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Tag: narcissist

Has anyone ever been able to prove narcissistic abuse in divorce court?

Yes, it happens quite frequently.*  

What people don’t understand is that finding a spouse is a jerk usually doesn’t amount to much in the divorce action.  

Most people believe—falsely—that if they can show the court that their spouses are narcissists (or some other type of insufferable personality) that this will result in the court bringing the wrath of God down on the narcissist and showering the other spouse with sympathy and riches for his/her trouble. Not so. 

Literally hundreds of thousands of people going through a divorce whose spouses suffer from (or who are suspected of suffering from) personality disorders believe that “if I can prove to the court that my spouse suffers from [antisocial personality disorder, avoidant personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder, obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, schizotypal personality disorder], I’ll win everything my heart desires in the divorce case.” No, you won’t.  

It’s not narcissistic personality disorder or borderline personality disorder that matters, but actions (or a failure to act) that matters, first and foremost. If your spouse is physically or emotionally abusing you or the kids (and please accept that your when your spouse occasionally disagrees with or criticizes you or your children that does not make him or her emotionally abusive), it doesn’t matter why. If your spouse has a drug or alcohol problem, or a gambling habit, or your able-bodied spouse is lazy and won’t earn a living, it doesn’t matter why. There’s no excuse. An abusive or grossly irresponsible spouse is bad regardless of whether he or she has a personality disorder. See?  

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*Now that does not mean that a judge necessarily makes the specific finding of “Husband/Wife is a narcissist who abused his/her spouse,” but many divorce courts find, in making or denying awards of marital property and assets, alimony, child custody, and parent-time, and protective or restraining orders that a spouse and/or parent engaged in lying, cheating, manipulative, exploitative, abusive, neglectful, irresponsible, and/or parental alienating behavior. 

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277  

https://www.quora.com/Has-anyone-ever-been-able-to-prove-narc-abuse-in-divorce-court/answer/Eric-Johnson-311  

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How is a narcissist exposed in a court of law?

You’re not asking the best question. 

First, understand that many divorcing people see their spouses as “narcissistic” because at the time of divorce they tend to see the worst in everything about their spouses. Little personality quirks and foibles of a spouse are magnified in the eyes of the other spouse to help the other spouse feel better about themselves and their arguments for divorce. So before you set out to “expose” your spouse as a narcissist, be sure that it’s true.  

Second, there are varying degrees of narcissism. Someone who is self-absorbed, egomaniacal, and manipulative may be irritating to live and work with, but that alone isn’t a sufficient basis to entitle a spouse to more or less alimony or child custody or parent-time, for example. The condition alone is not a sufficient reason alone to deny a parent custody or parent-time. If a parent has a flaw or handicap, it’s not the handicap that’s inherently the problem, the problem is whether that flaw or handicap has done you or the marital estate real damage, whether the flaw or handicap renders a parent unfit to exercise care and custody of the children. It’s not the narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) itself that is a problem, it’s whether the NPD sufferer is behaving in a way that causes legally recognized and punishable harm to the spouse and/or children.  

See?  

The court doesn’t know (or usually care) what it means when you subjectively say, “My spouse is a narcissist.” But the court can understand and respond to objective, independently verifiable facts, i.e., here is the proof that my spouse: 

  • gambles away the rent money;  
  • beats the kids and me; 
  • gets drunk and passes out while the kids play in the traffic;
  • lies to get away with: 
    • breaking the law; 
    • physically injuring others; 
    • avoiding accountability and responsibility; and 
    • taking advantage of others  

If your spouse is so narcissistic that he or she is doing you or the kids real harm or putting you or the kids at risk of serious harm, then you must show the court, based upon independently verifiable proof (not just your word over that of your spouse) that the other spouse/parent has done wrong, is in the process of doing wrong, attempting to do wrong, or poses a serious danger of doing harm. Only when you can show the wrong first may the cause the why or how matter. With all that stated, I concede that some judges have an uncanny ability to see the worst in people, and to be duped. You would think they’d be especially attuned and on the lookout for the liars and con-men (and women), but that often not the case. Don’t let the court be charmed and taken in by lies, brown nosing, and alarmism either. Don’t let the court play favorites or come to hasty and biased conclusions. Call out the court if and when it puts subjective feelings over objective facts (or the lack thereof). 

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277  

https://www.quora.com/How-is-a-narcissist-exposed-in-a-court-of-law/answer/Eric-Johnson-311  

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Why would a father give a child’s abusive mother full custody?

