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Springfield Divorce Attorneys > Blog > Child Custody > Custody Battles Against a Narcissist

Custody Battles Against a Narcissist


If you are divorcing a narcissist, you will likely experience complications throughout the divorce process.  Nowhere will those difficulties be more exasperating than when approaching the issue of child custody. That’s when you will be glad you’ve employed the services of an experienced and no-nonsense divorce attorney.

What You’ll Be Dealing With 

You’re probably already fairly familiar with the behaviors of your narcissistic partner, and it will be helpful to understand how behaviors and patterns can have an impact on the direction of the custody case. To be clear, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is an actual medical/mental condition, depicted with a permeating sense of haughtiness and the need for unwarranted attention. This, combined with a complete lack of empathy, can be more than a handful to deal with.  Your spouse may have additional issues with a feeling of superiority over other people and a belief that they are entitled to special treatment. That can contribute to manipulative and controlling behaviors using whatever means necessary to achieve their goals, including deception. Problems could include:

  • Exaggerating and/or lying;
  • Attempts to manipulate you using psychology and emotion;
  • Putting the blame for issues on you and painting themselves as the victim;
  • Making demands that are unreasonable;
  • Putting your child in the middle of the battle with no concern for the child’s wellbeing.

Defending Against Narcissistic Tactics

 Your spouse will probably try to twist the legal system to achieve an unfair advantage.  It’ll be up to you to be prepared:

  • Keep a running documentation of the behaviors and their impact on you and the kids;
  • Seek guidance from professionals familiar with narcissism;
  • Surround yourself with others who can support your mental and psychological health;
  • Remember that custody deliberations are based on the best interests of the child. Establishing your commitment to the child is job one.

The Facts 

The litigation ahead is fact-specific, meaning the relationship of the child with each parent will be evaluated.  What will the record show? Evidence may include:

  • School performance and attendance records;
  • Health records;
  • Photographs;
  • Cards;
  • Communications such as texts and emails;
  • Records of birthday celebrations.

These are the kinds of records that will be tough to fabricate and will provide a snapshot of each parent’s commitment to and interactions with the child.

The Trial 

In a trial, both parents will be questioned.  While narcissists believe themselves to be charming, they may actually come across as what they really are: controlling, self-serving, and demanding. An adept attorney will push to get your spouse to reveal who they really are.

Advocating for You 

The dedicated Springfield family attorneys at Courtney & Mills will fight to achieve the best possible outcomes for you and your child.  To discuss, schedule a confidential consultation in our Springfield office today.

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