The headlines are endless regarding the separation, divorce and child custody issues between Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. While most people will not pay attention to these headlines and chalk them off as celebrity gossip, it is a situation that many New Jersey residents are dealing with. Divorcing a narcissist is a challenge, but you can walk away once you separate. However, co-parenting with a narcissist is nearly impossible. You must discuss your options with a mediation New Jersey family law attorney.
Identifying a Narcissistic Co-Parent
Narcissists thrive on being in control and want to stay in control as long as possible. When you have legal protections and boundaries set, they lose their control or most of it. They will still try to manipulate the situation and get back on top. If you see these signs while co-parenting, you could be dealing with a narcissist:
- Demanding to know plans when you have the child
- Parental alienation
- Cyberbullying or harassing your friends
- Nonstop communication during your parenting time
- Picking fights after grilling the child about their activities with you
- Filing false claims with CPS
- Playing the victim in front of your child
- Refusing to follow the court agreement
Boundaries in Co-Parenting
Narcissists despise boundaries and privacy. When co-parenting, you should set strict boundaries about your life. You do not need to provide information about your schedule or itinerary. Keep it about the children. Your separation means the other person has no say in your life except when dealing with the children.
Narcissists feel they are losing control because they are, but they will not go down without a fight. A small request will come with arguments, insults, and manipulation. Do not allow the narcissist parent to insert himself into your life.
When co-parenting with a narcissist is overwhelming, you can adopt strict boundaries and use parallel parenting. This concept is challenging to implement but can help you keep your boundaries and start a new life. The narcissistic co-parent will believe their lies as truth and argue them to the court. They need legal action to tear down their lies.
Parallel parenting limits co-parent interaction and keeps communication strictly about the child. Each parent will have their activities, parenting style, and decisions. There is no discussion of what will happen at either house. It is not ideal for the child to have a different lifestyle, but it can often be the only way to keep everyone safe.
Narcissistic Spouses and Divorce
Marrying a narcissist is shocking. They might behave one way while dating and then change their tune-up after marriage. They have you in their control and can now show their true colors. Narcissistic personality disorder has many different symptoms that you can look for. Some symptoms include:
- Feels a sense of entitlement and requires constant admiration
- Expects to be recognized by others as being superior in every way
- Exaggerates their accomplishments and skills
- Is preoccupied with their fantasies about their perfection
These points are some signs, and you can find the rest of the symptoms in our article, “How to divorce a narcissist in New Jersey.” Victims of narcissistic abuse often have low self-esteem, anxiety, people-pleasing tendencies, and difficulty making decisions.
Keeping Your Divorce Private
Celebrity marriages and divorces are always in the news. Most divorcing celebrities will keep the details of their divorce private. Then there is Kim and Kanye, who we know too much information about. Kanye has many mental health struggles and has taken to the internet to give details about his divorce and co-parenting while also trying to control Kim’s dating and social life.
Narcissists will expose details of the divorce and parenting arrangement to gain sympathy and control. However, there are steps you can take to keep your divorce private. Resolving your divorce during mediation is the best way to keep it confidential.
We discuss the benefits of mediation in “How to keep your divorce from becoming a juicy headline.” When mediation is unsuccessful, you can request the records be sealed through litigation. Most divorces are publicly accessible, so a request to seal them and a signed agreement between the parties can keep your divorce private.
Mediation and Litigation
Narcissists believe they are entitled to everything the world offers, including your life. They don’t think they’re wrong, making mediation and litigation nearly impossible. A mediation New Jersey family law attorney will work diligently to resolve these issues, but litigation is typically the best way. Mediation is a private resolution, while litigation is public. Judges rarely consider narcissistic behavior in their judgments, but if a psychological evaluation shows their mental state, that can help your case.
Litigation is challenging, and you will have a long road ahead. However, it has some benefits. As we mentioned, you can have the records sealed, but you must show the court there is a good cause for the request. You must prove that the damage suffered by publicizing the documents is worse than leaving them public. A narcissist endangers you and your children, and the court can consider this when sealing your records.
Protect What Matters
Divorcing and establishing a co-parenting relationship with a narcissist is an emotional and grueling experience. Narcissists will fight tooth and nail to ensure they are in control. The New Jersey Family Law Group can help you protect what matters. Every family has different needs, and we are here to listen to your concerns and devise a plan that projects you. Contact our New Jersey family law attorney at 732-240-9555 for a case review.