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Buzz Word Series: Abuse & Narcissism in Divorce & Custody Cases

, • POSTED ON: September 30, 2019

One of my first contentious divorce cases dealt with a gentleman we will call Mr. Wonderful. He held a respectable position in the government while his wife left a position after college to have their child and stay at home to care for their child. Other than my personal experiences with abusive narcissists, this was my first professional encounter. Unfortunately, it was far from my last.

I quickly realized that narcissism and abuse are “buzz words” and get thrown around in courts so often that they lose their meaning and seriousness. I knew I had to approach these issues differently to fight for my clients and to get the Court to understand that abuse is more than a “buzz word”. 

Here’s what I have learned. Judges need to know the particular type of abuse you are suffering from—and they need evidence to back it up. This requires specific tests and medical evaluations that will illustrate to the Court the abuses and types of violence patterns the aggressor participates in. There are certain professionals who focus on these issues and can be credible witnesses in the courtroom. Using the right approach, the right tests, and the right professionals are also imperative in custody cases where abuse is present. Abuse takes on many forms and looks different in everyone. Showing the Court your journey and ensuring they understand your experience is not only healing, but imperative to winning your case. Unfortunately, abuse is not that uncommon in divorce and custody cases. However, you need a skilled advocate who understands the differences in your case when abuse is present to help ensure your rights are protected. So, where do you start? Understanding abuse and the different types is key. Check out our Buzz Word Series Articles to learn more. Mr. or Mrs. Wonderful should no longer be able to control and harm you. If you need help or even someone to speak to about the potential abuse in your life, give us a call at 605-702-4997. Harris Law is on your team every step of the way and help guide you through the legal process.

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