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Managing Custody When Your Ex is a Narcissist

upset child in the middle of her parents

When you divorce a narcissist, they often have trouble coming to terms and accepting the end of the relationship. They feel as if they have lost control of the situation, which can ruin their self-perception. It angers them. Therefore, they may try to find ways of seeking retribution by using the children against their former spouse. Fortunately, there are tips and solutions to make co-parenting with a narcissist manageable.

The Problem Of Co-Parenting With a Narcissist

Dealing with a narcissist is not an easy task, especially if you share a child with them. Numerous challenges and conflicts can arise when co-parenting with a narcissist, including:

  • Not agreeing on custody;
  • Failing to follow the custody schedule;
  • Interfering with their child’s schedule and routine;
  • Putting their needs above their child’s; and
  • Using parental alienation tactics to turn the child away from their other parent

It can be frustrating trying to work with someone who refuses to negotiate or compromise with you. However, for your children’s sake, it is imperative to find a solution that makes the custody arrangement work while keeping both parents actively involved in their children’s lives, if doing so safely is a possibility. In most cases, except when there is abuse, it is usually best for children to have an active relationship with both of their parents following a divorce. This is why the court favors shared custody when possible.

How to Co-Parent With a Narcissist

With the challenges that come from sharing custody with a narcissist, it can be difficult knowing how to make co-parenting work in a way that protects your children while maintaining your own wellbeing. However, there are several steps you can take to help you deal with a narcissistic parent.

To successfully co-parent with a narcissist, consider the following tips:

  • Establish a formal legal custody plan;
  • Insist on setting firm boundaries;
  • Practice empathy;
  • Never speak negatively about your ex in front of the kids;
  • Avoid emotional arguments;
  • Accept that there will be challenges;
  • Keep records of everything - texts, emails, etc.;
  • Seek counseling if necessary;
  • Keep the focus on your children’s best interests; and
  • Utilize a parenting time coordinator to help you reach a resolution when you do not see eye to eye.

Above all, your children’s wellbeing should come first. At times, it may feel impossible to co-parent with a narcissist, but these tips can help you take back some control over the situation. Remember, you can do this. Always reach out to your support system for help, and never hesitate to contact a New Jersey family law attorney if your ex is violating your custody agreement or you believe it may be putting your children in danger.

Have questions about child custody? Call Rozin | Golinder Law today at (732) 810-0034 to speak to our New Jersey family law attorneys.

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