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How to Defeat a Narcissist in a Child Custody Battle

Narcissistic personality disorder vector illustration. Labeled NPD behavior

Narcissistic Personality Disorder affects many couples who pursue divorce, and this means it comes into play in child custody cases. This disorder is difficult to overcome, and the parents fighting for custody of their children against a narcissist will find the struggle to be quite intense. By better understanding the disorder and its potential effect on children, parents can do what they need to do in order to protect their kids.

Narcissistic personality disorder vector illustration. Labeled NPD behavior

What Is Narcissism?

Narcissist Personality Disorder is a mental health condition wherein an individual has an exaggerated sense or worth and privilege. A narcissist needs to be the center of attention and have the admiration of the person around them. They often suffer from a superiority complex and delusions of grandeur and achievement.

This can create problems in relationships because a narcissist cannot acknowledge the needs of others. They tend to exploit the people who love them, rather than treating them with compassion. They can be very controlling and anticipate special treatment, becoming angry when it does not happen. This condition often stems from feelings of self-doubt or disgrace.

How a Narcissist Affects Children

Living with a narcissist can be difficult for a person’s mental health, and children, who are constantly striving to please their parents, are particularly at risk. When the ex-spouse is no longer in the home, the narcissistic parent may start manipulating the child and force parental alienation. Verbal and emotional abuse is common with a narcissist, and the children can become victims. A family law attorney will strive to protect children against this.

Document Everything for a Custody Battle

For those entering a custody battle with someone they suspect is a narcissist, documentation is critical. They should keep every email, voice mail, and text that shows the individual’s tendencies. These can help a family law attorney build a case to prove the mental health condition.

How a Family Law Attorney Can Help in Child Custody Cases with a Narcissist

One challenge of fighting for custody against a narcissist is that these individuals are often quite skilled at impressing others. They manipulate circumstances and conversations to put themselves in a positive light. A skilled family law attorney can guide the questions in such a way that the narcissist lets down their guard. Then, by asking pointed questions, the family law attorney may trigger the personality change or anger that is characteristic of a narcissist, which will strengthen the other parent’s position in the case.

Uncontested divorce lawyer Denise Erlich is passionate about helping divorcing couples in the greater Chicagoland area transition to their new life as seamlessly as possible. Ms. Erlich patiently guides her clients through every step of the divorce process and provides clients with candid advice about their case and legal options, so they can make informed decisions about their future.

Years of Experience: More than 20 years
Illinois Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: Illinois State Bar Association U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
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