Getting a divorce from a controlling and manipulative partner is a tall order. Sadly, most people still have to deal with the person when children are involved. Difficult and narcissistic partners may want everything about the divorce, including child custody and visitation, to be as difficult for you as possible. They may miss child support payments and visitations and try every manipulative way to torment you. Fortunately, the law has systems and parameters to help you handle such a partner. Here is what you need to know about managing a divorce and child custody with a difficult partner.
The Battles to Avoid
The process of divorce and parenting with a difficult person is never easy. You might think to try and take the person to court for their manipulative tendencies. However, when the abuse is not physical, it can be extremely challenging to prove to the court that the partner is narcissistic. The best thing to do is ensure every part of the agreement gets captured by the law. For example, make sure the custody agreement stipulates which holidays you will have the children and what will happen if your partner ignores the orders. Also, create boundaries by invoking the law when the person gets verbally abusive or starts showing up when they are not supposed to.
How the Court Can Help
There are certain circumstances where it might be impossible to keep your partner's manipulative tendencies out of the courtroom. You should be ready for a time-consuming legal process if it happens. The judge might recommend that your partner has a psychological evaluation if they believe that your partner has a personality disorder. If the assessment determines your ex-spouse has a narcissistic personality, they will implement better measures to protect you and the children from the manipulative games.
Handling the Children
The impact on the children is another part of the struggle when co-parenting with a narcissist. If you are an emotionally balanced parent, you have a critical role in ensuring your child does not get sucked into the other parent's emotional health issues. You can achieve this by making sure your partner is not abusing and manipulating the child during the visits. If the child shows any signs of abuse like withdrawal or rebellion, seek legal advice.
Separating from a partner with emotional health issues is not easy. However, you can speak to a competent child custody attorney about your options. They will help you figure out the best solutions for the problem.
For more information, contact a local child custody attorney, such as Kenneth J. Molnar.