Court Gender Bias

Because of Court Gender Bias, in the US, a biological mother is 7 times more likely to be awarded full custody of a child than a biological father.

In the US, the default ruling in many court custody cases is for both parents to have access to the children. This is because there is documentary evidence and a general belief that children fare best when both parents remain involved in their children's lives after a divorce.

It is nationally more common (by a ratio of about 7 to 1) for mothers to be granted primary custody of the children with fathers having visitation rights. However, the percentage of cases in which a father gains primary or sole custody of the children is increasing as society's attitudes towards gender roles become more neutral.

It is also important to bear in mind that national statistics are not necessarily indicative of what happens when one or more of the divorcing parties suffers from a personality disorder, for which there are no known statistics.

Many people, when asked, believe that mothers are naturally better caregivers than fathers. Fathers, who want to protect their children from an abusive mother, are often afraid to take decisive action because they fear:

  • Facing ridicule or disbelief from police or social services.
  • Losing all contact with their children at the hands of a gender-biased legal system
  • Facing steep legal costs.
  • Facing abuse themselves at the hands of the perpetrator
  • Being judged by their communities, families and friends.

Custody Award Statistics

Courts seem to agree. US Divorce Statistics show that a divorcing mother is 7 times more likely to retain sole custody of her children than a father:

USA 1990 Custody Statistics (19 States reporting) Percentage
Sole possession granted to mother 72.5%
Sole possession granted to father 10.3%
Joint possession 15.7%
Possession granted to other person(s) 1.4%


Child Support Statistics

When it comes to child support, US census data indicates that:

  • 79.6% of custodial mothers receive a child support award
  • 29.9% of custodial fathers receive a child support award

US census data also indicates that fathers are more likely to fulfil their child support obligations than mothers:

  • 43% of moms required to pay child support are "deadbeat moms" - i.e. they default on 100% of the money they owe,
  • 32% of dads required to pay child support are "deadbeat dads" - i.e. they default on 100% of the money they owe.

One of the reasons that "deadbeat dads" get most of the bad press in the popular media is that there are a lot more of them - primarily for 2 reasons:

  • There are 7 times more fathers than mothers who do not have primary custody of the children.
  • Fathers are 3 times more likely than mothers to be ordered to pay child support than their female counterparts.

Source: 2002 Fox News Article

In spite of this, there are many men who have successfully demonstrated in court that they are able to provide their children with the most stable, nurturing and loving environment. You can meet some of them in ourSeparating & Divorcing Support Forum

Don't go it alone

Leaving a relationship with a personality-disordered individual can be one of the loneliest experiences in the world.

  • You are giving up on "the dream" of a happy relationship and you will grieve and mourn for the loss of something that was important to you.
  • You may lose the sense of being needed as the responsible member of the relationship.
  • You may feel like a failure in your own eyes or  in the eyes of the world.
  • You may feel guilt over being unfaithful to your commitments, promises or vows.

This is not a time to isolate yourself. This is a time to surround yourself with as much support as you can – from sound legal representation and advice to good friends, responsible and supportive family members, support groups, message boards like this, therapists and counselors.

Seek out the company of positive people, the kind of people who are full of encouragement, understanding, kindness and optimism.

Distance yourself from any negative people, who promote unhealthy choices or who attempt to use fear, obligation or guilt to manipulate you.

You will go through the roller coaster of emotions. Therefore fill your life with as many strong allies and good things as you can to help you cope.

Take the long term view

When leaving a relationship with a personality disordered individual, it helps to look at the long term and decide where you want to be in 5 years from now.

Things are likely to get worse, not better, immediately after you play the divorce card. You may face all kinds of threats and accusations that you never imagined. Others of you will be hoovered and offered the world by your spouse or significant other if you will just stay and work things out.

You need to keep your eye on what is in the best interests of your children and yourself long-term.


There is a life after divorce. You will lose something, but at the end you can find yourself on the other side, Out of the FOG - free from the fear and the obligation and the guilt. Making your own decisions, no longer trying to push the rock up the hill. Separation may only be the lesser of two evils, but it is still better to choose the lesser.

Many of us have walked the path you are on, and stood at the crossroads where you are now standing. And we have survived, won our children, our security and our dignity. We salute those of you who are still on the road and wish you our best.

