Co-parenting can be challenging under the best circumstances. Co-parenting with a narcissistic ex-spouse can sometimes feel next to impossible. However, there are a few tips to keep in mind to help your co-parenting experience be as stress free as possible.
Keep parental conflict away from your child
One of the top goals of any co-parenting arrangement is to keep the parental conflict away from the children. Frequent, hostile parental conflict can cause your children distress, and may lead to development of poor interpersonal and problem solving skills.
Using alternative dispute resolution to resolve divorce or child custody matters can help keep parental conflict from children. However, if you and your ex have a high-conflict relationship, alternative dispute resolution may not always be effective. However, there may be other appropriate legal tools to try, such as a parent coordinator or a guardian ad litem.
Have details recorded
Having a very detailed custody agreement can go a long way toward preventing future arguments. If you know that you are dealing with a high-conflict person, share your concerns with your attorney, so he or she can help make sure that every necessary detail is recorded in your custody agreement.
It also helps to keep a record of the interactions you have with your ex. Write down when your ex calls, what he or she said, if your ex showed up for visitation or not, and other details. Having a record of your interactions can help if legal action must eventually be taken.
Try to communicate with your ex through email instead of in person or over the phone. This allows you to think about what you want to say before you say it, which can prevent some arguments. It can also keep parental conflict away from your children and help you maintain a detailed record of what was said.
Co-parenting can be difficult when one parent seems to always stir up trouble. However, many potential conflicts can be avoided by recording details and establishing communication boundaries, which can lead to a better co-parenting experience for you and your kids.