A divorce from a toxic or narcissistic spouse usually results in a contested divorce full of high emotions and stalemates. Despite the difficulties in these divorces, decisions must be made that lead to the finalization of the divorce.
One of the biggest decisions many divorcing couples need to make if children are involved is how they will co-parent once the divorce dust has settled.
Divorce decisions with a narcissist can be difficult, but here are some tips that can help make the co-parenting process a smoother transition.
Set Communication Boundaries
Narcissists thrive on getting others emotionally wound up. This can be devastating during the co-parenting planning process. So, nip the problem in the bud by setting down strong, healthy boundaries that allow you to properly collect your thoughts before responding to your ex’s words or actions.
Suggest communication through text and email. Not only does this grant you the time you need for a response, but it also holds up as documented proof in court, should the need arise.
Create a Legally Binding Co-Parenting Plan
A narcissist will always try to steamroll their way into the picture, especially when it comes to a proposed parenting plan and your children. Make sure that any parenting plan or custody agreement you come to is solidified through the courts.
This not only puts your entire plan in writing, but it also serves as a third-party enforcement that both parties must follow in the years to come.
Ask for a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL)
Ask your attorney if this is a case that may benefit from a Guardian ad Litem. Court services are always helpful in heavily contested situations. One way to ensure that your child’s best interests are recognized is through a court-appointed GAL. In the court process, the Guardian ad Litem represents the interest of the child rather than that of either parent in your case.
They will become familiar with your children, both parents, and the situation as a whole. They then approach the court with their recommendations based on the needs they’ve discovered. These recommendations can range from who the primary caregiver should be to how much time the other parent can spend with the children.
Leave Emotional Arguments at the Door
Remember, your children are not pawns to be played between you and your contentious spouse. During the co-parenting planning process, don’t speak ill of the other parent or use your children as messengers.
In order to ensure that your plan is truly the best for your children, keep your emotions out of the conversation. Your narcissistic ex will want to see you stressed out and stumble during this process. If you find yourself wanting to argue with your soon-to-be-ex, truly consider if your argument is in the best interest of your children.
Create a Successful Parenting Plan With Marx, Altman & Johnson
An experienced divorce lawyer provides the legal strength you need to navigate the co-parenting spectrum in your contested divorce. Marx, Altman & Johnson understands how stressful litigation can be, and our family law attorneys are prepared to help your divorce reach its final resolution. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we’ve helped better situations like yours with past clients.