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Effective August 1, 2022, the Law Office of Marla Zide has merged with the Law Office of Kelley Spigel. Click here to learn more about ZSTS!

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Effective August 1, 2022, the Law Office of Marla Zide has merged with the Law Office of Kelley Spigel. Click here to learn more about ZSTS!
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My ex is a narcissist: how do we co-parent?

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2022 | child custody

If your ex is a narcissist, then you are well aware that they love to push your buttons and be the center of attention. While this is difficult enough to deal with in a partner, it can seem nearly impossible to manage this as a divorced or estranged co-parent.

Thankfully, there are resources available to you to help you manage this situation if you hold joint custody with your narcissistic former partner. Our office is experienced in handling these matters and can offer many suggestions to best manage a difficult co-parent.  Being aware of issues that may come up and knowing what tools are available is important prior to the creation of the parenting plan.

There are tools available to assist with difficult co-parents.  One option that you may want to consider is parent coordination.  In Maryland, parents can agree to enter a process call parent coordination.  Parent coordinators are experienced practitioners (either a social worker or attorney) who can help navigate challenging co-parenting situations.  Our office offers parenting coordination services.  While we would not be able to be both your attorney and parent coordinator, we have good insight into the process ourselves.  Additionally, our experienced litigators have worked with parent coordinators throughout the State of Maryland.

In Maryland, there are two types of custody, both physical and legal custody.  While there are many challenges with co-parenting, co-parenting with an estranged spouse or former partner that has a personality disorder creates additional obstacles.  Our office can work with you to discuss the characteristics of your partner and brainstorm options to move forward, whether you are at the beginning stage of separation, engaged in litigation or considering pursuing a modification of a current plan.

In some cases involving high conflict driven by a difficult co-parent, the courts will appoint a best interest attorney to represent your child. They will become familiar with your child, your situation and will make recommendations to the courts based on what your child needs.  This is a court-appointed position, and their job is to look out for the best interests of your child.

Parenting with a narcissist, or parent with any other personality disorder is challenging. They thrive on boundary-pushing and attention, and often engage in manipulation that can make conflict frustrating and difficult. However, with the guidance of an experienced attorney, you can keep this at bay.