Strategy for Obtaining Custody from a Narcissist Parent
When you decide to divorce a narcissistic spouse, you may feel relief at finally being able to distance yourself from their toxic behavior. But the situation is more complicated when you have children.
Divorce can set you free from your spouse’s destructive influence–but what about your kids?
There’s good reason for concern: having a narcissistic parent can create deep, lifelong scars.
Children of narcissists often suffer from low self-esteem, according to a Forbes.com article. Because they internalize their parent’s belittling ways, these children often believe that whatever they do is not good enough, critique themselves harshly, and worry excessively about what other people think of them. Psychology Today notes that a narcissistic parent can also damage a child’s ability to learn appropriate boundaries and trust others, which can harm their current and future personal relationships.
What can a divorcing parent do to protect their children from their narcissistic parent’s influence? You need a top Singapore divorce lawyer or legal divorce coach to help develop a strategy to seek care and control of your child¬–or possibly sole custody.
Care and Control and Custody
In a Singapore divorce, “care and control” refers to the parent who is the child’s daily caregiver and with whom the child usually lives. The parent with care and control makes everyday decisions for the child, such as whether the child is allowed to watch television and what time they must go to bed. In most cases, one parent has sole care and control of the child whilst in some cases the child splits time between both parents’ homes. When only one parent has care and control, the other parent is almost always allowed Access to the child.
Having care and control of your child is distinct from having “custody.” Custody refers to the parents’ right to make major, long-term decisions for the child, such as pertaining to healthcare or religious education. In Singapore, most parents share joint custody of the child, although there are some exceptions.
Singapore Court Standards for Custodial Decisions
Family Courts in Singapore decide which parent gets care and control or custody of the child based on the “best interests of the child.” The court considers numerous factors, including:
- the parent who has been the primary caregiver of the child
- the current living arrangements
- the child’s age
- the child’s wishes
- the parent’s financial ability
- the amount of support the parent will have
- the parents’ wishes.
Courts will also consider whether a parent has been abusive or uninvolved in a child’s life.
Seeking Care and Control of your Child with a Narcissistic Spouse
In seeking care and control of your child, the first and most critical action to take is gathering evidence and document every single indication of your spouse’s narcissism in your household, especially with respect to your child. Start keeping track of these signs from the moment you’re even thinking about getting divorced. Be sure to:
- put all damaging conversations in writing and date them
- record lies that your spouse tells and gather any evidence that disputes the lie
- write down the names of witnesses to your spouse’s lies or narcissistic behavior
- keep all the documentation in a secure spot
- share all the evidence and incidents with your divorce lawyer.
If you are considering divorcing your narcissistic spouse and would like to consider strategies for obtaining custody of your child, please contact Gloria James-Civetta & Co. Our experienced divorce lawyers are ready to provide the advice and support you need.