What Can I Do to Defeat the Narcissist in Court?

Q. I am in a horrendous court battle with an upcoming trial in three months, with a narcissistic ex. He has a vicious lawyer and has already spent thousands of dollars fighting to have our two eleven year old twins continue to live with him more than half the time.

This parenting schedule has been ordered by a horrible “parenting coordinator” who made a binding decision to change the schedule from half time with each parent to having me lose one day a week with them. For eight years we have split the time half and half. It leaves me having the children ten days a month, and not have them living with me 52 days a year. The judge is discriminating against me so far for being unemployed (I got laid off seven months ago) and even threatened to have me pay some money towards his lawyer fees! This is completely abusive and insane. I feel emotionally abused by the parent coordinator’s allocations towards me which are entirely untrue. I am feeling disabled to even work right now and have been experiencing anxiety and depression. I am also spending a lot of time preparing for court. We have had two pre trials so far and the second one, which was a few days ago, was completely disappointing and I didn’t present myself very well, getting caught off guard by the judge’s questions.

I have a free lawyer just to consult with and he is not able to represent me, as the organisation I found him through does not pay him enough to cover a trial. I am essentially on my own and am facing this trial being my own lawyer. My children are very distressed and hate the current schedule. The judge is not allowing them to be interviewed even though I told them they would like to be. I want their current therapists and a past one to testify but the judge said I have to pay up to five thousand dollars for court personnel to determine if that could happen. Obviously I cannot afford that. I have had physical symptoms from stress such as abdominal pain and even had ultrasounds done on all of my organs. Nothing concerning has showed up. i started an anti-anxiety medication which backfired and caused great depression! I know he is enjoying narcissistic supply from appearing to be winning and knowing I am miserable. I don’t feel strong enough to not have this affect me so much. My kids have seen me cry a few times but I do not fall apart in their presence. They see me fighting and they know he is against changing the schedule back to normal. I never told him this, They overheard him talk to his new wife. I can only hope his narcissism comes back to bite him when they are old enough to make their own decisions and end up either not wanting to live with him or not as much. In my state, their voice doesn’t count very much any time soon. If they could be interviewed, I do think it could have some positive effect but the judge was influenced by his lawyer that they shouldn’t be brought into this.

We have this parenting coordinator to “help with co- parenting conflicts” (yeah, right!) because I agreed to using parent coordination when we got divorced. Parent Coordination can wreck families and it certainly has mine. I have made a motion to remove her but it has been denied. I am looking for a pro bono lawyer to represent me and it would take a miracle to find one. He will probably have spent $28,000 out of his retirement for lawyer fees by the time this is over. I can just see the judge thinking he must have good cause to take the kids from me one day a week to spend so much money. And I can’t tell her the real reason is that he has NPD!!! The reasons he and the parent coordinator, have to warrant this schedule to stay in place include aggression from my son towards his sister at my house. He went through a period of anger and aggression eleven months ago for a few months because of intense anger towards his father. He stated many times to me that he cannot have his anger at dad’s and it comes out at my house where he feels safe to have it.

He recently got diagnosed with ADHD and with this comes a problem regulating anger. But he has not displayed this anger and aggression hardly at all for six months! I am so grateful for this forum. i am planning to go back to school to get a mental health counseling license and go into courts to train court personnel about NPD, if I am allowed. i better be!!!

My question is: Is there anything I can I do to win this court battle? “I now fear I will definitely lose.

A: I am sorry to hear about all the stress this is causing you and for such a long period of time. However, I think there are many issues as suggested in your letter. From everything you have said, it sounds like you need to move past losing them 1 day a week. Many parents only see their children every other weekend (4 to 6 days in a whole month). Yes, he wins but the cost of that extra day right now is your mental health and my guess is that this big fight is taking a toll on the children as well.

Secondly, I think you need to get some counseling for yourself as you are self sabotaging your court case with behaviors that will work against you. For example, you are rationalizing why it is okay for your son to be aggressive toward his sister (although less, it is still continuing at your house)—in my opinion and probably in most courts—there is no reason why a brother’s aggressiveness should be tolerated. You, as a parent, need to teach him to use his words when he feels aggressive. Otherwise you are teaching him that under some circumstances, when he feels like it, it is okay to hit others (or whatever he is doing). Once he becomes a young adult- that thinking is going to land him in jail. It is okay to have angry feelings- but he needs to talk to you about them…not take it out on other people, his sister included. It is completely understandable why your physical and mental health are being affected after such a long battle with a narcissist, which is why you need to find a therapist that works on a sliding scale or for free (try your local mental health clinic or ask through the local domestic abuse group).

