A narcissist will target and attack. Do not react.
1. Keeping emotions under control is the one factor that can make or break your situation.
2. Too much emotion and you risk being labeled a drama mama. Or too emotional if a man.
3. You will be attacked and lied about. The normal response is to become emotional. Don’t.
4. Remember in divorce and the narcissist that your narcissist is a pathological liar. Prepare for that
SmartMoney.com quotes Ann Bradley:
There’s a correlation between having an attorney and having a long legal battle. Divorces in which both parties have a lawyer take nearly four months longer than when both don’t have legal counsel, according to a 2010 study by Marquette University Law School. One possible reason: Those most likely to hire counsel have “complicating factors such as higher husband income, longer marriage and minor children,” according to the study. But the researchers also concluded that “it is possible that lawyers deliberately extend the process so as to collect higher fees.” Ann Bradley, author of Divorce: The Real Truth and Hidden Dangers, goes a step further: “Some lawyers add fuel to the emotional drama to keep you fighting.”
Listen carefully to the question and turn it around in your mind to a positive for you. Try to think before you answer. Silence is golden when used correctly. It makes you look calm.
Be non emotional when attacked. “Well, Mr. Smith, isn’t it true you regularly beat the children?” (and if you don’t), then answer, “No, it isn’t true.” You don’t have to explain that when your then 2 year old ran out in traffic 12 years ago, you spanked him. Your spouse has probably lied to the attorney giving the deposition, so this will be your chance to set the record straight, but not with long winded explanations, just the short and simple truth.
Think of this as a game, a verbal game – opposing counsel is trying to rattle you.
Be calm, and when he says, “Isn’t it true you are on the computer all the time?” (meaning, “you neglect the family”) respond, “True, I have been on a lot, but my children’s book is now finished and will be published next month.” This deflates the opposition and rattles them as you begin to feel power.
Co Parenting With a Narcissist.
Male or female, this has to be one of the worst hells. S/he will try all sorts of control maneuvers, perhaps through the attorney or on his own. If there is one area you want information and to learn what to do, it is here. The courts are moving to default 50-50 custody arrangements. You will be forced to parenting classes.
You will have to arrange times for pick up. You may have enormous schedule changes.
And the narcissist in your life will find any excuse to make you look wrong, bad, uncooperative and as if you are not acting in the best interest of the child. DO NOT ENGAGE. DO NOT ENGAGE any more than necessary. If you are being told otherwise, get a second or third opinion.
Learn what the courts want to hear.
This is the best recommendation I can make.
AN ATTORNEY speaks on depositions with a narcissist
submitted by several people, the name of this attorney is unknown
I am an attorney and have recently gone through and finished a divorce with my ex-narcissist spouse. I also had my deposition taken (I have taken many myself.) I hereby offer you some gratuitous legal and strategic advice which should by no means conflict with whatever your attorney tells you. Not knowing which state you live in, it is impossible for me to offer any specific legal advice, and it would be improper for me to do so anyway. I scored a perfect “100” in my deposition taken by my narcissist-ex and lawyer.
I adhered to the following rules:
1. Never look at the Narcissist. The lack of attention will be very upsetting to the Narcissist. It is a kind of narcissistic injury. Do not acknowledge their existence.
2. Whether their lawyer believes their BS is irrelevant. There is an old reworked saying – “Hell hath no fury like the lawyer of a Narcissist scorned”. The lawyer may try to rattle you or make you uncomfortable. Ignore such attempts. Remain calm, cool and professional and answer all questions honestly and slowly. Give your lawyer time to object before you answer.
3. Most Important!! ALWAYS tell the truth even if you think an answer to a question will make you look foolish, silly, or anything else. Do not attempt to explain your answers to make them sound better. Keep your answers brief and to the point. Do not ramble or tell stories.
Regarding Depositions: Just remember that the purpose of a deposition is not to change anyone’s mind. The purpose of a deposition is to “freeze” your testimony in writing so that any change or departure at trial can be used to hang you. That is why it is so important to tell the simple truth and not to embellish. Do not try to prove yourself right or narcissist wrong.
The time and place to deal with the narcissist is in the courtroom. Let your lawyer do his job. Family law judges are used to the lying and emotionality that goes along with divorces. You must wear the white gloves and do nothing to indicate to the judge that you are sneaky or vengeful.
The real trick to beating a narcissist in court is twofold in nature.
FIRST: To catch them in a lie when they are on the stand is sublime.
But, you must have ABSOLUTE, UNCONTROVERTIBLE proof of the lie, proof that is admissible in court by rules of evidence or by unassailable testimony. When confronted with the impeaching evidence, a narcissist will react with fury, more lying (which will be visible to everyone except the narcissist) and will in general actively discredit themselves.
SECOND: The second part of the process is more subtle. If possible, your counsel should structure the cross-examination of the narcissist to bring out and allow him to magnify his or her grandiose self. It is often enough just to let the narcissist be himself or herself. Emotionally-healthy individuals can generally see through the false self and discern the true motives of the narcissist.
Remember, though, at the end of the day, family law courts are generally not interested in the emotional aspects of your divorce. Most states are “no fault” divorce states, and even though judges are people and have emotions, generally they are interested in numbers and custody issues. Judges do tend to ignore all the drama, but if you can get a narcissist to lie under oath and properly expose them, this will have a bearing on the witness’ credibility with the judge.
That is why it is SO important for us to tell the truth at all times no matter how foolish we may think we look AND for us to conduct ourselves in a calm, rational and dignified manner.