How do I convince a family court judge that a narcissistic parent should not have parenting time?

So many people believe (and I don’t know how or why they have come to this belief) that “if I can show that the other parent has this flaw, I can prevent that parent from exercising parenting time some of the time or perhaps even all of the time.” Nonsense.

You don’t focus on the narcissism, you focus on parental fitness.

A parent who:

  • suffers from a limp or tremors;
  • has a chronic illness;
  • raises his/her voice to the children when disciplining the children;

may or may not be able to exercise custody or parenting time depending upon whether that condition or trait renders that parent unable to provide minimally necessary care and supervision for a child. But the trait or condition alone is not determinative of parental fitness. Likewise, merely proving narcissistic traits or even narcissistic personality disorder in a parent does not mean you’ve proven that the narcissistic traits or NPD renders that parent unfit to exercise custody or parenting time of the children.

Whether the parent is unfit is that matters, whether the parent fails to meet the minimum standards and qualifications to be deemed fit to exercise custody or parenting time of the children.

Do not misunderstand me. I am not stating that a parent who merely raises one’s voice when disciplining children, who limps, has tremors, or suffers from or displays any other disability or negative attribute is, on its own, a basis for declaring a parent unfit. I am stating just the opposite.

Many parents who want (whether reasonably or maliciously) either sole custody of the children or to ensure the other parent has little to no custody of the children will often think that they can point to flaws and defects in a parent believing that these defects/flaws “will obviously reveal” the other parent to be an unfit parent. Not so.

Some parents believe that showing the other parent to have any flaws/defects, no matter how minor, is enough. This is why I stated that simply noting that the other parent raising his/her voice, limps, suffers from tremors, chronic illness, or displays what could be narcissistic traits isn’t enough. It’s not the mere existence of the condition or trait that renders a parent unfit, its whether the condition or trait itself prevents a parent from functionally adequately as a parent and thus renders the parent unfit.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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