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How to Expose a Narcissist in Court

By the time someone is in divorce mode with their narcissist, they have seen the worst of the worst of narcissism.  It is pretty well known that the narcissist will behave infinitely worse in a divorce than they did in the marriage.  But still, in public, they need to be the wonderful pillar of society.  And they are still able to fool many people when they aren’t abusing their family behind closed doors.  So, how do you expose a narcissist in court when it counts the most?

To expose a narcissist, you need a few critical things:  a lawyer experienced in narcissism, counselors and other people that can testify with regard to the abuse,  a guardian-ad-litem that can understand and speak for your children’s trauma, written records documenting the narcissistic abuse, witnesses (friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, pastor, etc.), police reports or other legal documents, and anything that has to do with your spouse treating you in narcissistic ways.  Finally, you will need to stay calm and make a good impression in court, which will put a spotlight on your narcissist’s bad behavior.

Now that you have the quick and easy answer, let’s look at all the important details.

To Expose a Narcissist in Court, Hire the Best Lawyer

It is very hard to find a really good lawyer.  But even a really good lawyer is not enough.  You need a lawyer that is the best in every way.  They must be a master of narcissism so they know exactly how to expose it in the courtroom in a way that the judge sees it clearly for what it is.  But they also must be adept at divorce law and the financial and custody issues that go along with it.  It is rare to find a good lawyer, but nearly impossible to find a lawyer that will be expert in all of these areas at the same time.

My lawyer was excellent with narcissism and child custody.  She wasn’t so good at financial or military issues.  And it did end up biting me in the end.

So, how do you find the best lawyer that can get you everything you need?  First, know that you will never get everything.  The court system is deeply flawed.  You will need to focus on what you need the most.

You will also need to make sure your narcissist wins sometimes too because it will help keep him happy enough to not totally destroy you.  For more on that, check my article here.

Second, you can talk to friends, neighbors, or anyone you know who would have an excellent lawyer.  But realize that many will not have the best one or the best one for your case.  I was fortunate that my daughter had an award-winning lawyer that helped my daughter fight the state in the adoption of their child when they tried to say he was not adoptable and thus cannot be registered in state aid for special needs babies.  This lawyer put the state to shame in mere minutes.  And she did a great job showing the judges in my case the narcissism I was trying to protect my son from.

Third, you can look online for lawyer ratings.  Be careful with those, though, because disgruntled people who  lost their case will give unfair bad reviews.  And some lawyers may have artificially high reviews.  This whole process can be unnerving.  But for now, the best lawyer rating site is  Not only does it have lawyer ratings, it also has disciplinary records for lawyers in all 50 states.  And it has 97% of American lawyers in its data base.  It is the most complete listing you can find.  But know that you will need more information and will need to interview your lawyer choices before you settle on one.

A female lawyer in a black suit at a desk doing paperwork. On her desk is her paperwork, a book/journal, a law certificate in a stand-up frame, and a small justice is blind statue. This photo represents the title of the article, "How to Expose a Narcissist in Court" and the subtopic, "To Expose a Narcissist in Court, Hire the Best Lawyer."

Beware of Conflicting Out When Choosing Your Lawyer

I had no idea what this was until I was on my 4th lawyer interview and she had already been interviewed by my then husband as well as the previous four.  As soon as she recognized my story (it was very unusual, so lawyers picked up on it quickly), she told me she had already spoken with my husband and could not represent me because of it.  When I told her she was the fourth one to tell me that, she told me my husband was conflicting out lawyers so I could not find a good one.

Apparently, my ex went through the list of local lawyers on Avvo and scheduled consultations with all of the highest rated lawyers so I could not get a good lawyer.  Honestly, the only one I really loved was the one that told me what he was doing to me.  And I was sad to walk out of her office.  She said she knew right away the day she met my ex what he was up to.  She saw his narcissism right away.  And she said she also knew he walked in there with no intention to retain her.

It was all good.  I ended up with an even better lawyer who understood my case even more in the end.  And she wasn’t from my home town, so she wasn’t on  his radar.

