To all of the women who are divorcing a narcissist, I write this as my own journal and in hopes that it helps others battle a narc in court. If it bores you, feel free to skip reading it. It certainly bores me living it, but I hope the tips help as you navigate through the the process and form a future court strategy.
Tip #1: Follow the rotation/visitation court order. A narc will try to cause trouble by making it look like you do not let him have his visitation rights. If given an opportunity, this can cause trouble for you with a judge.
TIP #2: Communicate by email only. Save all communications with the Narc in a folder labeled "Dickhead", that way you have proof of the Narc giving up his visitation days that are unsolicited by you. So I was not surprised when I got court papers in the mail. I was expecting to renegotiate visitation, but he decided that he needed to file for full custody... weird. A Narc will threaten with things like you will never see my youngest son ever again if he can help it. Trying to create FEAR, and declaring that I we are abusive parents. Trying to create BLAME and PUNISHMENT. Interesting Narcs are usually guilty of what they accuse you of.
TIP 3# - Nothing happens until it happens. Just because a Narc threatens this or that, it doesn't mean that the judge will go along with the narrative in the Narc's head. In fact, as a divorced person you have a say in court. The narc cannot isolate you in court. You have rights, a say, a voice, so prepare your argument. Most courts do not recognized NPD. You don't have to prove a Narc a liar. You do need a good argument. A narc will twist the truth, but you have a voice and opportunity to tell your truth and your argument. It is easiest to prove a narc is inconsistent, that he has more than one truth or narrative. A narc changes his truth as often a new mother changes a newborn's dirty diaper. In some states, full/joint custody is a term used for legal rights of a parent. With joint custody it means if there is a medical emergency that either parent can make decisions. It also gives both parents a say at school. Visitation rights are for seeing the child when the child doesn't live with you most of the time. Child support is paid to the one who has residential custody. Residential custody is given so that the child has one address and school district etc. for legal reasons. Then the state rules on who claims who as a dependent for tax purposes, who pays what for medical, insurance, tuition, etc. But paying for stuff doesn't necessarily tie into "full" or "joint" custody. "Full" custody, in some states, refers only to decision-making power. Some divorce papers provide joint custody with an exception; some provide full custody in the area of religion. We can make all decisions regarding religion with absolutely no input from the ex at all. Religion plays a big role in the chaos that the ex, a narcissist and bipolar, causes all of us. The Narc betrays us all in the area of religion. It can be Narc Chaos on a grand scale.
Tip #4 - A narc likes to cause Chaos for his own entertainment. It is common for a narc to be unhappy with whatever your court orders are. What better a place to cause chaos and have all eyes on him than in court? In court he can be important, demand your full attention, zero in on your possible fears and that is why my ex is pro se. He is his own lawyer. He gets to file and prove how smart and powerful he thinks he is. If your Narc takes you to court after you are divorced, don't be surprised. This is common.
TIP #5 - A narc will make it complicated. Why file for a change in visitation when you can redo the divorce decree from years ago? A change in visitation is a simple task, but a change in custody is a new trial, more involved, more complicated, and more chaos.
TIP #6 - A narc usually doesn't say what he wants. He waits until you say what you want first. Then he quickly decides to want the opposite of what you want. His goal is for you to be unhappy. How dare you be happy when he is so unhappy?
TIP #7 - A Narc will cause drama for no real reason. Your children should be thinking about girls or boys and college, but instead all the focus is on who gets custody of them for one year. The drama is rather unnecessary. My child high school years has become all about daddy. A narc is the center of his own universe and all of us that are within reach are suppose to orbit the Narc happily.
TIP #8 - Let it go. It doesn't really matter what the court decides because a narc will challenge it eventually because a Narc is never happy. The Narc is not in charge. You are not in charge. The court, the judge, the agreements and the orders are in charge. Build good character in yourself and your children. Everything else will take care of itself. Follow the orders until they change. Be happy and do your best and let control go. You and I can make any court order work. Children all grow up. Time makes sure of that.
TIP #9 - New mantra: "I don't care." The narc misses me in his sick way, or rather the control of me. Question: If I don't care, how is the narc suppose to groom narc supply from me? Answer: He can't. My son can live with his dad or with me. I personally no longer care. Whatever the judge decides, I will do. If you choose not to care (APATHY) then there is no more control.
TIP #10 - A narc is a fool. He will argue the foolish in order to fight. It's all about the fight. He is trying to win something, something vague and constantly changing along with his unhappiness, and the courtroom is his stage; a Narc will argue the foolish in order to remain center stage.
I hope these tips help. ((((hugs))) and remember to embrace your freedom!
(the blog was originally posted by a community member.)