How to lose friends and alienate people (in court)

Fallout Shelter sign

Mutually assured destruction – when destroying the other side is more important than your own survival

We often tell people that family law is more of an art than a science. There are few guarantees. Lots of variables. And a hefty dose of catching the right judge at the right time.

But there are a few sure fire ways to help or hinder your case.

Today. An object lesson in what to do if you really want to shoot yourself in the foot when you make an application.

Number one: Give up

The absolute best way, guaranteed to achieve nothing. Say the courts are biased, that they won’t enforce their own orders, listen to what your mates say and decide to save yourself the hassle. It doesn’t matter if these are all true.

But if you only do one thing to fail…this is it.

Number two: Talk about your case on social media

It’s a winner! You’ll give your ex ammunition to use against you (and his/her solicitor too), possibly give them a heads up against what your situation is and allow them to spend the entire hearing discussing this rather than stuff like contact. It’ll irritate the court too. It may even cause you to face contempt of court charges.

…but you at least you can say you had your say.

Number three: Label your ex as a narcissist or a parental alienator

You may be in court to discuss contact and not your ex partner’s mental state. You may not be a qualified psychologist, nor appointed by the court or an impartial figure. But you can use the time to pin a label on your ex.

Bonus points for taking in news clippings to back up your views but the court won’t be interested in them.

Number four: Fighting fire with fire/telling the court like it is

You’ve been labelled as angry, aggressive and contrary – and to show the court this isn’t the case you’re going to fight everyone. Every step of the way. You’re going to counter allegation with allegation. Do things `on principle’. Do stuff to see how your ex partner likes it. Tell the court what you think of it.

You won’t get contact or time with your children…but at least you didn’t bow down to anyone.

The Jerry Springer-style wrap up

The family law courts are full of angry and upset people.  It’s quite possible that you’re one of them and reading this has made you angry and upset.

But the courts are set up to deal with angry and upset people…it’s something they’re really good at doing. As always – it’s all about focus. What are you in court for in the first place?

Think carefully before you act.


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.