Just know that you need to retain your lawyer before your ex does so he can’t do this to you.  And you can certainly widen your circle to find the best lawyer.  Even though my lawyer was from one city over, she was familiar with the courts in my town and had contacts within my city to research what the judges/counselors were looking for and how they worked the best.  She was very perceptive and didn’t miss a beat.

And as a bonus, on one of my hearings, when my ex and the judge had left, the bailiff came over to tell her that she was one of the judge’s favorite lawyers because of her professionalism.  And then he told me I was an awesome mom in spite of all he could see my ex was putting me through.  It is always nice to have legal on your side!

To Expose a Narcissist in Court, You Must Outsmart Him

To outsmart your narcissist in court, you must outsmart him.  But your role in the outsmarting is how you are going to set up your case.  You will choose the best team of people to support you.  That includes friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, fellow church members, church leadership, and then your legal team, which would be your lawyer, the guardian-ad-litem if you have one, counselors, church leaders, or anyone else in a position to help you.  They will know exactly what to say and do to bolster your case and help the judge to see exactly what is going on that brought you to the courtroom.

The next thing you need to do to outsmart your narcissist in court is to document all the communication you have with him.  By now, you should not be speaking with him in person unless there are witnesses there with you.  That way, they can’t lie without getting caught.  And you will have more proof for your court case.

Texts, emails, public conversations that people hear and understand what is going on and they can testify, and any other proof you have will only serve to help your case.  Submit everything you think is important.  Your lawyer will sift through it and pick the most important things.

You can outsmart your narcissist by remaining calm.  He will get frustrated that he cannot stir you up.  And then he will lose his composure and  the judge will see it.  Even if he doesn’t lose his composure, his lies, blame-shifting, and gaslighting will kick in.  And the judge will see that for sure.  Judges have seen it all.  And short of the judge being a narcissist, you should be all set.

That being said, there is never a guarantee in a court case.  But if you have done all you can to set your case up well,  you can rest knowing that you have done all you can and just need to let the legal system run its course.

Finally, anyone who witnessed your spouse’s narcissistic behavior, whether it was targeted at them, you, or your children, can testify in court.  Their experiences will help to bolster your case because they will bring their perspective to the case, giving you more evidence and credibility for your own case.  In my case, I had adult children that were willing to testify for the sake of helping to protect their baby brother.  That was one of the biggest moments in my case because the judge realized that it really wasn’t safe for my youngest son to be alone with his dad if his older siblings weren’t safe in numbers.

A judge sitting at his bench, hearing a case and deep thought on his face. This photo represents the article, "How to Expose a Narcissist in Court."

To Expose a Narcissist in Court, You Must Trigger a Narcissistic Rage

Just like the fact that outsmarting your narcissist in court is more about helping to prepare your team, exposing a narcissist in court by triggering him into a narcissistic rage is also something that your lawyer or even the judge will do.

The way to get a narcissist to go into a rage is to make them feel inadequate, wrong, bad, or even evil.  But it has to be something true about them that is being addressed.  If he didn’t do whatever he is being accused of, he won’t really care.  But if you try to confront him with something he did privately that is now coming back to him to deal with, he will be very angry.  He may be able to take the first few hits, but sooner than later, it will be more than he can bear.

Your lawyer will know what questions to ask you that you can answer candidly and safely in court.  And it will frustrate your narcissist that he can’t use it to further gaslight or attack you.  And the more your lawyer beings up, the less the narcissist will be able to hold it together.

Add to that the fact that your lawyer will also get the chance to directly ask your narcissist soon-to-be-ex questions that will overwhelm him the more he is asked about.

Know that your narcissist may not physically lose his cool.  And that is okay.  Most judges are nuanced enough to emotional and narcissistic abuse that they will be able to see it in the words your narcissist uses, his body language, his expressions, his tone of voice, and many other things.  This will be even better than seeing the rage because the judge will see that your  narcissist is adept at abusing you in ways that the average person will never see.  And they will understand what you have gone through behind closed doors.

