How to Effectively Speak to a Judge in Child Custody Cases with a Narcissist Co-Parent

Written by Angela Atkinson

A member posted in our SPANily Support Group for Co-Parenting with a Narcissist that her ex was making her son’s life more complicated by not taking him to regularly scheduled events for a group he was involved in, and a fellow member offered some really great (and very effective) advice. With her permission, I’m sharing it with you today. For now, she has asked that I credit her only as “Anonymous Survivor.”

Being Assertive vs Being Aggressive: How to Get the Judge to Hear What You Really Need Them to Hear in Court

By Anonymous Survivor

There is a difference between being assertive and being aggressive. Judges ignore aggressive behavior and hold both parties at fault. But they listen to assertive statements that focus on the BEHAVIOR itself.

For example, going into court and being angry, and feeling or saying things like, “he is an asshole/jerk/won’t do anything anyway,” will appear to the judge to be very aggressive. And while we all understand why you would feel that way and even act that way, this will only lead the judge to ignore you and see you as part of the problem.

If you want to reach the judge in a way that makes things better for both you and your son, try this more assertive style of communication.

Assertive Statements to Use in Court with a Narcissist

Following our agreement established with Judge ______, I contacted (your ex’s name) each time our child had an event with advanced notice, as shown in these printed out copies I have brought. (your ex’s name) refused to confirm. I sent follow up messages as per our agreement and (your ex’s name) did not respond.

I have interpreted the refusal to respond as (your ex’s name) being unable to take Child to the event, so I arrive to pick up the child as per our agreement to ensure (the child) does not miss out on the opportunity. When I arrive to pick the child up or call (the child), (your ex’s name) states that I am harassing him/her and blocks my phone number, preventing communication.

This artificially-created situation is a result of (your ex’s name) refusing to participate while simultaneously refusing my right to exercise the agreement we made.

As a result, (the child) is not attending events and this negatively impacts (the child).

Final Tip: Speak with the leaders of your child’s organization as well, simply stating you have reached out to dad to bring the child, but that dad will not answer and you’ve tried to bring child yourself, but have been refused. Ask if its possible for the child to make up events, move days, or otherwise have accommodation so that they can attend the event.

If you’re going through a divorce with a narcissist, you might like our sister site,

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  • Angela Atkinson

    Angela Atkinson is a certified trauma counselor and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery, and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic personality disorder and narcissistic abuse in toxic relationships since 2006, she has a popular narcissistic abuse recovery YouTube channel. Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own. Atkinson offers trauma-informed narcissistic abuse recovery coaching and has certifications in trauma counseling, life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation, and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves. Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse here at and at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online.

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