How to deal with a narcissistic ex in court

Narcissistic behaviour

The bane of the life of too many people who are in the turmoil of a Family Court case. A `domestic terrorist’ –  someone who comes across as charming, lovely and nice when with others but takes their human face mask off when the doors are locked. A superior-acting snowflake who will take advantage of anyone who shows them any empathy, who needs their every wish followed precisely and will say black is white if it suits them.

Sound familiar? I mean…if the court knows about the true them you’ll turn the case very quickly won’t you?

Of course, if you tell the court about your ex’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I will put money on the fact the following will happen:

  1. The judge/magistrates will `let you have your say’ for a while before moving onto something else they actually feel is relevant to the case.
  2. You’ll be the one who is labelled – as someone who is trying to paint your ex in a bad light.
  3. They’ll think you are not child focused (if it is that sort of case).
  4. You’ll waste the time you have to focus on your own case.
  5. You’ll give the ex and his/her legal representative ammo to use against you somewhere down the line.

Read it here, people: Don’t go to court to try to prove your ex is a narcissist. No. Really. Don’t.


Saying someone is narcissistic is often just a way of saying they are insane

Let’s assume I’m onboard with your diagnosis, Dr Freud. Let’s assume that when you open ` Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders‘ and flipped through to DSM-5 there’s a picture of your ex and a caption that says `Classic narcissistic case study’ and that any number of psychologists with big offices full of certificates agree with you.

Let’s assume you are right – this personality disorder is driving this case. That it’s harming your child. That it’s the reason you’ve split up with your ex and why he/she managed to get you arrested leaving you to sit in the cells for a few nights.

There’s some very good reasons it won’t do you any good to mention this.

  1. Because you’re an `interested party’. You’re probably not going to be impartial here…even if you are a world authority on narcissism with a big office full of certificates.
  2. Because you’re not a single joint expert (and unlikely to be appointed as such because of the above point). Practice Direction 25C is your friend here.

In short, if you pursue the `my ex is narcissistic’ line you’re choosing time, effort and quite possibly money to fight a battle you can’t win and isn’t going to help your case whatsoever. If you want to diagnose your ex (and I would say that it’s a bad idea in itself) that’s your prerogative. But it probably isn’t going to help you that much.


  • julie says:

    My daughter is going through hell with a narcissist, he’s spiteful, and carries a lot of hatred around, he has actually been arrested for physical abuse trying to drag grandchild to his car, she is 10, and told him the previous day she didn’t want him to pick her up. He buys expensive present and clothes for the kids, but they are not allowed to wear them at home (mum has custody) he the 10 year old has challenged him about his behaviour, and now she’s on the outside, he is manipulating the 6 year old, and getting to him to misbehave, he has been given a trespass order for stalking and intimidating a 13 year old girl – (stepdaughter to my daughter) stalks them, threatens them, but he never gets caught, and he is so cocksure of himself, his parents have had an abusive marriage, and he is nasty and bullies his mother, she says that’s how it is…… how can I help my daughter and grandchildren? We’ve been to court over custody – last year, and he lied his pants off, stating he only worked 9 – 5 during the week, and that he doesn’t smoke weed, we know he does smoke a lot of weed, and is often high when driving the children around. My daughter has been told she has to pay for a drug test on him if she wants to prove he’s lying…..why is it she is the one suffering, and he gets away lightly? My daughter is in the UK, and I live in NZ – my daughter wants to leave but can’t because of the children, she wants them to see their dad, but only with supervision, or until he gets some help with his anger management issues, and other behaviours, sorry to vent, but my daughter has had to suffer in silence for years, and no one will help, 2 lots of solicitors, and they were a waste of time, and money. We are funding costs for my daughter as she can’t afford to keep going on her own, she had cancer last year on her face, and had to have surgery, she is making herself ill with all the stress, we don’t know how to help, I can’t watch him destroy my grand children or watch my girl suffer any more. There must be a way we can prove he is not fit at the moment to have the children.
    Thanks for your time,

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