Sexual Allegations in Divorce (SAID)

Sexual Allegations In Divorce (SAID) is a common occurrence in disputed child custody cases in which one parent makes false or exaggerated claims about sexual abuse of a minor child at the hands of the other parent.

It is unfortunately rather common for those who are divorcing or separating from a person who suffers from a personality disorder to face allegations of sexual misconduct or sexual abuse.

This phenomenon is often referred to as Sexual Allegations in DIvorce - (SAID)

There are generally no winners in SAID - only victims. The victims fall into four broad categories:

  1. The Children
  2. The Accused
  3. The Professionals Involved in the case
  4. The Accuser

The children are typically the biggest losers in a SAID case. They are exposed at a tender age to a frightening, humiliating and confusing series of questions, interviews, and examinations at the hands of parents, relatives, teachers, counselors, therapists, pediatricians and investigators - many of whom they do not know well.

Young children often do not understand why the adults around them suddenly become so interested and invasive in their questioning and investigations. They are introduced to strangers who invade their privacy in the most frightening way. They watch their parents become defensive and intrusive. Their sense of security is put under tremendous duress.

The Accused party - typically one of the divorcing parents - is another victim. They are faced with the threat of losing their children, the public humiliation of being suspected as a molester, the financial consequences of defending themselves, the problem of how to explain to their hurting children what is going on and why they have to go through these dreadful interviews and examinations and the fear of the accusations being believed.

The professionals involved in the children's lives are also victims. When exposed to a SAID case many of them are confused and scared. They typically do not know the whole truth about what is happening at home and are afraid to do or say the wrong thing to either parent or to the investigators involved. Their time is wasted and their fear of exposing the children to sexual abuse is heightened.

The Accusers are also commonly victims of their own accusations. This is because in most cases, accusations of sexual abuse of children in divorce cases are found to be unsubstantiated. Accusers typically are viewed very unfavorably by the courts and by the professionals involved after they play the SAID card. Many parents - who would otherwise share custody of the children, end up losing custody of the children because of SAID. The logic is this - if they are willing to expose the children to such a dreadful process in order to try to improve their own chances of winning custody of the children - it demonstrates that they are not willing to put the children's needs above their own desires - and therefore are not recognized as having good parenting abilities.

The process of investigating sexual allegations generally falls to a government organization known in the US as Department of Children and Families (DCF) - or Child Protective Services (CPS).

Typically the investigator will receive a complaint from a parent or from a third party - such as a teacher, doctor or counselor (many of whom are mandated reporters - required by law to report if they suspect child abuse is going on). Reports from professionals are generally considered to have more credibility since they are deemed as more objective than the parents. Parents who file a complaint during a custody case are generally considered least reliable since they have an ulterior motive and false allegations are extremely common in custody cases.

The Investigator, after receiving a complaint, will want to talk to the children, the parents, to teachers, doctors and any babysitters, therapists or close friends and family members who are involved in the children's care. If deemed necessary, the investigator may refer the children for medical examinations and/or psychological evaluation. Most departments have the authority to remove children from one or both parents and place them in foster care if their safety is judged to be at risk.

Parental Alienation and Parental Alienation Syndrome

When a separated parent convinces their child that the other parent is bad, evil or worthless.

Annihilating Trust

Alienation generally means interfering with or cutting off a person from relationships with others. This can occur in a number of ways, including criticism, manipulation, threats, distorted reporting or control. One of the most widely reported forms of alienation is Parental Alienation, where a parent tries to sabotage the relationship a child has with their other parent. During a divorce, this is a common tactic for many persons with Personality Disorders, usually as a means of hurting their former spouse.

How it Happens

Some of the ways a situation of Parental Alienation is created include:

  • Verbal criticism of the other parent - derogatory comments, telling stories about the other parent, portraying their bad side, picking up on their faults, highlighting their mistakes, drawing unfavorable comparisons between them and others.
  • Withholding or discouraging contact with the other parent - not allowing visits or keeping visits inappropriately short. Moving to another geographic location to limit contact, forgetting or impeding visitation rights, forcing the other parent to jump through hoops or meet inappropriate criteria or conditions in order to see the children.
  • Denying phone contact - sabotaging phone contact by not picking up the phone, turning the phone off, being out when the phone call comes, etc.
  • Intimidating the child - making the child feel bad for loving the other parent, criticizing or mocking the child’s interest in the other parent or discouraging the child from spending time with the other parent. Forcing the child to meet stringent criteria, perform extra chores or pass certain tests in order to be “rewarded” with contact with the other parent; or, punishing the child by removal of affection or privileges after spending time with the other parent.