To Expose a Narcissist in Court, Your Lawyer will Know all the Questions That Will Reveal the Narcissism

I spoke above about the fact that you will need to help set up your lawyer to do their best job for you.  Any lawyer you use should be experienced enough to ask the perfect questions.  When they ask you for specific details related to your case, your answers will help them to build up the perfect case for you.

Just answer the questions the best you can.  They are on a fact-finding mission.  They know what the particular judge you will be assigned to you is looking for.  They know what they need to organize.  And so their questions will all be toward that end.  If, at the end, you feel like they have missed something critical, you can tell them and they can decide where, if anywhere, it belongs in the case.  Just know also, they are not embroiled in your case, so they will likely see things much clearer than you do.

Their perfect questions won’t stop there.  They will do the same thing with your list of witnesses, the other lawyers and guardian-ad-litem, the counselors, and anyone else involved in the case.  The more you talk with your lawyer, though, the more comfortable you should feel that they truly understand what you are experiencing and talking about.  And that they are going down the right road.  If not, you should communicate your discomfort with the situation immediately so you can get back on the same page with your lawyer.  A good lawyer will want to be in sync with you!

Do you need help gathering your thoughts and organizing your court case with your narcissist?  Click here to get a 57-page divorce guide with checklist to help you make sure you present the best case you can!

To Expose a Narcissist in Court, You Must Let Him Unravel in Front of the Judge

The last thing I want to cover here is that to expose a narcissist in court, you must just let him unravel in front of the judge of his own accord.  Don’t worry about shooting looks at him, saying provocative things, using inappropriate or unkind body language, even just rolling your eyes.  I know, that is a hard one for me too!

The point here is that the narcissist must unravel as you are doing all the right things.  Because that shows the judge that it isn’t an innocent person acting out of unfair triggers.

If you are honest and straightforward, it will bother your narcissist.  And it will impress the legal teams and judge.  They will be impressed at your emotional maturity in the face of covert abuse that continues right into the courtroom.  And it will make whatever your narcissist says or does to attack you look that much worse.

It will  make all of your experiences (and those of your witnesses) more credible.  And as long as you are telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth, it will make his lies stick out even more as he has to craft his story to defend his words and behavior.

My counselor told me one day that the whole reason they knew my story was right and his was lies was because my story was completely consistent, even when I had to talk about my own negative stuff.  And his story was all over the place and never consistent in any way.  So let this be your warning.  Don’t ever lie!  It will come back to haunt you!

Here are some more articles that may be helpful to you as you try to work through the process of separation and divorce from your narcissist:

Divorcing a Covert Narcissist:  What to Look Out For

5 Signs Your Husband Wants a Divorce, and How to Prevent It

5 Signs Your Wife Wants a Divorce, and How to Prevent It

Guarding Against the Narcissist’s Divorce Tactics

How a Narcissist Regrets Divorcing You

What is the Narcissist Divorce Rate?

If I have one critical piece of advice for you as you are trying to figure out best action steps, DO NOT use the word narcissism or narcissist in the courtroom or in any of your interviews.  Describe the offending behavior and actions that brought you to this point instead.  As soon as you use the word narcissist, you are calling names and it no longer feels like you are working through behaviors.  It will not reflect well on you!


I hope that this article either give you a good head start if you are beginning this process, or a good boost if you are already working through the process.  Remember to keep  yourself safe from your narcissist at all times.  If you think you are in any danger in your relationship, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).  Or you can visit online at

If I could recommend one book that will knock it out of the ballpark in helping you to successfully separate from and divorce your narcissist, it would be Will I Ever be Free of You by Karyl McBride, PH.D.  My copy got very dogeared because it was a constant reference for me as I worked through the whole ordeal.  Her advice was on point, and it is where I learned the most about how to prepare for court and finalizing the divorce.  You will be glad you read it and I am sure it will be your go-to resource as well!

You can click to check it out below:

I know I have thrown a lot at you here, but it is all valuable information that will help you as your need arises.  Remember, this is not legal advice because I can’t put words in any lawyer’s or judge’s mouth.  And every case is different.  I  know these principles all worked miracles in my life, and I am sure they will be extremely helpful to you!  But nothing in life is guaranteed–except taxes and death.  And we are not discussing either one of those today!

