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Dealing with a narcissistic spouse in a child custody battle

What happens when the person you married turns out to be a narcissist? How do you navigate the issue of child support, visitation, not to mention the divorce? Once you realize that you are fearful of losing your mind and have left him or her, a truly vicious divorce may be ahead of you. As you probably realize by now, it may be contentious because your spouse could be incapable of being a decent person in this process. Don't be fooled. There really is not a light at the end of the tunnel, but there are ways to deal with an ex-spouse who is self-centered.

Things can get even more dire if there are children involved. Making your ex-spouse stick to the agreements in the divorce decree as far as economic support is concerned will need special attention in the after-divorce scenario. A definition from the Mayo clinic of a narcissistic personality says it is a disorder where a person has a very inflated sense of self-importance and a need for admiration. They believe they are superior and have little to no regard for other's feelings. In the background, they have a fragile self-esteem and can be quite vulnerable to criticism.

Often, child support comes last because the narcissist will be paying money to more visible endeavors, such as a fancy car and a really huge house. Many times, child support comes dead last and his or her need to appear successful and be superior directly affects your ex-spouse's ability to meet his or her obligation.

Priorities are set by the ex-spouse and he or she will pay those bills, such as the mortgage and the car payment, that make him appear successful. Less important bills, like paying the yard help or his portion of the vacation home for a vacation last summer, will be postponed as long as possible. His country club dues will be paid, but your child's summer camp tuition may rank close to the bottom.

The reality of this situation is that if your spouse decides to make child custody an issue because it will reflect well on him or her, you may need the advice of a legal professional. This may help protect you and your children from the damaging effects of a person who has no empathy for you or anyone else.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Who's not honoring me now? How your narcissistic ex really feels about child support" Christina Pesoli, Jan. 25, 2014

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