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Fighting the narc in court

Community Member

Is this something anyone else is going through at the moment? I've been in this battle for the past three years and seriously find the legal system a joke.

24 Replies 24

Hi forever

my wife is doing the same thing to me

i hope to get 60% as I am the care provider and she is a narc Dr who earns and spends a shit load

inhave just been some employed help and now our son is going to high school she has disposed of me

i called her out on being a narc and why it happened to her I told her I new her better than herself as she has memory splitting and despite getting 99.6 in her HSC she cannot remember the hurtful things she says and even the truth when she is raging

I just wish she would admit to an affair so I could move on emotionally

20 years old f my emotional investment wasted in her

oh well at least I can save my son and break the cycle

good luck


Hi All

From what I have read most narcissists are men; but that is possibly because women with the same disorder are not so obvious. Evidently there are many types of narcissism; not all are obvious.

After 30 years of marriage my narcissist wife decided that I was no longer of any more use. The marriage was a childless marriage because she decided that children were too much of an inconvenience. In retrospect, I suppose children would have taken some of the limelight off her; something that I did not realise at the time.

After we separated my wife's behaviour became more controlling, vindictive and paranoiac. I have received multiple DVO threats and a litany of vile allegations from her lawyer; all of which are a figment of her vile imagination. She has weaponised the legal system to delay and obfuscate the property settlement process, simply because she wants nothing to change.

Her sense of entitlement knows no bounds. After supporting her for 30 years, she thinks that I should support her for the next 30 years; she also thinks that she is the victim.

Our property settlement is a simple matter that could have been settled months ago. Sadly, I had to start court action just to get her to the mediation table. Unsurprisingly, mediation fail and we are now heading to court ordered arbitration which she will most likely ignore in preference for a court hearing that will take years and a small fortune to settle.

Divorcing a narcissist is difficult; divorcing this narcissist is even more difficult because she will try to weaponise and manipulate the legal system to get what she wants.

Just a few thoughts!

Wow, these people sound horrible. Thank heavens I have not had to deal with what several posters have written.

I seem to hearing or reading about the term "narc" frequently these days. At first I thought it referred to police involved in narcotic trafficking prevention. Now I know it is referring to narcissists.

I have since been trying to educate my self on some facts about narcism. Here is my summary on what I have learnt.

1. Like all psychological disorders it rests on a spectrum. Mild narcism may hardly be noticed while severe narcism can be a serious psychological disorder.

2. There seems to be sub categories including overt, covert, malignant and sociopathic.

3. Gender differences. This area of research seems to be controversial. While several studies have reported it more common in males (roughly 7% versus 5%), these studies had limitations (acknowledged by the authors). It may be as Mr Paul has suggested that males display a more obvious style.

4. What seems to be less controversial is that of the 9 key traits of pathological narcism generally accepted, males and females are similar on 7 of them. The two that are different are behaviours to money and power.

5. Men will try any method (including deceit) to gain money while narcissistic women are more focused on spending the money (even if it's not their own). When it comes to achieving power, men are more likely to use games and manipulation while women are more likely to use sexual charms.

Wherever the truth really lies on the facts of narcism, everyone seems to agree if you are unfortunate enough to marry one who rests on the moderate to severe scale, you can expect a very uncomfortable life.

You make some good points that agree with what I have personally observed. I am no authority in this area; but by necessity, I'm learning fast.

  1. You are correct, narcissism does seem to lie on a spectrum. I always knew that my wife had a problem; I just did not recognise the signs that were all so subtle at first. When I retired her position on the spectrum changed dramatically for the worse.
  2. There seems to be a lot of sub-categories; so far I've found six types and I'm still counting. In my experience the narcissist can fit into multiple categories at the same time. I don't know if this is common or if I'm just the unlucky one.
  3. Agree
  4. Agree
  5. Once again this seems to relate to my personal experience. Throughout the marriage my wife had unfettered access to cash. There was no restriction on her spending other than to be responsible. After we separated, I was shocked to get correspondence for her lawyer claiming that I was "financially controlling". If the accusation was not so serious it would be a joke. I suspect this is her way to hurt me and control the process; a win/win in her mind.

I'm glad I found this forum. It's horrible that others are suffering a separation with a narcissist and wow... it's the most difficult thing to endure. A narcissist will deliberately prolong the proceedings causing high legal expenses just to continue their perceived control over you. I was only with mine for 5 years, and we're 14-months into the separation now. Never married, no kids and I worked, owned for and paid for everything yet he thinks he's entitled to half of everything and worse, finds every excuse not to mediate. Mediation will be a waste of time, but something we must do if we're ever to get a court date. It's turned me off relationships permanently.

Hi GirlK

When dealing with a narc' mediation will be a waste of time; unfortunately it is a must prior to court action. That being said, if mediation fails, you can go to "arbitration" rather than court. Something to look into if you have not already done so. Arbitration is much quicker and cheaper than court.

The court cannot order mediation or arbitration, it has to be voluntary. At the same time, the court will insist on mediation and push you into voluntary arbitration as the court does not want to get involved. I'm sure you have had similar legal advice.

To my knowledge, the court would consider a 5 year de facto relationship as a short relationship. This should work in your favor, no matter where you end up.

