If you have been dealing with a narcissist in a court setting, you are probably feeling devastated by the fact that they seem to be always getting their way. The narcissist in your life has been capable of fooling everyone into believing that they are wonderful and that you are horrible- including your friends and family sometimes. You are probably afraid that this ability will cause them to win in court. Every narcissist does what we call a “smear campaign” against his or her victim. The smear campaign, although technically a part of the discard stage of a relationship, actually happens well before the relationship’s end is even on the horizon. Narcissist’s start the smear campaign early on to ensure their saving face in case the relationship does end sooner than expected. In a court setting, they do this to make sure that you’re the one who looks bad and they’re the one that looks good. Remember, narcissists survive on narcissistic supply which is anything that feeds their ego. They love-bomb everyone from the judge, their lawyer, even your lawyer to make sure that they get what they want by dragging you through the mud in the court system.
Narcissist’s will do everything from love bombing a custody evaluator that might be involved to filing bogus motions against you- claiming you’re an abuser or an addict. I’ve seen many amazing parents and people victimized by the narcissist’s smear campaign against them. If you are reading this and asking yourself, ‘How on earth are they getting away with this? How on earth will I survive this? How on earth do I expose them? Let alone in a court setting.” Let me reassure you that there is a way.
You need to remember that the judge is the only person with actual power regarding your case. No one else. I had a client once say to me, “You haven’t done anything to control him (the narcissist) and his behavior.” I remember thinking to myself when I heard this, “What could I possibly do other than file motions on her behalf?” This is the only power that I, as an attorney, actually have. When something is filed with the court, it just sits in the clerk’s office until a hearing with a judge is actually had. Only once a motion is filed and you are physically in front of a judge can you start to expose the narcissist in court.
So how do you expose a narcissist in court? First of all, you definitely don’t want to use the word ‘narcissist’ in front of a judge. You have to show the judge in a very systematic way that the narcissist in your life- on the other side- is not who or what they appear to be. You are going to need to create documentation and exhibits that systematically portray how the individual you are referring to is not a good person in light of the related statutes or what the judge might care about. The judge’s job is to apply the law to what they hear and see from both sides. Remember that they only get a small snapshot of what the case actually looks like.
You might have been dealing with a narcissist for 20 years but only have a couple of hours in front of the judge to expose them. You need to make every second of time count when you’re in front of the judge. Your exhibits and summaries have to be good. They have to pack a punch.
If the case is a child custody case, for example, you are going to create exhibits and summaries that provide insight into how the narcissist is a bad parent- not just how the person is a narcissist. The judge is going to care about the interest of the child in relation to the statutes. The statute might say that parents are to foster a close and continuing relationship between their children and the other parent. You may be sitting on text messages where the narcissist is badmouthing the other parent to the children or documentation that shows the narcissist forgot to pick up the kids on time. These are examples of things that you will want to create documentation and summaries of to show the judge that the narcissist is an unfit parent- exposing them in a way that is meaningful to your case.
You have to give the judge something that they can hold on to and that they can use when applying that law. This will give you the results that you actually want. Just going in and claiming the other person is a narcissist won’t get you anywhere. You have to compile the information that you are currently sitting on into clear and meaningful exhibits that relate to the statutes so you can systematically expose the narcissist in court and get the outcome that you want and deserve.