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Proving Narcissism in court

1dad4kids's picture

Thanks to this website, I've recently discovered Infantilizing, which I believe BM is doing to SS10. I've studied up on it (a bit) and she is fairly textbook, but not extreme. 

She is also a narcissist, the 2 seem to go hand in hand. 

Has anyone ever had success proving Narcissism or Infantilizing in court? 

I'd love to hear your stories, even if things didn't work out as planned. 

tog redux's picture

I wouldn't try to prove anything in court, but if that's the plan, prove neglect and harm to SS, not Narcissism. Don't label the ex unless a mental health professional has given that diagnosis, it will backfire big time.

halo1998's picture

by the custody evaluator he insisted on having during our custody battle.  The custody evaluator was a psychatrist so he was qualified to diagnose.  My ex tried to maninpulate the personality test we both had to take, which apparenlty is a classic sign of a narcissist or bpd.

ladybug3's picture

Where I live you can request a psychological evaluation. I don't know about the infantalizing part, but a psych eval would probably prove narcissism. 

day.drmr76's picture

When BM kept insisiting SD was abused etc. the judge ordered evals on her and DH requested one on BM and in turn it was ordered for everyone. My point being, be prepared if requested the same can be asked. 

In black and white we have it and were able to have the psych testify to it and enter it as evidence. I don't think it would go well initiated outside of a mental health professional. 

1dad4kids's picture

We may not end up going to court, but if we do it's something we're keeping in our back pocket. I'm not sure how much a Custody and Access Interviewer can get a feel for, but narcissists are very good at convincing people they are not the problem. We're hoping our interviewer sees past the deceit and can tell she's a narcissist. If so, her assessment would likely warrant more time with us. 

Since BM is a narcissist, then even if the C&A interviewer recommends more time with us, she will likely still take us to court to get majority access. She doesn't want to lose any child support or child tax. That's when we would need the assessment. 

Thumper's picture

Welcome to Steptalk. I am going to be blunt. What ever you think you have on bm...

It just does not matter.  Of course it matters to you, and to others who support you. Most of us here would raise eyebrows hearing about what your schild is going thru.

But it just doesnt matter.

WHAT DOES matter is when a child is removed from primary parent and taken to jail. Police must call cps because a child was present.  But there is matters when the parent has pending charges for felonies against minors. Child neglect, child abuse. At that time, if ncp is 'found' or 'present' custody will likely be changed to ncp until offender is charged or let off.

I do not mean to sound harsh. OK?

Stick around here. You will read story after story of moms who have mental health problems AND criminal convictions in their pockets. BUT they still retain full custody of their kids, one way on another. How in the hell can that be?

Dads who have stellar records, high profile jobs, good citizens---they have wasted easy 100k in court fees on top of higher amounts of cs to ex's.

At this time, most court cases are not about best placement of a child but rather cases that can be churned and churned for years and years AND years---cha- ching for the states. I wish it was better.

Kids deserve it.

Just do your best when the child is in your home. Dont try to prove anything. IF a child is in danger call the police asap.




ESMOD's picture

and "infantilazing"... she coddles him... is a helicopter parent?  cares too much.  Unless it was an extreme case where the child was making zero progress.. it's really going to be tough to convince the judge that he is not just a little immature for his age.

1dad4kids's picture

Thanks for your input. We're in Canada, I'm not sure if that makes a difference or not. 

I understand extremes, she doesn't have some custody- DH has joint custody. She just has majority access. In Canada, after the Custody and Access Interview, the Pretrial judge strongly encourages both parties to go by the recommendation. Our C&A interviewer told me the judge has never sided with a parent going against her recommendations. 

Which, because we're sane people, means if the interviewer recommends we don't increase time then e won't take BM to court. We won't waste $1000's of dollars for nothing. 

But, since BM is not sane, if the recommendation is to give us equal time (or anything more than 40%, which would decrease her CS and child tax amounts) she would very likely take us to court. So we're preparing for that, since we think we've got a fair shot at more access time with SS10. 

We do have pretty clear evidence of her Infantilizing with SS10, which is a form of parental alienation. Our court system has a reference of additional parenting time being awarded to the other parent in cases of parental alienation. 

Of course nothing is 100% and when you're dealing with a narcissist you just never know who's going to fall for it. 


Ispofacto's picture

Psych evals are incredibly expensive.  And even if you prove NPD, you still have to tie that into their parenting.  Narcissism exists on a spectrum from mild to severe.  A mild narc might be a better parent than some "normal" people.  So in the end, you're just proving whether or not a person is a good/bad parent, and then you don't need the diagnosis.

So the diagnosis doesn't matter.


still learning's picture

If you do try to prove this the lawyers from both sides would love you. Imagine how much they'll be able to charge by repetitively reading those five dollar psychobabble words you're throwing around.  A good lawyer will tell you not to pursue this. You would have to pay for a custody evaluator and that would be out of your pocket not BM's. Approx 3k, then both lawyers have to review the findings, judge reviews, lawyers review judges findings. Do you realize how much money you're going to have to pay out to accuse BM of narcissism and infantalizing?  Is it infantalizing or spoiling?  Does she still breastfeed the kid?  Does he wear diapers.  

Dad attacking mom with these labels won't look good in front of a judge.  I'd let it be and let DH fight his own battles.  

1dad4kids's picture

We would never out right call a Narcissist a narcissist, I'm not insane. Lol.

I'm more just trying to figure out the success of downfall others have had. We're not in court yet, we may not be. I'm just trying to get a feel for how others who have experienced it came out.