In closing, I just want to ask you how you are doing and how you are feeling at the point you are at in the process.  Feel free to feel your feelings!  You should be feeling some pretty strong stuff right now.  But don’t let it get to you in a negative way!  I would love for you to
share your thoughts and experience below in the comments.  You never know who is here reading that needs your supportive words!  If you feel like you cannot comment publicly, you can contact me here!

You’ve got this!!!

Hugs, love, and big prayers,

If you found good value in this article, I think you will love how helpful the following articles are as well!

Narcissists Destroy Who They Can’t Control

When to Stop Praying for Marriage Restoration

When is Divorce Okay in the Bible?

36+ Phrases to Disarm a Narcissist Safely

When to Stop Praying for Marriage Restoration

Will God Bless a Second Marriage?

When God Releases You From Marriage:  He’s Got You!

Divorcing a Narcissist After 30 Years

Do Narcissists Die Early?  The Whole Story

What Happens to Narcissists in the End?

5 Signs Your Husband Wants a Divorce and How to Prevent It

5 Signs Your Wife Wants a Divorce and How to Prevent I

Is My Husband a Narcissist or Just Selfish?

Guarding Against the Narcissist’s Divorce Tactics

Scriptural Ways to Deal With a Narcissistic Husband

What is the Narcissist Divorce Rate?

Who Does a Narcissist Marry?

How Many Times Does a Narcissist Marry?

Narcissists and Marriage:  The Complete Picture

How Does a Narcissist Stay Married for so Long?

Does Narcissism Worsen With Age?

Does a Narcissist Realize What They’ve Lost?

Do Narcissists End up Alone?

Can a Narcissist be a Good Father?

Can a Narcissist be a Good Mother?

Will a Narcissist Hurt Their Child?

Can Narcissists be Good Parents?

Can Narcissists Love Their Children?

How Can You Tell if Someone is a Religious Narcissist?

Can Two Narcissists be in Relationship With Each Other?

Understanding the Tactics of a Religious Narcissistic Father 

Dealing With the Trauma of a Religious Narcissistic Mother

When Narcissism Becomes Pathological

Will God Punish a Narcissist?

What to do When Your Narcissist Threatens You

The Bible Used as a Weapon Against You:  You Can Overcome! 

What Does the Bible Say About Abusive Husbands?

The Link Between Spiritual Abuse and Narcissism

Why Narcissists Want to Appear Godly

What Healing From a Narcissist Looks Like

Why Narcissists Love Going to Church 

How Religious Narcissists Think

Are Narcissists Evil?

Narcissistic Behavior:  What to Look Out For

Praying for Your Narcissistic Husband

Are Spiritual Narcissists Overt or Covert? 

Religious Trauma Syndrome:  How to Preserve Your Spiritual Journey

How to Navigate Religious Narcissistic Parents

What Happens to the Soul of a Narcissist?

How to Heal From a Spiritual Narcissist

Can You Maintain a Relationship With a Spiritual Narcissist? 

Can Narcissists Have a Spiritual Awakening?

How Will God Judge a Narcissist?

When the Church Says to Move Back in With Your Narcissist

What Can we Say to a Christian Friend Who’s Divorcing?

Why Does God Hate Divorce? 

12 Ways the Church Helps Narcissists Abuse Their Victims

When Your Church Believes the Narcissist’s Lies

23 Reasons Why Narcissists are Drawn to the Church

What Does the Spiritual Narcissist do When You try to Leave?

When the Church Doesn’t Recognize Narcissistic Abuse

Will the Church Support Divorcing a Narcissist?

Are Narcissists Demon Possessed?

What Does the Bible say About Narcissism?

Can a Narcissist be a Christian?

Can a Spiritual Narcissist Heal?

What is Spiritual Narcissism?

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Hi! I am the founder of Navigating Religious Narcissism after being raised under a narcissistic mother and married to a narcissistic man for 31 years. It is my prayer that I can be as valuable on your journey to healing and peace as were so many who crossed my path of healing.

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