Working through a divorce with children involved is exceptionally challenging. It is likely that you and your ex-spouse will hold your children in “joint custody.” This means that even if you and your ex want nothing to do with each other after the divorce, you will still be bound together by your children.
Particularly if your ex is a narcissist, this can make co-parenting a particular challenge. However, joint custody is in the best interest of the child in most cases; thus, it is important for you to be able to parent effectively with your ex. According to Healthline, parenting with a narcissist is easier with the help of court services and a legal parenting plan.
Available court services
The presence of a “guardian ad litem” can help ensure that your ex-spouse does not manipulate your joint custodial arrangement. It is possible for you to ask the courts to appoint one for your situation. The guardian will become familiar with your situation and your child.
The guardian can also make ongoing suggestions to the courts, including how much time each parent spends with the child. In the case of a manipulative spouse, having a guardian involved in your custody situation can relieve pressure.
Legal parenting plan
In many cases, parents simply make casual agreements about how to approach co-parenting. This may not be the best option with a manipulative narcissist. Instead, insist on a legal professional drafting a parenting plan that all parties sign. This is an extra expense, but makes the boundaries clear.
Co-parenting is difficult, even for non-narcissist couples who get along. However, it is important to remember that the future of your child is at stake. Doing everything you can to benefit the child is paramount.