How it Feels

Parental Alienation is a form of emotional child abuse. Children instinctively love both parents and identify with both as part of themselves. They feel immense stress when that love is threatened. Therefore, when a child is told that one of their parents is bad, they feel as though they themselves are bad. This arouses in them feelings of shame, uncertainty, fear and guilt.

It is critical to a child’s sense of security and self-esteem that they be allowed to love both of their biological parents. This doesn’t mean you have to condone bad behavior. It does mean though that you have to allow the child to love who they love and feel what they feel without shame or punishment or control or manipulation.

It is common for divorcing parents to feel anger at the other parent. However, expressing that anger in front of the children is inappropriate. If you need validation for the way you feel towards your ex-spouse you should talk to a friend or a therapist about it - not the children.
It’s also common for people with Personality Disorders to launch distortion campaigns about the other parent and involve the children either directly or indirectly. This is toxic and highly destructive.

What NOT to do

  • Don’t verbally berate your child’s other parent in front of them - no matter what they have done. When a child hears that his parent is bad he hears you say that he is bad.
  • Don’t try to discourage your child’s love for their parent. Separate your feelings from your child’s feelings and allow them to make up their own mind about what they think.
  • Don’t limit your child’s contact with the other parent - except when they are in danger of abuse.
  • Don’t lie to your children. Be honest with them if they ask a question - but don’t take it as a license to say more than you really need to. For example, if your child asks you, “did mommy do something wrong?” you can say, “I think mommy made a mistake.” And leave it at that.
  • Don’t discuss grownup’s issues with children.
  • Don’t interrogate your child about what the other parent says or does. If they want to tell you something let them, otherwise remember their relationship with the other parent is essentially their own business unless there are genuine reasons to believe abuse is taking place.
  • Don’t try to compensate for a parent who is trying to alienate you with gifts or strange behavior. Just be you. Your child is able to separate fact from fiction in cartoons, and they can do it in real life too.

What TO do

  • Put the best interests of your child ahead of any personal feelings you may have.
  • Allow your child to freely express their love for their other parent, regardless of how much they deserve it.
  • Affirm your child. Tell them you love them. Praise their accomplishments; encourage them to be all they can be.
  • Be consistent and reliable. Keep your promises.
  • See our article on Talking to Kids about Personality Disorders.
  • Document any incidents where you feel the other parent is trying to alienate your children from you.
  • Consult with a competent attorney about your options. In general, courts do not look favorably on parents who try to alienate their children from the other parent. However, your complaints should be specific and unemotional, with the best interests of the child at heart.
  • Communicate with the other parent unemotionally and clearly, in writing if possible. Keep a record of what you have written.
  • Report any acts of violence, threats of violence or self-harm immediately to the authorities.


A Settlement is a mutually agreed upon resolution to a legal dispute which is worked out between both parties prior to a ruling being made by a judge.

It is common for custody cases to be settled prior to going to trial.

Often, the legal professionals involved, including the attorneys, the guardian ad-litem, the custody and psychological evaluators and even the judges will encourage both parties to "cut a deal" and save the expense, and emotional trauma of going to trial.

In many jurisdictions the parties are required to meet with a mediator or "special masters" panel before their case can be brought to trial. These sessions are designed to try to work out a mutually agreed upon settlement.

The advantages of an out of court settlement include:

Lower legal costs. trials can be very expensive as attorneys, evaluators, guardians and expert witnesses all have to be paid for their time.

Less emotional trauma - Custody trials are brutal affairs - which generally focus on the negatives rather than the positives of your personality and parenting abilities. Even when you win your case - there is little to celebrate at the end.

Damage to children - If the children are old enough to know what is going on, a custody dispute can be a dreadful experience as they watch the two people who matter to them most hurt one another. Even infants can be hurt in the process as they have to live under the care of a house at war with itself. It is also common for children of divorce to search, later in life for records related to their case (after all who isn't curious?). Court records, evaluation reports, articles of evidence, accusations made, all can become matters of public record and the discovery of these later in life can be very traumatic for the children. Files containing trial records may be kept around for decades and discovered later in life when the parties involved become careless, incapacitated or deceased.

