Parenting with a narcissistic can be a challenging and often stressful experience. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a mental health condition characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, lack of empathy, and a constant need for attention and admiration. When a parent has NPD, it can have a significant impact on their ability to co-parent effectively, and can cause significant harm to the children involved. In this blog post, we will explore how family courts approach parenting with a narcissistic, referencing Australian and international judgments.
In Australia, the Family Law Act 1975 is the primary legislation that governs parenting arrangements in the event of a separation or divorce. Under the Act, the welfare of the child is the paramount consideration. The court must consider a range of factors when determining what is in the best interests of the child, including the benefit of the child having a meaningful relationship with both parents, the need to protect the child from harm, and the child’s views (if they are mature enough to express them).
In cases where a parent has NPD, the court may consider this as a factor when making parenting orders. In the case of Calvert & Calvert  FamCAFC 2, the Full Court of the Family Court of Australia considered the impact of NPD on parenting arrangements. The court found that while NPD is a serious mental health condition, it does not necessarily mean that a parent cannot have a meaningful relationship with their child. However, the court also noted that a parent with NPD may need additional support and guidance to ensure that they are able to co-parent effectively.
Similarly, in the United States, family courts have also grappled with the issue of parenting with a narcissistic. In the case of Mason v. Coleman, 447 S.W.3d 716 (Ky. 2014), the Kentucky Supreme Court considered the impact of a parent’s NPD on parenting arrangements. The court held that while NPD is a significant concern, the focus should be on the child’s best interests. The court noted that a parent with NPD may need to seek counselling or therapy to learn how to co-parent effectively.
Internationally, the approach to parenting with a narcissistic varies depending on the jurisdiction. In the United Kingdom, for example, the courts may appoint a parenting coordinator to assist with communication and decision-making between parents. In Canada, courts may order a psychological assessment of the parents to determine the impact of NPD on parenting arrangements.
In conclusion, parenting with a narcissistic can be a challenging and complex issue for family courts to navigate. The approach taken by courts varies depending on the jurisdiction, but the welfare of the child remains the paramount consideration. In cases where a parent has NPD, the court may need to consider additional support and guidance to ensure that the child’s best interests are met.