If I can give you one piece of advice, do not go to court. The time and expense will be prohibitive, especially if your ex partner is a narc'. The court does not want you unless there are extenuating circumstances to be dealt with.

When dealing with a narc', you will need the court to put down timeframes. That does not mean you have to follow through with court action. In my case, the court insisted on setting a mediation date, and then insisted on setting an arbitration date. Without the court, my narc's wife would not have gone to mediation or arbitration, we would still be in limbo waiting for a court hearing a year or two down the track.

When you are dealing with a narc' you have to be proactive; you have to set boundaries. Put your business hat on, and approach the problem as a business woman. Check-in your emotions at the door.

Happy to help if I can!

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Thank you all for this thread.

After 17 years I finally had the courage and concrete proof of my (soon to be ex) husbands sociopathy to lock him out of my house.

I feel relieved & safe from abuse which is an amazing feeling. He also has misogynistic views & issues with sex and control so I am proud of my actions to protect my daughter (& in the not too distant future her adolescent friends)

I do know this will be a long and annoying road, but very hopeful about coming out the other side.

I am very keen to fast track a relocation order & have a good lawyer but wonder if anyone has some helpful tips? The narc in this story has alienated all his family (in Sydney) & every family friend relationships we had here (Melbourne) My daughter is nearly 7 and except for the COVID year he’s been travelling 50+% of her life. (And of course living it up like a rock star while away) I have a large and extremely loving family in Sydney and want to take my daughter there so she can experience what loving family is and ideally reconnect to his family as I know they dearly miss her (she’s the only niece for his siblings/ and only granddaughter of 5 grandchildren for his parents)

I am sure you are all familiar with this trail of destruction and broken relationships. I mistakenly thought there was a good person inside this narc, but now know for sure. This one is a sexual predator, so pretty dangerous as well as destructive.

Hey Checta,

Welcome to the Beyond Blue forums, we're glad to see that you've been able to resonate with other members stories. We know how relieving it can be to discover you're not alone in having these experiences.

We're so happy to hear that you feel safe and are hopeful for the future. If you ever need some extra support please feel free to contact 1800RESPECT. They offer confidential information, counselling and support 24/7 for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse. The lovely supportive counsellors have a lot of experience offering advice to people in your situation. You can contact them on 1800 737 732 or https://www.1800respect.org.au/ 

Some threads you might be interested in reading include:

"Moving on after leaving emotionally abusive relationship" -

"Trying to end an abusive relationship"

"Reset button"

We know it has taken courage for you to share your story today, so thank you. We hope that you can find some comfort in the forums.

Community Member

Omg this is my story

Im currently in a refuge for woman from abuse after 7 years of financial,mental , and physical abuse . I'm currently fighting for my son back after having major surgery. He was looking at surveillance to put inside house . He physically abused my children and his reason for surveillance was to prove its my 12 year old upsetting him . He never allowed my name on his bank account and access to a pin .I was only allowed tap credit for food . Due to his income I wasn't entitled to government income so I was 100% reliant. My two year old daughter has autism and I never left house due to his refusal for daycare saying I'm a mother deal with it. I ended up with anxiety and depression and his mother put me into a hospital I now believe as a attempt to discredit me as a person his family come around with suspected whooping cough when I had a newborn then told me I owed them a apology for being upset about it . He has hit me called me names put me down so much I didn't recognise myself I was sticky taping my birth certificate and documents under drawers as he would hide things to prevent me leaving even car keys , house alarm so I couldn't re enter for belongings . A few weeks ago I just got out of surgery and couldn't walk his abuse was shocking so I called a DV line . He went to the local police acted victim and I had a AVO served on me while I lay in bed with blood clott stockings . He then left with my son and cancelled credit card my phone and used police to do welfare checks to find my location . I'm now fighting for my 5 year old who's birthday is today . Please these things don't happen straight away . They start with small red flags of control and manipulation . Write down the abuse ,dates ,take photos , tell people . Make a escape plan be safe . And never tell them your leaving they will turn your life upside down focus on your response to there abuse ,gaslight you act like they are victims and leave you in piece's without a second thought .

Community Member

Hi. My sister is going through a horrendous court process with family court and estate / executor / administration. The collective cost is the order of $450K so far and still not resolved. It is not appropriate and looking at these posts she is not alone. My issue is the legal process which allows / facilitates this to occur. I think lawyers and judges need to be educated about narcissism so that it might be possible to factor this into their decision making and advice. There is a fundamental gap in the system which does not capture this situation. In order to turn our experience into something beneficial for others I am contemplating some type of education /awareness training (need to find the right person to deliver it) as well as tips and resources in order for people to arm themselves with an approach and plan pre, during and post separation and court proceedings. If I can gather enough feedback or stories to inform the process then I might be able to translate this into something beneficial for others perhaps ... who knows...however, it is attempt to turn the tables on these type of people, help people manage their own lawyers and opposition lawyers through insight and planning and to try and give some sort of control back to people in a seemingly powerless situation.

If you feel this might be beneficial in any respect it would be good to know. It might end taking the form of a submission to Australian Legal Reform Commission or collectively assist individuals in specific situations through group or fundraising or forums or compassionate legal (maybe retired) who might have the ability to assist.

Interested in your thoughts. Pleased to discuss.