Not everyone who’s been with a narcissist will get taken to court. However, those narcissists that can use the court system against you will do at some point. They can leave you alone for years, then suddenly reappear to catch you unawares.
When you’ve finally got yourself in a good place, and you’re making life work for you, then those court papers arrive. It can be devastating, having to go through the past, trying to get your point across to strangers who simply don’t understand the severity of the situation. The court is never a pleasant experience. Going up against a narcissist can bring you back to all those anxieties and emotions of fear, guilt and self-doubt.
Why would you end up in court against a narcissist?
Most people have the empathy to care for each other, try their best to find the middle ground and compromise before the court is needed. As a narcissist believes they are entitled, they are arrogant enough to believe they have done no wrong, and they are willing to exploit the system, they’ll happily keep dragging people through the court system.
Reasons for court action.
The two main reasons are either their behaviour means you need to take action and them to court for the authorities to sort, or they take you to court solely for their need to remain in control of you.
1. Proceedings to do with any children you have together. You might have gone no contact, the children might no longer want to visit, or they might be keeping the children from you.
2. Criminal Proceedings where the narcissist has committed crimes against you, stalking, harassment, continued threats.
3. Divorce, money matters, child support, splitting of assets.
A narcissistic person does not like people walking away from them, most fear abandonment, even when the narcissist is the one to do the walking, they believe they are special and entitled to have things their way, they want to be in control, and they will use the court system for your reactions. A narcissist doesn’t use the court to resolve issues. Often when those who file keep filing, they use it to get at you. They want to get you going, you to be angry. They want you to be worried, scared and upset. They also enjoy the attention they receive from their lawyers. The court is a stage for them, and they want all the focus and attention. Not only are they in court to win, but they’re also in the court to bring you down, to devalue you in front of others, to bait you into emotional reactions so they can prove themselves right with your emotional responses to their behaviour.
Some will play the game of looking like they’re going to compromise. This is often to hide another game, because they think they might lose or to guilt-trip and use against you at some point.
Narcissists do not have the same respect for the law, courts, judges that we do, they might put the grandiose act on as they do, but they believe they are above the law and do their best to manipulate everyone in the room.
They want to bait, push, provoke and intimidate, devalue you. It is intentional. They want to get you going to get those reactions from you so that they can blame you.
What can you do to help your case against them?
If you can afford support, get lawyers, solicitors, barristers that understand you and what you’ve been through, that understand what the narcissist is like.
These are steps to help you get control back in your life. If you’re like me, you might feel like doing some of these things are mean and uncomfortable, or you’ve turned into a private detective. If you want to live a free life, you have to throw away any doubts any insecurities, and you must do what’s right. If you don’t, you’ll pay in the long run.
Watch out for the narcissist, trying to speak to you, making eye contact with you, belittling you, goading you and doing all they can to get a reaction from you in the court, observing their behaviour, recognising what they’re trying to get from you and don’t give it to them. Please don’t give them the satisfaction that they can get to you. This only ever works against you. We don’t prove our point when we try to point out their behaviour. We play into their hands when they claim we’re irrational, unreasonable and emotionally unstable. They’ll be acting all calm because they got us going. They’ll be claiming that we are the ones who are impossible to work with, Those who can not see the gaslighting and lies like we once couldn’t will be focused on how we are reacting. Not what made us act this way.
1. If your exs behaviour starts to escalate, even if you never called the police before, now is the time to start. Many don’t call the police until the relationship is over, as when we step away, create boundaries and stop facing to their behaviour, it is often when all hell seems to break loose. We need extra support to keep ourselves safe, be open and honest with all questions, it’s hard dragging up things, but you need to get a picture of their pattern of behaviour built up with the authorities if you already have none molestation orders, protection orders, restraining orders in place, you need to call the authorities every time they break these, you’ll only regret it if you don’t in the future, best to face your feelings head-on, get it done than have regrets down the line. Narcissists are relying on your kind heart, not to call authorities on them.
If the narcissist takes you to court further down the line, it is no longer your word against theirs. You have court police reports.
2. Don’t try to be friendly by leaving information out of the court papers that you might need to rely on in future. Put everything in. A narcissist might act like they can play fair. They do not. They are lowering your defences, ready to strike. You have to protect yourself and any children. Your happiness is at stake if you don’t.
