Divorcing a Narcissist: Living in the Courtroom

Divorcing a Narcissist: Living in the Courtroom

I just finished filing my court papers and evidence (exhibits) to back up the request for Contempt of Court.

I was joking with the file clerk that the court is my “home away from home”.  I still remember the day that I went to file papers for divorce on August 18, 2009 and my X was there standing in line– two spots in front of me!  He didn’t know that I was behind him so I had a full five minutes to hear his bizarre, manic ramblings that made me want to go behind the counter and hug the poor clerk.  I can still picture her face staring at him in shock as he began to show her pictures of my “indiscretions” while telling her, “She’s been with four men in four months and I just found out”.

The truth was, he downloaded photos from my Facebook.  Any man that I was photographed with became a target of his anger– one of them was engaged at the time, one had a girlfriend, one was the friend of a friend who was visiting from Australia and one was someone who just happened to be in a group photo. I was in disbelief.  What was he talking about?  He looked like a crazy person and I couldn’t believe that he was describing me this way to someone.

We had been separated since January/February of 2009 and verbally agreed to not file anything formal until we figured out my health insurance and a few other things.  Unbeknownst to me, he had been plotting to take everything that we owned while I was out of town.  It was like a theatrical performance that he staged– he cleared our house of every piece of furniture, art and valuable and then went straight to the courthouse to play the victim.  Technically, he took everything while we were married so I didn’t have a lot of recourse and then tried to blindside me by filing for divorce.

This “staged performance” gave him the starring role as the victim which Narcissists need so desperately to thrive.  It gave him a story to tell to anyone and everyone who would listed while I sat back wondering when his horrid performance was going to end.  We argued in court back and forth about our date of separation- he said tomato, she said tomato….he said August, she said January.  I stopped arguing over this silly issue when I realized he was fighting to pay spousal support for several months longer than if he would have simply spoken the truth.  Notice that I didn’t use “Narcissist” and “truth” in the same sentence?

Here we are three years later and we are still battling about his lies. This was my opening statement on today’s declaration: Since 2009, the Respondent has struggled to provide financially for her daughters.  During this same time period, the Petitioner has maintained a luxurious lifestyle despite his child support arrears growing to nearly $40,000.  The Respondent has been hesitant to bring this issue to the court’s attention because any motion to secure child support results in (The X) attempting to secure additional parenting time. 

My greatest fear in holding him financially accountable is that he will seek a higher “percentage” of custody.  I feel confident that I have enough information about him (and declarations on standby) to know that he won’t be awarded any additional time.  It comes down to this: It isn’t about seeing his daughters, it is about lowering his out of pocket costs which can be adjusted with more parenting time.  For me, it’s about the principle but I would walk away from $40,000 in arrears or $4,000,000 in arrears if he would walk away and stop damaging my daughters.  If that offer were submitted to me, I would sign it in a heartbeat.

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8 Responses

  1. My XN told people that I had abandoned him and the kids, that was why he was liquidating the house, pets, bank accounts, etc. In actuality, I was on summer vacation with the kids in Baja. I spoiled his story by coming home, only to find my house listed for sale (he had secretly kept a power of attorney that I made when we bought the house a year earlier while I was in Baja), horses gone, chickens dead (he stopped feeding them) the silly goats kept finding their way back home so he couldn’t get rid of them.

    Two years later Child support started our custody battle too. I often thought of making the offer of No $ for him walking away, but there’s no guarantee that he would disappear. One of the problems we have is that we have to always second guess them, be one step ahead of them. He could very well still have come after me for full custody just so I would have to pay HIM child support.

  2. I’m still trying to figure out if mine fits in the N category. With every event that passes, he’s seeming to more and more. My drama started when he sued himself for child support, then sued ME to pay all his court costs, stating he doesn’t get any time with the baby…the baby he claimed wasn’t his. I wish I’d said, you’re right, he’s not yours. And let him just disappear.

  3. I am going to vent a little, so please bear with me. Is there a point when we should cave? The battle is not for custody, it is not even about money. Ns are out of control by nature and that is what they battle for, trying to accomplish control over things they never had any control over to begin with. It can be confusing. They might sense they are in control, always “winning” or perhaps we submitted to it for a time, but I believe in God, so I know who is in control and who is not. Since our Ns don’t have it, and never will, how much of their “tantrums” and utterly dysfunctional and abusive behavior should we tolerate? especially if our children suffer as a result of the Ns behavior. Whatever the case, they get what they want(usually the case in the current family court set-up) and sometimes they don’t, either way, we suffer through their problem and seemingly no one, but us (the ones who genuinely care about other human beings and their feelings), is interested in addressing the problems their problem present and the negative ramifications the Psychopath has on the lives of the innocent!!!! We have to do what is good and right, if we do not who is going to, our Ns? if we stop doing the right thing, will they stop and leave everyone alone? No. I am recently confronted with this frustration on a different front as a result of an Ns actions that have been detrimental to someone I dearly love. At what point? Enough will never be enough for them. At least our response to whatever happens-to do what is right and just, being firmly grounded on a foundation of Truth(all truths) being the kind of person we truly are, and want to raise our children to be, at least we have the understanding that we have control over the choices we make and how our choices matter most for our loved ones. TYJ.

  4. Amen on that! I would give up any dime of support for the ability to protect my children from my ex’s abusive behavior. Actually…I think I would happily pay him!