Why would a father whose attorney had outed his children’s mother as a schizophrenogenic narc monster give her full custody? 

“Give?” 

If the father had it within his power to prevent custody of the children from being awarded to a schizophrenic monster of a mother (as you describe her), but did not do so, then clearly the father acted (or failed to act) morally and responsibly. 

It could be that the father was an even bigger monster than the mother (so self absorbed and/or apathetic that the children’s welfare didn’t concern him). 

It is more likely, however, that the father did not “give” the mother custody of the children, but encountered a legal system that was biased and that discriminated against fathers, leading the father to conclude that an award of custody to the mother was a fait accompli. under such circumstances, the father did not so much “give” custody of the children to the mother, but surrendered it to her. 

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277  

https://www.quora.com/Why-would-a-father-whose-attorney-had-outed-his-childrens-mother-as-a-schizophrenegenic-narc-monster-give-her-full-custody/answer/Eric-Johnson-311  

 

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How can I reveal my soon-to-be ex as having NPD in our custody case?

How can I reveal my soon-to-be ex as having NPD in our child custody case?

You’re asking the wrong question. You shouldn’t be asking how you can prove your spouse has NPD (or some other mental or emotional disorder), but whether your spouse in some way unfit—due to mental illness or emotional disorder—to exercise custody of or parent-time with the children. 

There are so many people who believe that if he/she can prove that his/her spouse or the other parent merely suffers from a mental illness or emotional disorder he/she will somehow win the custody battle. 

It seems as though people believe that mental illness or emotional disorders automatically disqualify one from exercising custody or parent time (visitation) with one’s children. It’s not true. I don’t know where this misconception came from. 

First, merely having a mental or emotional disorder does not make one an unfit parent. Merely having a certain mental or emotional disorder or disorders does not automatically make one a danger to himself or to others. 

Second, even having a mental illness or emotional disorder that could render one a danger to himself or others does not mean that one cannot function as a fit parent. Many parents with serious mental and emotional disorders take medication to treat and manage those disorders successfully. Merely having a mental or emotional disorder (or other kinds of disabilities) does not automatically disqualify a parent as fit to exercise child custody and parent-time. 

Third, proving that one has a serious and disqualifying mental or emotional disorder or disorders is extraordinarily difficult. Diagnosis of many mental and emotional disorders is highly subjective. And if there isn’t associated seriously bad behavior to provide tangible, verifiable proof of actual serious harm resulting from suffering from mental illness or emotional disorders, then accusing a spouse or other parent of suffering from mental illness or emotional disorders essentially comes down to a matter of “your word against mine.” 

Fourth, even if a parent is self-absorbed, hot-tempered, hypocritical, etc., that doesn’t make the parent inherently unfit to exercise custody or parent-time. There are innumerable people suffering from some form of mental illness or personality disorder who still manage to function adequately in society. We may not know exactly why they’re so difficult to deal with, why they’re such jerks, why they won’t change, but they still meet minimum standards of behavior for normal society. 

Finally, accusing the other spouse or parent of suffering from mental illness or emotional disorders as a means of poisoning the opinion of the court against your spouse or other parent (and thereby obtain an advantage) can backfire. Making unsupported allegations comes across to courts as cheap shots (which they are). Unsupported allegations damage your credibility. It can make you look like the crazy and unstable one. It’s trendy to throw around these terms and accuse your spouse of suffering from NPD (narcissistic personality disorder) or BPD (borderline personality disorder), or other defects and disabilities. Mere allegations are a dime a dozen. Mere allegations and uncorroborated stories of mental illness or ability disorders don’t usually get a court’s attention (false claims of child abuse and domestic violence, however, are a different story altogether). 

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277  

https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-reveal-my-soon-to-be-ex-as-having-NPD-in-our-child-custody-case/answer/Eric-Johnson-311  

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What is it like to battle for custody with a narcissist?

Miserable. 

Narcissists know how to game the system, to exploit its weaknesses, to exploit all that is good in human nature and institutions for destructive ends. 

It’s virtually impossible to prove that a narcissist is engaging in such misconduct because one of the things that makes a narcissist a narcissist, and so maddeningly effective as a narcissist is the ability to do so much damage with plausible deniability. 

Narcissists know that the odds of being caught lying are low, and the odds of being held accountable for lying are even lower. In the pursuit of their own self-interest narcissists have no scruples about lying, about exploiting others and about harming others, and about undermining our faith in the processes and institutions upon which a peaceful and stable society depend. 