3. When going through protection orders, if you can not afford a solicitor, even if you can contact your local domestic violence unit, they will guide you and help you. They also understand you.
4. Document everything. A narcissist relies upon your word against theirs. They then rely upon twisting everything around and leaving you with self-doubt, keep diaries of things said, try to keep communication via email or messages, try to respond, not react, save them all, do not let the narcissist know. Many times they’ve missed visiting the children, keep copies of everything, if they don’t take children to the Doctor if they miss school events. If anything happens to your property, anything gets damaged, even if you don’t know it was them, report it to the police.
5. It can be tough if the narcissist is telling your children lies and adult things that shouldn’t be said. Document it with dates, don’t try to justify yourself to the children, and they just get caught in the middle. Instead, let them know, people just think differently, and we are all entitled to an opinion. We don’t have to take someone else’s on as our own.
6. Do not back down in a divorce. You have one chance, do what’s right for you. The narcissists will not think or act fairy. No matter how they try to guilt-trip, stick to what is rightfully yours, don’t feel bad for them. They’re not you. Fight fair and realistic.
7. Do not give the narcissist the benefit of the doubt, do not fall for any charm tactics they might play if they have narcissistic traits. They are not playing nice, to be fair. They are doing it to bring your fairs down, then pounce and win. They don’t want compromises. They want to win, remember they don’t think how we do, they are not interested in that middle ground, they don’t care only for themselves. Give them the benefit of the doubt, and they will take everything from you.
8. Don’t fear the threats that they are going to take your home and children from you. They just want to intimidate you, focus on the outcome you wish to, vision getting justice, vision and dream of it going exactly how it should.
9. Do not lose it in front of the judge. This is why the narcissist is intimidating you and playing these games. What they do is unfair and unjustified. You have to stay as businesslike as possible to the judge and in court, remain calm. ( you can let all the emotions out afterwards.) You need to be in control of your mind and your emotions in court. Stick to facts, especially those you have evidence for.
10. Arrive at court early, if you can apply and get a separate waiting room, this gives you the perfect barrier between the narcissist and yourself. Most will try to talk to you, make eye contact with you, smile, smirk or wink at you, to provoke you before you even enter the courtroom, to intimidate you and put you on edge, or play nice, so you doubt yourself again. Arriving early allows you to compose yourself and prepare. Some will even get their solicitor to come and talk to you and invite you to sit with them, don’t it’s a game they use against you in the courtroom.
11. Don’t expect others to see their manipulation. Remember how long it took you to see it and understand it, don’t diagnose in court. The court is interested in facts. Stick to behaviour and not name-calling.
12. If possible, try and have someone sitting between you in court, DO NOT make eye contact with the narcissist. Ignoring them will criticise them. Direct all your answers to the judge, not to the narcissist or their solicitor. You’ll feel calmer taking to the judge, and this will also cause a narcissistic injury.
13. Do not challenge any questions, answer them and stick to the facts and the point, do not go off-topic.
14. If the narcissist brings people with them, they are the narcissists flying monkeys and enablers, do not engage with them, this is hard, but you must remember they have been brainwashed by the narcissist and are there to help the narcissist.
15. Refresh your mind on the manipulation tactics they use before you go, so you know what they are trying to do.
16. When leaving the court, make sure the narcissist has already left, do not post anything on social media, or let people know who will inform the narcissist. They hate not being in control of others lives.
17. Do this, and you will give them enough rope to hang themselves. The narcissist might be painting you in a bad light. If you remain calm, you show no evidence of this. Ignore the narcissist. ( you are not required to answer directly to them.) if you are required to answer, do so with truth, facts and evidence and do so directly to the judge. No one can throw a bigger tantrum than a narcissist who’s not getting attention and losing the control of those around them. Stick to this, their mask will slip, and they will show their true selves to the court.
18. Do not doubt yourself, do not feel mean. No one deserves to be treated how a narcissist treats you. If you have doubts, remember all you have done for them, all the things you have forgiven them for, remember how badly they have treated you. No self-doubt. You’ve got to take the necessary action for the best interest of yourself and any children.
You can, and you will get the results you need.
Click the links below to join Elizabeth Shaw – Life Coach on social media, for more information on Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse.
Why a narcissist will not let you go.