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How to Negotiate Child Custody with a Narcissist

On Behalf of | Oct 23, 2020 | Divorce

During most divorces involving children, both parents will fight for what they believe is best for the kids. Many parents will overcome their differences and agree to a plan that allows both parents to have happy and healthy relationships with their kids. However, everyone is different, and some parents turn out to be narcissists.

Negotiating with a narcissist can be difficult, as they only focus on their needs and desires. Some narcissists desire to hurt their spouse by taking things away from them during divorce — including the children. The following tips can help negotiate with a narcissist while protecting your children.

6 tips for handling spouses with NPD

The following tips can help parents work through a divorce with a person who has a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD):

  • Prepare: Do your research. Many communities organize divorce clinics or workshops to help understand the process and expectations. Understanding courtroom procedures can help you stay focused on the issues at hand.
  • Personal counseling: A narcissist will use gaslighting to make you doubt yourself and feel guilty. Individual counseling can help you tell fact from fiction and equip you with coping techniques to take care of your mental health.
  • Control communication: Limit your contact with a narcissist to a documented medium like e-mail. Narcissists may continually bother you to keep you distracted, stressed and worried about them. Document every instance of communication thoroughly.
  • Maintain your composure: A narcissist may emotionally provoke you to convince a court you are unfit to parent. Knowing this, you can steel yourself against their attacks and maintain your composure.
  • Do not change your relationship with your children: Some parents may pity their children for having a narcissist parent, but this can damage your relationship and empower your spouse. Treat your kids with the same respect and love you have for their entire lives.
  • Accept their personality disorder: You cannot change a narcissist, especially during a divorce. If you accept their disorder, you can maintain a healthy perspective about their actions and maintain focus.

Your family deserves legal protections

Many people find success negotiating with a narcissist alongside a local attorney familiar with Nebraska divorce. An attorney can help maintain a healthy barrier between you and your spouse while standing firm on issues that protect your family.