Is It Possible to Co-Parent With a Narcissist? | Suffolk County, NY Child Custody Attorney

mother and child

Divorce can upend your life, causing tension, resentment, and feelings of guilt and shame to take over. However, adding children to the equation can make the dissolution of your marriage even more difficult. Factor in that your child’s other parent is a narcissist making the situation volatile. It’s vital to understand how these situations occur and how a Nassau County child custody lawyer can help protect the best interest of your family.

What Is a Narcissist?

A narcissist is someone with a personality disorder that alters how they view themselves and others. Often, those with a narcissistic personality disorder have an inflated sense of self-worth, believing they are more important and better than others.

This often leads to arguments, as those with this disorder genuinely believe they are always right. This can make it challenging to work with them when parenting. They also rarely place the needs of others before themselves, meaning they could use their children as a pawn to get what they want without taking your feelings or the best interest of the child into consideration.

It is important to note that simply not liking or arguing with your child’s other parent does not make them a narcissist. This is a complex mental health issue and must be diagnosed by a professional.

How Do I Navigate Co-Parenting?

When co-parenting with your child’s other parent, ensuring you adopt a civil and respectful approach is vital. However, with a narcissist, this isn’t always possible. Instead, you should stick to parallel parenting, which relies on minimal contact between parents. Though this may not seem beneficial for your child, it reduces the risk of exposing them to conflict.

You should also refrain from speaking poorly about your child’s other parent in front of them. It’s entirely possible that the narcissistic parent is already engaging in this behavior, and partaking in it will only confuse your child. Instead, set a good example by shielding them from the realities of the situation. They will grow up grateful that you tried to protect them from feeling torn between you and their other parent.

Can an Attorney Help?

If struggling to navigate parenting with a narcissist, it’s vital to seek the help of an attorney. As previously mentioned, narcissists often use children as pawns to get what they want due to their inability to place others’ needs before their own. This can make it incredibly challenging to work out a parenting plan with them.

Instead, an attorney can help create a plan to ensure there are no loopholes or room for interpretation of the rules. You may also want to work with an attorney to attempt to receive full custody of your child if you fear for their safety while in the care of their other parent.

If you need help navigating your divorce and subsequent child custody, you need a competent attorney in your corner to help. At Barrows Levy, we have the experience necessary to fight for the best possible outcome for your circumstances. Reach out today to discuss the details of your case with a competent attorney to learn how we can help.

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