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Handling child custody disputes when your spouse is a narcissist

Child custody matters can often be contentious because both parents have an idea of how they want to raise the children. When one parent is a clinically diagnosed narcissist, however, the challenges that come with the case are increased. 

There are several things that you should remember when you’re facing a narcissist in a family court battle. These may help to reduce the stress you feel as you try to work out the terms of your agreement. 

Accept the fact that a trial is possible

Narcissists will try to remain in control of any situation as much as they can. If you’re trying your best to work out a deal with them during mediation, they may push against everything you offer. Unless you give them 100% of what they want, they may refuse to cooperate with parenting plan negotiations.

They view having to go through a trial as a “win,” because it gives them a chance to feel important and vindicated. Even better (for them), is the idea that they may cause you either emotional or financial distress due to a trial. The sooner you accept that a trial is a possibility, the more prepared you will be for that to happen. 

Stay outwardly calm at all times

Your ex is going to try to get a reaction out of you when they’re trying their antics. They don’t care if what they’re doing isn’t what’s best for your kids. Instead of giving them the satisfaction of a reaction to their antics, remain outwardly calm. You can always react when they’re not around. They may get frustrated when you stay calm, but your lack of reaction won’t give them anything they can use to torment you further. 

Make sure that your divorce attorney understands what you’re trying to manage. That’s the best way to form a strategy that will help you achieve your goals.

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