Divorce is already painful and even worse to be in a child custody dispute with a narcissist. You need to know precisely how to approach this situation so that you can get full custody of your children. It is essential to know who you are dealing with and what they are up to so that you don’t end up becoming a victim of manipulation.
What Is a Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
People with NPD are obsessed with themselves. Everything revolves around them, and they lack empathy for others. How others perceive them is mostly their concern, and they use anyone around them for their gain, even their children!
You could think that the narcissistic parent is in court to battle for child custody and offer the best life to the young ones, only to realize that the push is from a place of hating to lose. Don’t be confused by their pleasant demeanor in public. People with NPD know how to mask their flaws.
How to Win a Child Custody Against a Narcissist
1. Hire a Custody Attorney
You are likely to face emotional abuse and lie in the quest for custody. You will experience very low lows trying to reason with the narcissist for the good of both of you.
Don’t allow the energy drain to go too far, and you can hire a custody attorney to stand with you against the censure of the narcissist.
2. Build a Plan
Narcissists are incredibly manipulative and crafty. Take your time to draw a plan with your attorney to avoid the trap of their techniques. Know what you want and stick to it. Bring out your matter to the judge in a way that expresses that you have the best intentions for your kids. The attorney will guide you through this and layout options to decide on the direction that will best suit your situation.
3. Document Everything
Narcissists are great at making an excellent first impression, and they can use the charm to fool around the judge in court. Regardless of whether they follow the formal procedure of things, make sure you keep a standard profile of all the happenings.
Document every single detail of narcissistic abuse and give valid evidence. Be smart enough to document the things they don’t do. Are they there on the children’s awards days? Recitals? How about birthday parties?
4. Keep Calm and Stay Away
Understand that your opponent is mentally ill, and do not overreact to their aggressiveness while claiming custody. Keep calm and stay away from the drama. It will be best to leave the mediation to your attorney.
5. Keep the Kids Away from the Fight
Don’t use your kids as a weapon against your partner. Avoid roping them into hating the other parent. It is not at your place to influence their choice of side. Understand their point of view and be keen on their frustrations and fears. Pick out a counselor to help them process the pain and reassure them that they are safe and loved.
6. Avoid Labels
Be very clear on what your interaction with the narcissist has been like, but don’t be slanderous. Talk sensitively about the things that disturb you from their behavior without being judgmental.
7. Prove You are a Good Parent
Show the court that you are fit to cater to your children’s needs. Explain to the court why the other parent is not fit for the role, and respect the court’s authority.
How to Co-parent with a Narcissist
It is not a sure thing that the final verdict will go your way. Suppose you end up sharing custody–set boundaries to avoid further abuse. Develop an appropriate conflict communication style to ensure your children feel safe.