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Constructing a parenting plan with a narcissist

On Behalf of | Oct 31, 2023 | Child Custody

Navigating the potentially tumultuous waters of co-parenting is challenging, even under the best circumstances. But when dealing with a narcissist ex-spouse or ex-partner, the process can become downright overwhelming. 

Because narcissists often display traits like a lack of empathy, a need for admiration and a tendency toward manipulation, the idea of constructing a workable parenting plan with one can seem laughable. Yet, with skilled legal guidance and a clear-eyed sense of the likely tensions you’ll encounter in the future, it is possible to craft a document that will serve you and your child well.

Crafting a solid approach to negotiations

Obviously, you’ll want to keep your child’s best interests at the forefront of all negotiations. While your ex may not be able to focus on this priority in the ways that you can, the goal – in and of itself – can help to anchor conversations and better prevent them from diverting into personal disputes and excuses for your ex to seek control at all costs. 

You’ll also want to keep in mind that narcissists often thrive on emotional reactions. Staying calm and consistent in your communication, avoiding the trap of being pulled into unnecessary conflicts, can help to keep a significant measure of control of the situation “in your court.” Due to this reality, you’ll also want to consider using co-parenting apps or platforms to manage schedules, share updates, or discuss concerns. Mandating these kinds of co-parenting communication boundaries in your agreement can both provide a buffer against potential confrontations down the line and create a documentation trail in case tensions escalate.

The particular terms of your co-parenting agreement will need to be influenced by your family’s unique circumstances. By both seeking legal guidance and keeping a solid approach to your negotiations in mind, you’ll hopefully be able to draft a workable plan as efficiently and effectively as possible.