Narcissists and Child Support


After your Pasadena divorce, getting your narcissistic ex to pay child support may prove to be a frustrating experience.

Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental disorder that causes people to have a deep need for admiration, a belief that they're superior to others, and little regard for other people's feelings. They appear extremely self-confident from a distance, but are actually quite fragile and vulnerable to even the smallest forms of criticism.

If your ex is a narcissist, he or she believes strongly in promoting the appearance of success. One classic sign of a narcissistic personality disorder is living well beyond your means. Expensive cars, lavishly furnished homes, and designer clothes fuel the narcissist's need for approval.

Unfortunately, since budgeting is a foreign concept to a narcissist, child support is unlikely to be high on his or her priority list. Narcissists hate being told what to do, so court ordered child support is viewed as personally insulting. They'll pay when legally threatened with embarrassing consequences like having their driver's license or passport revoked, but in their mind the money will be seen as a gift.

If your divorce decree includes add-on expenses like private school tuition, make sure that your ex is told to pay his or her portion directly to the school. Under no circumstances should you agree to pay for the entire bill upfront with the promise that you'll eventually be reimbursed. A narcissist views divorce as a personal betrayal and isn't going to feel any obligation to pay you back in a timely fashion. However, keeping up appearances with the school will be higher on their priority list.

If you're trying to get your ex to pay for optional expenses, such as part of a class field trip, the best strategy is to appeal to his or her massive ego. Instead of demanding help, praise your ex for being generous and going "above and beyond" the call of duty by helping with the expense. Even though it feels sneaky, it's effective.

How Can We Help?

Please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at if you are in need of assistance with a child support related issue. Our skilled Pasadena family law attorneys can work to collect the money that you need to care for your children.