With some counseling for yourself, I hope you are able to come to terms with this unfair settlement but make the best of it, go back to school and focus on getting that counseling license. The calmness that will bring will help both yourself and your children. What a constructive way to cope with the situation you have to deal with!

 

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4 thoughts on “What Can I Do to Defeat the Narcissist in Court?

  1. I have been divorced from from a Narc for 14 years. We have a daughter 16 years old. My exhusband has kept us in court/ custody battles for more than 13 years. He could afford it and kept it going. He would violate the orders, not return the child and many other tricks over the years. His latest act of Abuse is to alienate and turn my daughter against me. Through use of brainwashing, bribing her and feeding her addiction to anorexia and excersize bulimia as well as not limits on technology. She comes to us with nothing but disdain and parroting his words. I have already given him primary custody to make attempts to walk away from the court conflict and stop the insanity. That was not good enough, he now is in contempt for not following the current schedule of every other weekend. For me it would be a no brainer to just walk away and let my daughter learn for herself one day, but the problem is that I am remarried with an 8 year old son who loves and adores his sister and has been traumatized be the whole experience of seeing his sister less and now not at all. We have a contemt hearing against him scheduled for next month. My daughter is not the same person since moving in with her father full time. She is turning into a narc. Please help. Any advice that you think could help would be appreciated.

  2. my husbands ex wife has accused us not once but twice of sexual abuser had their child tested four times for an std and it came back negative. She was proven both times there was no abuse and she continues to go around town telling who ever will listen that her child was molested, she also told the court when I wasn’t there that my eighty year old grandparents ran a crack house and she found her child there, ALSO that she HAD herpes from my husband we now have a baby and we are clean of any std’s she seems to win everyone over and now we moved outta town nine hours away and she is going around making friends with my husbands old child hood friends telling them he is a child molester and ect. I am at my wits end.

  3. I know how you feel. I have been in constant custody battles with my ex husband. My oldest son has now come to see the truth of how his dad is and also suffered verbal and mental abuse after I let him stay with him. He now has nothing to do with him. Unfortunately, he is now trying the same with our youngest son and I am dealing with court once again. I don’t want my youngest to go through the same situation, but it is costing money and isn’t easy to deal with. I wish more judges were informed and recognized narcissistic behavior. Even the guardian ad litum assigned to our case seems charmed by him, despite the fact that my oldest son has made statements of his abuse and slander of me. My ex is ,of course telling her that my son is a problem child that is the type to go shoot up his school. Totally ridiculous, since my son is a straight A student and eventually wants to go into the FBI or the police department. It just show you how little a narcissist really cares for anyone, even their own child. The children are just tools for him to use to punish me for daring to leave him.

  4. I married a narcissist and got out within 3 years. I walked out when my 2 girls were both under 2. Our court battles have been over a year long each involving PRE’s and such. I have been in court almost 3 of the 5 years since I left him. My girls are now 6 & 7 and after settling just over a year ago on the current plan, he is once again fighting to change it. The court system seems to think that by giving him 50/50 the conflict goes away. I was told by the judge that I need to learn how to get along with him. They don’t have the authority to eliminate child support, so he keeps coming back to reduce that. (Owns his own company, puts all personal expenses through it to show no income, but travels to Italy 3x in 1 year). With his second wife, he didn’t stop court until it was 50/50 and he paid no support, even though he makes 4x what she does. But the battles continue even in those scenarios. School supplies (You can’t make him pay). Orthodontia (no way – not if he has to pay!) It is heart breaking to realize that I will have to give in totally, giving him 50/50 and forfeiting child support, because I cannot afford another court battle (while he is on his 5th wife who is a millionaire…). Doing the right thing for the kids? The court doesn’t understand this concept when it comes to narcissists. And not communicating? the courts look at you as if you are a bad co-parent. Apparently I am unreasonable in not wanting to communicate unless necessary. When I was unemployed for a long period of time I asked if he could help with $100 for food. He said no (of course) and then complained at all his parties about how his kids were on food stamps. At times it becomes so overwhelming – you get so tired. But I’m tied to him because I have young kids and the courts don’t understand. The heart and soul get tired.

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