The risk of an unfavorable ruling - When you go to court, you ask a judge - a complete stranger who does not know you - to make a decision about your money, your children, your money and your possessions. The judges decision stay with you for the rest of your life. There is no guarantee that the judge will "get it".

All of these are valid reasons why most custody cases settle out of court.

The assumption in most cases is that when push comes to shove, most rational people will come to some sort of compromise in which everybody gives up something and everybody gets something of what they want.

The model for this is that when both parties want it all - the fairest and best resolution is when they meet in the middle.


When dealing with people who have personality disorders, the logic often breaks down.

People with personality disorders frequently:

  • fight dirty
  • lie to get what they want
  • believe and report things which aren't true
  • fail to keep their agreements
  • change their minds
  • are incapable of objectively determining what is in the best interests of the children.
  • expose their children to abuse, neglect and unnecessary risks.

lf you are divorcing a person with a personality disorder, it is highly likely that that you will be unable to cut a deal which is truly in the best interests of the children. In such a situation, it is important to put the best interests of your children's safety, stability and well-being ahead of any desire to just be done with it.

That may mean going all the way through trial and demonstrating the merits of your case to a judge. It may mean going far enough through the legal process until you have enough evidence in the form of custody and psychological evaluations and the advice of your soon-to-be-ex's attorney that you can force the hand of your spouse into accepting a deal which is in the best interests of your children.

In most cases, it will mean putting your children's safety ahead of your own financial objectives and doing whatever it takes to protect them.

It may cost you dearly - but much is at stake.

Psychological Evaluation

A Psychological Evaluation is a procedure, typically carried out as part of a court proceeding, in which a mental health professional is appointed by the court to determine a diagnosis or label for a person's psychology, behavior or personality and to make recommendations which a judge can take into account when making a ruling.

It's very common, especially in disputed custody cases for one party (or both!) to accuse the other of having a mental illness. Don't be surprised if your soon-to-be-ex accuses you of having some of the same issues that you see in them.

To deal with this, courts normally refer cases in which the psychological health of one or both of the individuals is called into question to a psychological evaluator.

A psychological evaluator is usually a practicing psychologist who is viewed as an objective third party whose job it is to determine the mental health of both parties and make appropriate recommendations to the court.

It is normally not the job of any marriage counselor or therapist involved in the family to make a recommendation to the court. They can be called as witnesses or be interviewed by the psychological evaluator or custody evaluator but only if permission is given by the parties involved to release their medical records and waive their therapist-patient confidentiality. In most cases therapists' testimony is not seen as objective as that of a court-appointed psychologist.

The vast majority of claims and accusations referred to psychological evaluators during divorce cases are unsubstantiated by the evaluators.

However, it is common for psychological evaluators to find "something" wrong with everybody. Nobody is perfect - or to be more accurate - very few people are "completely average". Most of us have our own lists of issues, quirks, phobias and prejudices and fall outside the popular averages on one count or another. Psychological evaluators are pre-disposed to reportsomething about everybody they evaluate in order to justify their own (often substantial) paycheck.

However, what really matters in a psychological evaluation is how our mental make-up affects the safety,, stability and general well-being of the children involved.

Therefore the evaluator is looking for issues which may be significantly detrimental to the children - not our own emotional or social vulnerabilities.

Normally a psychological evaluation will be done in two parts. the evaluator will want to interview the parties involved. The evaluator may ask each parent to bring the children into the office to observe their interactions and behaviors while playing a game or other activity. The evaluator may also wish to observe the children on their own as well as with both parents.

The evaluator will also normally perform formal psychological tests on the parents. the most common of these is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (or MMPI) in which you are asked to answer a large number of multiple choice questions and are scored on a number of scales See MMPI Info.

Custody Evaluation

A Custody Evaluation is a procedure ordered by a court in a custody case in which a professional is appointed to recommend to the judge which custody arrangement is in the best interest of the minor children.

It is normal in contested child custody cases for the court to appoint a custody evaluator to investigate all the circumstances in a particular case and make a recommendation to the court regarding what is in the best interests of the children.

A Custody Evaluator may also serve as a Guardian ad-litem in the case or may be a separate individual.

