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Handling custody with a narcissist

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When you’re in a relationship with a person who has a narcissistic personality, it can be scary to try to go against anything they want. Whether they’re seeking out custody of your child or trying to manipulate the entire situation in their favor, you deserve the opportunity to fight back and make sure the court rules in a way that is in the best interests of your child.

Narcissistic personality traits make it so a person has a few unusual aspects to their personality, such as a lack of empathy or a need for admiration. They may have a self-imposed image of grandiosity and think they’re much more powerful or commanding than they are.

Engaging with this kind of person during a divorce can be difficult, as they often try to manipulate issues and could decide to try to punish you in some way. For example, they might start gathering up information about what a bad parent you are when you decide that you don’t like a specific schedule they want. Then, if you cave in, they may suddenly recant those statements and start singing your praises again.

Negotiating with a narcissist is difficult, because they know what they want. What they want may be to hurt you because of what is happening right now. For example, if you asked for the divorce, they may initially be kind and respectful to try to get you to stay in the relationship. Then, as you prove that you will not, they may become mean or aggressive. They could start slandering you to others or blame you for all the problems in the relationship. They could also use their financial means to try to penalize you, making it harder for you to fight back.

You can protect yourself against narcissists

To protect yourself against a narcissistic spouse, you need to make sure you keep records. Ask the court to have you communicate only through supervised applications. Keep emails, text messages or other information showing the other parent is trying to hurt you or intentionally failing to work with you in a way that benefits your children.

Your attorney can work closely with you throughout the divorce to minimize the damage caused by a narcissist. Even if you have to litigate, you will get the opportunity to seek the custody arrangements you want and to point out the frustration of the situation you’re in.

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