Will a narcissistic spouse cause child custody problems?

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2022 | Child Custody

No matter how long your marriage lasted, if your ex is a narcissist, you may have simply reached a point where you felt that you would rather be a single parent than stay in a toxic relationship. Many New York parents can relate to this scenario. Just as being married to a narcissist is stressful, however, filing for divorce from one is no walk in the park, especially regarding child custody issues.

As you no doubt already understand after being married to a narcissist, such people often lack empathy and compassion, even where their own children are concerned. If your ex is emotionally or physically abusive to your kids, you may want to consider seeking sole custody in court. You’ll also want to be prepared, in case your ex puts up a fight.

Prepare for child custody proceedings with a narcissist

When it comes to navigating divorce proceedings with a narcissist, the more organized and prepared you are before heading to court, the better. If you plan to request sole custody based on your ex’s unfitness as a parent, for instance, be ready to convince the court with evidence that substantiates your claim. It is also helpful to make sure that you have all documents, medical records or other paperwork that might be relevant to your case in your possession when you enter the courtroom.

Another way to prepare for child custody proceedings against a narcissist is to limit your contact with your ex. As co-parents, you will always have to communicate in some form regarding your children. However, that doesn’t mean you have to be in constant communication regarding court proceedings. Narcissists desire total control over everything in their lives. By limiting contact with your ex, you retain more control over your situation.

Create a network of support for yourself and your children

Co-parenting with a narcissist is likely to be challenging, just as being married to one was. It is helpful to remember that you and your kids are not alone. There are many local resources in New York that provide support for parents and kids who are coming to terms with divorce after living with a narcissist.

In addition to trusted family members or friends, you may want to stay connected to a community support group, your children’s teachers and guidance counselors at school, licensed therapists and legal advocates who can step in to act on your behalf to help resolve any child custody problems that arise. With a strong support system in place, you and your kids can move on in life together, knowing that help is available when you need it.