Qualifications, experience and aptitude vary widely across the board for these evaluators. therefore it is in your best interest to speak with your attorney before filing for divorce about what options you have to try to influence the court to appoint the best, most qualified, experienced custody evaluator available. In some cases, the attorneys can negotiate and agree upon a recommendation to the court that all parties can agree upon in advance.

As is the case for a guardian ad-litem, A Custody Evaluator is going to want to interview all the parties involved in the children's lives before going to trial:

  • The minor children
  • Both parents
  • Other family members involved, including grandparents, siblings, step-parents etc.
  • Professionals who have knowledge of the children's well-being including school teachers, child care providers, pediatricians, health care providers, social workers, therapists etc.

The custody evaluator will normally want to visit the homes of both parents who are seeking custody of the minor children to observe the interaction between the parents and the children at home, see the sleeping arrangements, observe the general appearance and conditions of the living quarters and the parenting skills of the parties "in action" This will usually last for an hour or two.

The custody evaluator will normally produce a written report at the end of their investigation which will be submitted to the court at trial. the report will normally include a description of what the custody evaluator has observed and conclude with a recommendation to the judge about what custodial arrangement is in the children's best interests.

It is highly unusual at trial for a judge, who has not spent time getting to know the parties involved, to deviate from what the custody evaluator, who has spent time interviewing all the relevant parties, recommends.

It is very common for the evaluator to present the report to both parents and to the attorneys prior to trial and try to convince them to settle the case before going to court.

Guardian ad litem

A Guardian ad litem is a professional (often an attorney or social worker) appointed by a court to represent a child's interests in a legal proceeding or custody dispute. The Latin term ad litem literally means "for the trial" or "for the proceeding"

Since children are often regarded as the innocent victims in custody cases, most family courts bend over backwards to make sure that their voice is "heard" and that the final ruling is "in the best interests of the minor children".

It's common for the judge to appoint a Guardian ad-litem or other children's advocate to be the children's representative in court. This person may be an attorney, social worker or other court appointee who, depending on local laws, may question witnesses in court, testify on the children's behalf in court, may subpoena witnesses, access to documents and other evidence related to the children's custody and well-being.

Typically, a guardian will want to interview the following people in a custody case before trial:

  • The minor children
  • Both parents
  • Other family members involved, including grandparents, siblings, step-parents etc.
  • Professionals who have knowledge of the children's well-being including school teachers, child care providers, pediatricians, health care providers, social workers, therapists etc.

The guardian is typically regarded by the court as a neutral, objective party who has the best interests of the children in mind. Therefore, guardians can wield extraordinary influence over how your case will be resolved.

It is crucially important to speak to your attorney in advance about what can be done to ensure that a reputable, competent guardian ad litem or other representative is assigned to your case. In some cases, your attorney can negotiate with your ex's attorney to find a guardian who all parties are agreeable with and a motion can be submitted to the court requesting a particular guardian be assigned to your case. Most judges will agree to any request that all parties are in agreement with.

It is normal for the guardian's fees to be charged to the parents involved. The guardian may require a retainer to be paid before they will open an investigation.

Finding an Attorney

Finding an attorney who knows how to handle cases involving people who suffer from personality disorders is crucial. This article explores some of the things you should consider if you are looking for an attorney.

Separating from a boyfriend or girlfriend may be quite straightforward - a simple personal decision on your part backed up with a resolve not to get hoovered back.

But if you are married or have children with the person you are leaving, you are embarking on much more than just a personal journey. The decisions you make and the actions you take have will have profound consequences on the personal, economic and legal status of the person you are leaving as well as any children involved.

There are laws in most developed countries that govern what you can and can't do when it comes to other people. The applicable laws vary significantly from country to country and state to state. therefore it is strongly recommended that you consult with a local, reputable lawyer before you make any major decisions.

It is generally recommended that you should consult with 3 different attorneys before selecting one. Most reputable attorneys will expect you to shop around and be willing to meet with you for an hour to discuss your case. Some will charge you for this and some will waive the initial interview charge. This may seem expensive but finding the right attorney is almost guaranteed to save you a lot of money in the long run.

