Child custody cases aren't easy by any means, but when you add in a parent who is narcissistic, things get even more difficult. If you find that you are in a battle with a person with narcissistic personality disorder, things might seem bleak because you know the truth of how your ex-husband is but the court might not see that same side of him.
This is one of the things that makes cases like this so difficult. It is often hard to prove the problem in court unless there has been a definitive diagnosis. Around 2 to 16 percent of people who are in a clinical setting have this condition. Here are some points you should know if you are in the midst of a custody battle with a narcissistic ex.
Actions speak louder than words
When a narcissist is trying to make his case in court, he will often try to make himself seem perfect. The thing to remember here is that his actions aren't going to align with his words. This can be difficult to prove. However, finding a way to do this in court might help your case. Just make sure that your methods are legal so that you don't end up in hot water.
Co-parenting likely won't work
Co-parenting and even a 50/50 split for parenting time likely won't work when one parent is a narcissist. This is because the narcissistic parent will try to control everything about the situations that come up during the course of the child's life. It is often better to have a very structured child custody order so that there isn't anything for the parent who has narcissistic personality disorder to try to manipulate.
The court might not be prepared
One thing that you should realize here is that the manipulation methods narcissists use are often hard to detect to a person who isn't trained in dealing with this condition. This can make it difficult for the court to handle, but it is imperative that courts try to determine if this is a factor in a case. In some cases, narcissistic parents might commit perjury, and the court should be ready to act on this. Taking perjury seriously is sometimes lacking in family courts.
Parents' rights shouldn't be considered much
The court often relies on trying to balance fathers' rights, mothers' rights and the children't best interests. This doesn't really work in a child custody case involving a narcissist because the situation might be unhealthy for the child. Children need stability, which might be difficult to find in these cases. The court has to determine how to help the child have a relationship with both parents without punishing the narcissist for his condition.