as if it was unfortunate that he had to mediate amongst our nonsense.
Well, then the case got turned over to the custody and parenting time investigator, and that is when his shit hit the fan. They simply could not ignore his long and varied criminal history. He was also facing a slew of charges at the time of the investigation which only made him look worse. Add seven children by four different women, as well as 6-figure child support arrearages in to the equation, and it turned out the court could not ignore his total lack of responsibility and obvious disdain for the law.
Please keep in mind that there was not at any point during the investigation any mention of a personality disorder or psychopathy. I do not think the court system is advanced enough to adequately handle the realm of psychopathy in regards to custody or parenting time. The many parents that are out there pointing fingers and declaring the other parent to be nuts is not helping the situation. In my case, his pychopathy is of the criminal nature, and his record of violence and abuse towards women clearly affected the safety of my daughter. Basically, his dirty laundry stunk so bad, that once it was hanging on the line to air out, the smell simply could not be ignored by the legal system.