10 things to look for in an attorney:

A good attorney:

  1. Takes the time to answer your questions. Does not have a long line in their waiting room when you arrive for your appointment.
  2. Returns phone calls in a timely manner
  3. Treats you with respect and courtesy. Is willing to discuss all the issues that concern you
  4. Is able to explain the process, the "next steps" and you options in a way that you can understand
  5. Does not unnecessarily pressure you into doing anything that you are uncomfortable with.
  6. Is qualified to do the job. Has all the appropriate local certifications an licenses.
  7. Has a thorough understanding of local laws, local jurisdictions and judges including how they may affect you.
  8. Has a good reputation and rapport with other local attorneys. Speaks respectfully of other attorneys in the area whom you may be considering going to.
  9. Seeks to obtain the most just outcome - not just winning your case.
  10. Is the kind of person whom you would comfortably invite into your home for a meal.

10 things to avoid in an attorney

An attorney you should avoid...

  1. Does not take the time to answer your questions. Has a long line in their waiting room when you arrive for your appointment.
  2. Does not return phone calls in a timely manner
  3. Does not treat you with respect and courtesy. Is not willing to discuss things that concern you
  4. Is unable or unwilling to explain the process, the "next steps" and your options in a way that you can understand.
  5. Pressures you into doing something that you are uncomfortable with.
  6. Is not qualified to do the job. Does not have the appropriate local requisite certifications an licenses.
  7. Demonstrates little understanding of local laws, local judges and how they may affect you.
  8. Does not have a good reputation and rapport with other local attorneys. Speaks disrespectfully of other attorneys in the area whom you may be considering going to.
  9. Seeks to win rather than to obtain the most just outcome for all parties concerned.
  10. Is NOT the kind of person whom you would comfortably invite into your home for a meal.

Division of Assets

Cases which do not involve children are generally resolved as a division of financial assets.

Common assets which may be considered will include:

  • The marital home and any other properties
  • Household contents
  • Personal property
  • Vehicles
  • Bank accounts,
  • Stocks and Investments
  • Insurance policies
  • Pension Plan, Retirement funds 401k, etc.
  • Any business assets
  • All liabilities, including mortgages, credit cards, car loans etc.
  • Earnings history, current and future earning potential of both parties.

In general, it will be the intent of the court to divide the assets in the most mathematically equitable way possible.

Prior to a trial or settlement, there will normally be a process known as discovery, where all legal and financial documentation will be required to be turned in to attorneys representing both parties.

In most cases the behavior of the two people involved in the marriage prior to the divorce will not be taken into consideration when dividing assets, unless it can be demonstrated that the circumstances of the relationship have caused future financial hardship on one of the parties.

A good rule of thumb is to assume that whatever marital assets were held by the couple prior to the divorce will be split 50-50. Some states have a common property law, which effectively says that any property held during the marriage is jointly owned by both parties.

Special consideration, in the form of alimony or spousal support , may be given to spouses who are judged by the court to have sacrificed career opportunities in order to support the other spouse or the children of the marriage. Laws vary significantly from country to country and state to state.

Leaving Checklist

The Leaving Checklist is a list of things to prepare and things to consider before, during and after separating from a person who suffers from a personality disorder.


  1. Start a private bank account in a bank that your SO doesn't use and put money in it.
  2. Rent a post office box and forward your mail to it.
  3. Have a safe place to stay, preferably where your partner won't easily find you.
  4. Reconnect with responsible and supportive friends and family who were pushed away during your relationship with your partner.
  5. Make copies of important documents that you will need:
    - Bank/Credit Card records
    - Telephone records
    - past tax return copies, bills, financial records etc.
    - educational and medical records for the children
  6. Put the following in a secure location:
    - your credit/debit/atm cards
    - wedding/birth certificates,
    - passports
    - photographs and family treasures that you want to keep
  7. Locate important records concerning your SO
    - Driver license, License plate #
    - Social Security #


  1. Have a bag in the car with clothes, medications & toiletries, spare keys etc.
  2. Close all joint bank accounts, credit cards etc immediately.
  3. Make sure your mail is being re-routed to your new location.
  4. Don't tell your partner you are leaving until you are on the way to the safe place. Use a pay phone on the way, preferably not at your destination city. Do not use the telephone at the safe place as this will show on Caller ID.


  1. Stay away!
  2. Let the answering machine do the talking for you.
  3. Bring backup when you go to collect your things.
  4. Don't let yourself be alone with your SO.
  5. Police and/or Sheriff are willing go with you in nearly every city.