How to Co-Parent with a Narcissist

Sep 30, 2018 — by Debra Sutton

How to Co-Parent with a Narcissist

Surviving a divorce from a narcissist is hard enough but then one must co-parenting with this individual. Usually this occurs in an environment of high-conflict where antagonism is king and best interests of the child(ren) fall. If the conflict is not managed, third parties, such as educators, medical and child care professionals may decline involvement with the family. Having a strong, experienced professional team is imperative. Educating yourself on these dynamics is advisable. Consider some of the following techniques:

a. Set boundaries. Use written over verbal communication where possible. Apps such as Our Family Wizard or 2houses are good tools to document your position generally and for court if necessary.

b. Detailed Parenting Plan. Establish a schedule for time sharing and follow it. Include the place of exchange, the time for delivery and pickup, what to do if conflicts arise, and how expenses are paid. Consider if ultimate decision making is appropriate. The less clear the plan, the more room for conflict and manipulation.

c. Consider a Parenting Coordinator, Guardian ad Litem or mental health professional. These individuals are charged with protecting the child(ren)’s interests.

d. Mental and Physical Health. Be aware of your, and the child(ren)’s mental and physical health. Obtain professional help in a timely fashion. If you cannot handle the other parent; do not expect that your child can.

e. End all with "What is in my child’s best interests?" Do NOT argue with the narcissist - they live for it. Instead, seek professional help for advice.

DEALING WITH A NARCISSIST IN PARENTING YOUR CHILD? CALL TODAY for your appointment with Debra Sutton, Board Certified in Marital and Family Law.


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