Narcissism is a personality disorder where a person doesn’t have the ability to see beyond themselves, lacks remorse for the pain they inflict on others, and views themselves as entitled to have whatever they want. Narcissists are often emotionally abusive and use gaslighting, manipulation, threats, and intimidation tactics to get what they want.
You may be divorcing a narcissist after years of abuse. No matter how long of a relationship you had, you share children in common. While the common tactic of dealing with a narcissist after leaving them is following a no contact rule, when you share children, you have to interact with your narcissistic ex throughout the lives of your children as they grow up.
There are ways you can safely work with a narcissist in the best interest of both you and your children. Use these child custody tips for dealing with a narcissist during and after your divorce so you can stay as no-contact with the individual as possible.
Fight for as Much Custody as You Can
If you have documentation of any spousal or child abuse throughout your relationship with your narcissistic spouse, gather this evidence and provide it to your attorney. Evidence can be journal entries (with dates and times of detailed abuse), recorded phone conversations (if allowed by your state), police reports, or saved text messages and emails.
Your attorney will use this evidence to strengthen a custody case for you so you can have as much custody of your children as possible. While sole custody is rare, you can acquire a majority of the custody of your children and have your attorney provide evidence to the courts that your narcissistic ex should not be allowed overnight visits with your children.
The more evidence you can provide that keeping the children with you is in their best interest, the stronger your case will be.
Communicate Via Email or Texts Only
You do not want to have face-to-face contact with your narcissistic ex. They could use any opportunity to communicate with you to harass, manipulate, threaten, or instill guilt in you to gain access to you and your children. Your attorney can help you set up a parenting plan (which is a custodial arrangement provided by the courts) that allows for email or text communication only between your narcissistic ex and yourself.
You get two benefits from email and text-only communication: you receive a written accord of all communication with your ex that you can keep for future evidence, if needed, and you save yourself the emotional and mental stress of having to deal with your ex in person.
Have a Detailed Parenting Plan
A parenting plan, as mentioned above, is a court-approved plan that details the custody and parental care of the children involved in co-parenting. Your lawyer will help draw up a parenting plan that works in your best interest.
Your parenting plan should be as detailed as possible, including when and where the children will be exchanged for parental visits, when phone calls can be made to the kids from your ex, and what activities from school or via holidays your narcissistic ex can be entitled to. When you both follow this parenting plan fully, you don't have to communicate with your ex as frequently because the custody arrangements are detailed in black and white.
Parenting with your narcissistic ex is a struggle, but you don't have to go through the stress of raising your children alone. Your lawyer will work in your best interests to make the transition into divorce and beyond more comfortable for you and your children.
Prepare any documentation of abuse from the other party in your divorce and present it to your lawyer. Our legal team at Fredrick J. Northrop Law Offices are here to help you in your child custody case; call us today for a consultation.