This is why narcissists are so good at duping social workers, law enforcement officers, psychologists, and courts. 

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277  

https://www.quora.com/What-is-it-like-to-battle-for-custody-with-a-narcissist/answer/Eric-Johnson-311  

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How do I expose a narcissist in family court?

Pretty much impossible. Why? Two big reasons, generally:

  1. Narcissists are masters of deception.
  2. Being a narcissist generally not terribly relevant, if relevant at all, to most issues in a divorce or other kind of domestic relations case. Bad behavior (abuse, neglect) is relevant, but having an unpleasant or difficult personality (even and exceedingly unpleasant or difficult personality) usually isn’t.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://narcismdisorde.quora.com/How-to-expose-a-narcissist-in-Family-Court?__nsrc__=4

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How does a narcissist continue to fool a family court judge?

How does a narcissist continue to fool a family court judge?

How does a narcissist continue to fool a family court judge?

Because there’s almost never a way to prove when anyone engaging in misconduct that is not objectively verifiable.

Because there’s almost never a way to prove that the narcissist (or anyone engaging in misconduct that is not objectively verifiable.

Please see my answer to a similar question that I posted on Quora: Eric Johnson’s answer to How should you educate a lawyer to deal with an NPD/BPD in a court room setting?

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/How-does-a-narcissist-continue-to-fool-a-Family-Court-Judge/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

 

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Can custody evaluators see through a narcissist’s lies?

No, not simply by virtue of their being custody evaluators.

Sometimes custody evaluators and other mental health professionals give the impression (either deliberately or inadvertently) that they have magic, infallible powers of perception that make them able to detect lies at all times and in all circumstances. ’Tis not so. It can’t be so.

While custody evaluators and other mental health professionals may be better at detecting lies than those of us who aren’t trained in it, they can still be fooled and are regularly fooled because some narcissists (dare I say most?) are staggeringly good liars. No one is perfectly (or even all that consistently) able to tell when he/she is being lied to, and custody evaluators are no exception.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/Can-custody-evaluators-see-through-a-narcissist-s-lies/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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Why do some narcissist men not want a woman who works and try to keep her from working?

The answer to your question lies, in part, in the question itself.

The dictionary defines narcissism as “selfishness, involving a sense of entitlement, a lack of empathy, and a need for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.” So narcissistic men who want to prevent women from working may do so for at least a few reasons. One, to ensure that the woman waits on him hand and foot. Two, so that the woman will be depended upon him as the sole breadwinner in the family, and therefore obligated to admire and praise him. Three, so that the man can feel superior to the woman.

With all that said, however, I must note that there is no shame in a woman choosing to be a homemaker and full-time caregiver to a couple’s children. And there are many men, I being one of them, who believe that children are given the best care and best shot at healthy, normal, and successful development when they have a full-time caregiver from birth until they mature to adulthood at 18 and they graduate from high school. This does not make me a narcissist if I am the one who works outside the home and my wife stays home with the children. This is something that both husband and wife have to agree upon and choose to do together. The fact that I would be the primary breadwinner, or the only breadwinner, would not make me superior to my wife and the mother of my children in any way. Indeed, when a woman who has talent that could be harnessed and cultivated in the workforce, her decision to forego or postpone “worldly success” for being a mother and caregiver to her children it’s a sacrifice that demands both her husband’s and society’s admiration and appreciation.

My wife, with the eternal gratitude of her husband and her four children, made such a choice and such a sacrifice. But this does not mean that the sacrifice is absolute. After our youngest child was old enough to fend for himself, my wife went back to school and got her masters degree. This year she will start in her new job as a special education teacher.

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

https://www.quora.com/Why-do-some-narcissist-men-not-want-a-woman-who-works-and-try-to-keep-her-from-working/answer/Eric-Johnson-311

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How do you divorce a narcissist when his lawyer is his next victim?

How do you divorce a narcissist when his lawyer is his next victim?

That’s the lawyer’s problem, not yours.

While it is noble and kind of you to want to spare the lawyer the pain and the misery that your narcissist spouse will almost surely soon inflict, it is not your job to protect your narcissist spouse’s lawyer from your narcissist spouse. The lawyer is probably too desperate for the work to heed any warning you might give anyway.

https://www.quora.com/How-do-you-divorce-a-narcissist-when-his-lawyer-is-his-next-victim

Utah Family Law, LC | divorceutah.com | 801-466-9277

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