Notup4it's picture

I'm in Canada as well.... save your money!!!!! BM has criminal charges, extreme (proven) alienation and a BPD diagnosis and we got NOTHING.  Ended up fighting it all to the tune of 100k and got zero in the end.... She was allowed to continue and it just got worse and worse.  

I promise, just leave it. 

Rags's picture

To my knowledge these are not legally significant things unless you can show clear and egregious damages to the kid.

mcyd137's picture

I so know what you mean on so many levels. I am hubby is BD. Our two sons BM is a classic narcissist. She 100% infantizes both the boys (9 and 7) and is borderline to a medium level of parental alienation. It always happens around the time we are prepping to go back to court to get more than the time we have which is close to maybe 35%. It's just not enough. 

It's frustrating dealing with someone that is so BLATANTLY manipulating your kids and manipulating them AGAINST you. A great example, we are in a rough back and forth because we are about to go to court. So many things are "suddenly" coming up like our 9 year old asking his BM out of the blue to get counseling. We brought this up 4 years ago because he was having issues coping with the back and forth between houses, and she flat out refused. Said, "the kids don't need counseling, we the parents do. And I mean just you the father and myself". It was a jab at me the SM, and a flat out no to help the kids. Suddenly out of the blue though when we decide to go back to court to shift more time to our side, our eldest freaks out and asks him mom about counseling? We agree he needs it, but when we mentioned that we'd already brought this up she denied it saying she had always thought it was a good idea, we were the ones holding up the process. Gaslighting much?

It's a constant struggle. I know how it feels and it's not easy to deal with especially when you see dangerous signs that are affecting your kids. What I say to my husband though is that boys tend to shift to wanting to be around their dad as they get older. They want to "be a man" so to speak and often will seek out more time with their fathers. For a Dad with four boys, I feel like you will soon find they enjoy being around you a lot more. Especially when the kids are older! So I know this hurts, this time can be very painful but the goal is to do our best to remain the positive, caring, and least amount of tension household. My husband and I now have a rule that we don't talk about the kids mom AT ALL in front of them. We don't discuss anything in front of them that could cause tension. It only causes them to worry and run to their BM afraid that if they leave her alone she will be sad, scared, and alone. 

Remember that a daughter is a mother's friend all of her life, but a son is mother's son until he finds a wife Wink (or a husband!) Either way, if you ever need support or someone to chat to about the CRAZINESS of narsassistic parents, I got you covered!

1dad4kids's picture

Thanks. Yeah we'd mentioned that our son had severe memory and concentration problems and BM insisted it was due to us "grilling him" even though it could be about simple things like tasks that he'd done  or remembering how to do things. When it came time for our court date, she finally told DH that she thought SS10 should get assessed for ADHD. Well she claimed the public psychologist was too long of a wait and she hired a private psychologist instead. That psychologist is notorious for not believing children with ADHD should be moved back and forth between homes. She totally screwed DH over for her benefit, and not at all for the best interest of SS10. What's worse is that the assessment was done in a 1 hour session before she recommended he be put on medication AND her assessment showed many professional discrepancies. It was a joke but because of the report the judge at the pretrial seemed to think that the court judge would rule in her favor. We still can't get our own assessment done and if it hadn't been for DH making an appointment for SS10 to meet with his GP before the summer started, he would have never taken a break from his meds. 

There are other medical issues she's comfortable having him suffer through to maintain his dependence on her.

It's beyond frustrating to see this little boy be hindered because of his Mom. It's not a life he's had a say in, but he's forced to live it. It's truly heartbreaking. 

I hope things get sorted out for both our families. Best of luck with your crazy BM 

JRI's picture

My 2 SSs seemed to want to be with DH more as they aged.  We didn't have quite the level of toxic BM as you but the summer OSS was 13, he just basically stayed here rather than going home to BM and we enrolled him in school.  Unlike you, she wasn't fighting for custody.  Anyway, it just felt natural.  About 9 months later, YSS moved in, too.  I think you are wise to not discuss BM with the kids.  We didn't, either.  They might have overheard me venting about her on the phone and I regret that (but it was nothing compared to how she was trashing me).

One reason I think it's wise not to overshare about BM is that the kids seem to remember everything and I'm talking about SKs in their 50s now.  We fool ourselves if we think they dont see and hear it all.


1dad4kids's picture

Exactly. We've always made it a point to make sure none of our kids hear us talk about BM, even the bios. We don't want them to dislike her, that's not fair to SS10 who never chose this life. 

I'm hoping our custody and access interview allows us more time with him, but if not we'll be hopeful his teen years draw him to us. 

strugglingSM's picture

As someone who deals with an undiagnosed borderline BM with narcissistic tendencies, I have reached the sad realization that it is difficult to ever prove that she is in the wrong. People with personality disorders are not "crazy", so they can be very convincing and they can easily spin anything in to the notion that they are just looking out for the children. We never tried to prove in court that BM has a personality disorder, but even trying to convince DH's family that she was making things up was a battle we lost. DH is now alienated from his mother and brother because they decided that he is just "at war" with BM and she is a "good person" who only cares about the children. No matter that the things she said about both of us were outrageous. At the most recent mediation, she accused DH of "abusing" SS and when DH explained what happened the mediator said, "that just sounds like parenting" because what really happened was DH putting SS in a bear hug to stop him from beating on other SS. 

1dad4kids's picture

Uhg, I'm so sorry. We're just awaiting the result of a Custody and Access Interview before we know what our next steps are, we're hoping court isn't in our future as BM will definitely spin the assessment to show she's just being a "good mom" and when DH does the exact same things he is "putting pressure on SS".