You left your spouse for a reason. No matter what that reason is, if you share kids, you hope you can work together well enough for the child’s sake. Sometimes, that works just fine, but other times, there are serious concerns that can lead to not just a toxic relationship for you but also for your children.

Are you co-parenting with a narcissist? If so, we encourage you to stop trying to make sense of what you can do to better manage the situation. Instead, turn to our New Jersey divorce lawyers to discuss your legal options, especially if you find you or your children are at risk in any way (including through verbal or mental abuse). Our New Jersey family lawyers at Jersey Coast Family Law are available to help you immediately.

What Is a Narcissist and How Does It Impact Co-Parenting?

A narcissist is a person who has a personality disorder. Those who have narcissistic tendencies tend to put a lot of importance on themselves rather than anyone else. Those who have this type of disorder will have symptoms such as:

  • A strong sense of self-importance
  • A preoccupation with success, beauty, power, or another trait
  • Are entitled
  • Tend to be arrogant
  • Are only around people who they deem as important and valuable to them
  • Must be admired
  • Lacks empathy for other people and another person’s situation
  • Feels envious of others or believes that other people may be envious of them

Of course, these types of traits can directly impact the way people co-parent, especially if you do not want your child to be the victim of a narcissist’s abuse. Here is the hard truth of this situation. It is not possible to easily co-parent with a narcissist. You can adopt strategies and find methods that help in the situation, but there is no way to eliminate the impact this will have on your ability to co-parent.

Co-parenting is, after all, the process of two people working together to make decisions in the best interests of the child. That means parents coordinate in areas of control, support, and care, even though they do not live in the same home. The problem with this is that most narcissists do not prioritize such relationships or boundaries related to them. This often leads to conflicts, hurt feelings, and lots of tears.

Kim & Kanye: Navigating High-Conflict Co-Parenting in the Public Eye

There may not be a better example of co-parenting in a high-conflict situation than what is occurring between Kim Kardasian, known for her reality television show and SKIMS founder, and Kanye “Ye” West, rapper and designer. The two share four children together, ranging in age from 10 to 4.

There are numerous instances in which you can find conflict and arguments between the two parents occurring over social media. That includes everything from asking Kardashian to remove their kids from the school they go to over social media, stating, “It’s a fake school for celebrities that are used by ‘the system,’” wrote West. Kardashian has been public in acknowledging her frustrations with their co-parenting, noting that West often does not see the children for months. That includes situations where Kardashian faces pressure to make decisions or answer questions from the public because of the media scrutiny publicity West creates.

The two seemingly cannot make decisions together and, from West’s standpoint, there seems to always be a reason for the kids to be removed from what he believes is a “system” trying to take advantage of them.

The struggle is well documented on an episode of The Kardashians that aired in May of 2023. Kardashian states, “I think at this point I just assume that everything I text Kanye is going to be put on the internet….”

Building a Healthy Co-Parenting Dynamic: Strategies for Dealing with Difficult Exes

Kardashian has high-powered attorneys to manage her situation and to keep the kids protected, but what about you? If your ex is not willing to co-parent in a meaningful manner or is undermining any of the work that you do, what can you do?

There are numerous strategies that parents can take to, in any way possible, protect their family members. Here are some tips to help.

  • Documentation is everything.
    It is critical to ensure that all details of interactions are met with documentation, including the time each parent spends with the child, school-related matters, visitation for holidays and vacations, and other interactions. Document everything.
  • Try to avoid conflict and negativity.
    It is very hard to control any trait from a narcissistic person and realize that you cannot help them. It may allow you to step back and stop trying to fight battles with negativity and hate because it only makes it worse.
  • Create boundaries and ensure they are legally noted.
    When there is any risk of complications in the way you and your ex are able to manage situations, boundaries become essential for protecting all people. Make sure that you are talking to an attorney about the difficulties you are having here, too.

Know When to Get the Legal Help You Need

Co-parenting with a narcissist is not easy. It is likely that you will need to turn to an attorney often to help you manage the expectations of both parties as well as the overwhelming demands that these situations can create.

  • If you feel threatened in any way, get an attorney involved.
  • If your child is being treated unfairly in any way, call an attorney.
  • Do you want to include an attorney in the conversation when the ex is straying from the requirements presented in the child’s care plan and visitation orders?

By arming yourself with an attorney, you reduce the risk that you will be left without the tools you need to protect yourself and your family.

Call Jersey Coast Family Law Today

At Jersey Coast Family Law, our dedicated team is here to help you. We work with a wide range of people struggling to manage difficult situations with the best possible outcome. Contact us for a consultation. We have offices in Toms River and Red Bank serving clients throughout New Jersey. Call us today at 732-361-4718.

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