How to Win a Custody Battle Against a Narcissist

If you are battling a child custody case with a narcissist, you have a tough task to prove that to the court and to get the narcissist parent to reveal him or herself. You want to win for the sake of enhancing the children’s best interests. Here are some insights on how to win a custody battle against a narcissist. 

Who Is a Narcissist?

A narcissist is a person with a delusional image of self-importance, an inflated ego, and less regard for others. It is a personality disorder that makes one feel more important than other people and with a lack of empathy towards others. 

A parent who is a narcissist will feel entitled to have custody of their children. They will feel as though it is THEIR right to be the custodial parent, and not necessarily what is in the best interests of the child or with justice for both parents.

The narcissistic parent can pretend to be caring towards the children by showing positive emotions like fun, playfulness, tenderness and affection towards them. This gives a person who does not know that they are dealing with a narcissist more reason to believe that they are good at parenting. However, behind closed doors they may exhibit a different side–control, manipulation, hostility toward others and lack of consideration for others’ well-being. It goes back to being self-centered instead of considering other people’s feelings and needs.

 Some of the characteristics of a narcissistic parent include:

  • Considers the independence of the child or children as a threat. 
  • Neglect and emotional manipulation. 
  • Lack of empathy towards the child or children. 
  • Does not acknowledge or validate the success of the child. 
  • Blames other people for his or her failures. 
  • Too much control for the child. 
  • So dependent on the child or children. 
  • Envious of other people’s successes. 
  • Looks down upon and belittles other people. 
  • Excessive need for praise, affirmation and attention

A narcissistic parent will display these characteristics within themselves from an early age. A narcissist will be more demanding as a child towards their parents and have ongoing anger issues. They are also more likely to display rebellious behavior like stealing, lying, cheating or truancy in school.

To ensure the best interests of the child, the courts are aware of this fact and thus you need to prove your case and get the narcissist parent to reveal his or her narcissistic behavior. 

Of course, it is a process and to prepare for the win, you need the following: 

Keep a Child Custody Journal 

A child custody journal is a document that details every aspect of daily life with the children, your communication with your ex, children’s interactions with the other parent, and more other details after separation or divorce. It is important to document all the events that happen after your separation or divorce in preparation for a child custody battle. 

Since you are dealing with a narcissist, you should be keen to note everything that happens daily between you and your ex, children, and any other party. If the other parent is rude and while communicating with the child brings about insults or abuse, you can record everything including the time of each occurrence. 

While documenting a journal, you should always be factual and honest and never share falsehood or your opinions towards the other parent. You need to be objective enough without being emotional when keeping a journal of child custody. This will help the court to identify the weaknesses or personality disorders of the narcissistic parent and that will be one of the ways to win your case

Avoid Unnecessary Communication 

Communicate only when necessary. A narcissistic parent is not always easy to handle or deal with. The more you reduce your communications, the more you will avoid unnecessary confrontations. 

A narcissistic parent as we noted would always want to have their way regardless of your feelings or that of the children. They would want you to comply with what he or she wants or may become arrogant if you do disregard their opinions. 

Therefore, the best way to handle them as you prepare to win is to avoid unnecessary interactions. 

Have a Witness and Keep Evidence 

A witness is always vital in any case since he or she can testify to the court proof regarding the case at hand. Your witness, in this case, can be a neighbor who knows the ins and outs of the other parent, how you have related before you separated, and the relationship with him or her and the children. 

If there have been constant arguments and abuses towards you or children, or any relevant case that would prove to the court the narcissistic behavior of the other parent, a witness would be invaluable.  

Of course, you may have more than one witness to help you when the court needs to find out or justify your facts against the other parent. Keeping hard evidence is also one of the best ways to prove your claims. 

However, you should check into local laws for recording videos of your ex-spouse since they may not work in most of the courts, and can even work against you if they are prohibited. 

Avoid Getting Into Arguments 

If you already know the other parent is a narcissist, there is no need for confrontation. 

The narcissist parent will always want to win and will not relent even if it means abuse and insults. They always want to have their way. So, you need to avoid getting into arguments. 

Remember, arguing with the other parent may work against you as well if the other parent is keeping records of your communications. 

Get an Experienced Attorney 

An attorney with experience understands a narcissistic parent and their motives and will guide you in a bid to reveal the narcissistic behavior of the other parent while in court. 

With years of experience, it is easier for an attorney to get narcissistic parents to expose themselves as narcissists without them knowing. 

A good lawyer is, therefore, an asset when it comes to dealing with a narcissist. These attorneys specialize in cases involving domestic violence and usually know about the behavior patterns of narcissists. 

They can help you deal with the challenges that the law presents when going against this type of personality which may be unique or unfamiliar to others who do not have experience in these matters. 

A good attorney will also help you with what evidence to keep and what to disregard. Of course, you don’t need to have hundreds of pieces of evidence to prove your case. 

Show how You Are a Good Parent 

While the other parent is trying to hide themselves from the court and label you in a bad light, don’t get emotional or be distracted by their opinions about you. 

Focus on your job to advocate for the interests of the child or children and why you are the best custodian of the child. 

While arguing the case, don’t be obsessed with the other parent as he or she will. Don’t discuss the other parent beyond the interests of the child or children. 

The court will eventually find out your facts about the other parent being a narcissist and that is one of the ways to win your custody battle. 

Be Honest and Factual 

Always give accurate records of the events without being distracted or biased. Your facts should not show a grudge with the other parent but rather be honest and truthful. 

If the other parent is abusive to the children, the court will eventually find out. Just be honest when giving your story. 


There is no better way to win a custody battle against a narcissist than to make them reveal themselves and to justify your claims with facts and evidence.

But, given time, they always seem to expose themselves, so don’t panic if the court doesn’t see right away what you already know.

Remember…. it took you some time to realize the truth about this person as well.

Therefore, you should embrace the above best practices as you anticipate your win.