Navigating a custody battle with a narcissistic spouse is at the top of the list for stressful splits. Maybe your spouse will never accept blame, is endlessly combative, or consistently manipulates situations involving you and your child. Whatever strategies your narcissistic ex might employ, you can successfully gain custody of your child by proactively following some simple steps.
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Before your court date, get organized. And we mean ridiculously organized. The Huffington Post suggests that individuals dealing with narcissists utilize as many organizational strategies as possible, including the simple binder method. In your binder, you should keep a list of court documents, important phone numbers, and vital resources to walk you through your day in family court.
When dealing with a narcissist, it is essential that you document everything. Any failure to appear for visitation, problematic online behavior, or threatening text messages should all be recorded. Incidents of substance or domestic abuse should be documented and brought to court. Any evidence or support that you have against your spouse should also be organized neatly in your binder with additional copies. If necessary, reach out to your lawyer to help you decide if a restraining order is best practice for protecting you and your children.
Because custody battles can be tedious and often emotionally exhausting, you need to plan for how you can best prepare for your day in court. Utilize free workshops and community resources, and familiarize yourself with the court proceedings. Most importantly, schedule a consultation with your divorce lawyer so you can strategize about how to obtain the best outcome possible.
Prepare yourself mentally by knowing how your spouse might try and defraud your character or launch personal attacks. Practice keeping calm and retaining your composure. This will be key in court.
Prepare yourself emotionally by finding trusted friends to support you in the time leading up to the trial. It is important that you have support systems so you can protect your children as much as possible during the process.
Psychology Today recommends establishing firm boundaries around how much contact, interaction, and time your ex spends with you and your children during a divorce. The key is clear and consistent boundaries. It gets tough being the bigger person in the relationships consistently, but when dealing with a narcissist, it’s essential to have patience. Because a narcissistic parent can be unpredictable, it falls on you to maintain boundaries and not get pulled into your spouse’s abusive tactics and gaslighting strategies. By limiting contact with an ex, it’s easier to successfully move beyond their toxic and controlling behavior and towards freedom.
Practicing self control places you in a position of power. If you can show that you can maintain composure, a judge is much more likely to positively rule in your favor in court. In the home, do your best to avoid speaking negatively about your ex-partner in front of the children. Instead, focus on how you can best seek a positive court ruling so your children are no longer exposed that individual’s toxic narcissistic behavior patterns.
Dealing with a divorce is hard and when it comes to kids, you need the support of a divorce lawyer.
If you’re facing a custody battle with a narcissist, let’s us be on your team. Contact us at Babbitt & Dahlberg today to schedule a consultation.