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Dealing with a narcissistic ex on child custody matters

Being involved in a relationship with someone who's a narcissist is a challenge. When you have children with them, walking away might not be such an easy feat because you'll have to figure out how to work out the custody matters. This can feel like a hopeless battle because of the ways of the narcissist.

There are several things that you will need to do if you're in this position. The key here is to remember that you need to protect yourself while you ensure that your child's needs are kept at the heart of the situation.

Ending a marriage can be a healthy choice

While making the decision to end your marriage can be a difficult, stressful choice, the reality is that many people are doing the right thing by moving on. Not all marriages are built to last, whether it's because of not getting along, growing apart or other issues.

There are different reasons why people choose to end their marriages. You might be in a situation where your spouse treats you badly or indifferently. Perhaps you have no more patience or hope that your marriage will be positive. Maybe it's you who feels angry or indifferent with your spouse.

Fight back against parental alienation

Having a child with someone is a major life event. When the relationship with the other parent doesn't work out, you will still have to deal with them because of the child. Unfortunately, some people can't handle the end of a relationship and become incredibly angry, and they may use the kids to get this anger out.

Some child custody cases involve parental alienation, which is a form of abuse that turns the child against the other parent. The angry parent will tell the children negative things about the other parent in an effort to get the child to hate the other parent. In many cases, the negative things aren't true. When they are true, they might be embellished or framed in a way that makes the child think ill of the other adult.

Co-parenting during a pandemic

Co-parenting can be a challenge even in the best of times. However, when a widespread disaster like the COVID-19 pandemic occurs, co-parenting can prove even more complicated. Your first concern is your children's health, and you wonder whether the back-and-forth shuffling to the other parent's home increases your children's exposure to a deadly virus.

How do you balance your concerns with a court-ordered agreement that declares your children spend equal time with both parents? It takes a great deal of thought and discussion with the other parent to reach a tenable arrangement, especially if you each have different philosophies as to COVID-19's threat.

Remember these points about filing for divorce

People who feel their marriage is falling apart will sometimes resist the urge to file for divorce. They somehow think that it is a better idea to stay married and miserable than to be divorced. Even though there are some negative points about ending a marriage, such as the financial impact, there are misconceptions to be aware of.

As you decide if you're going to go through with filing for divorce, remember the positive aspects. You may have to go through some rough times before you see the new and better horizons, but the pain of the change is only temporary.

Enforcing parenting time is important

Parenting disagreements aren't uncommon when you have a child custody order governing what happens with the children. One thing that must never happen is one parent keeping the children from the other parent. The only exception to this is if there is documented abuse going on, and that's when the court needs to become involved in the situation immediately.

Unfortunately, some parents try to use withholding visits with the children to enforce other points. For example, some individuals might keep the kids from a parent if that parent is behind on child support. This is illegal, it harms the children and it shouldn't ever be done.


At Burns & Hansen, we understand the rapid spread of COVID-19 is stressful and anxiety producing. An important step that all individuals can take during this time is to create an up to date estate plan. A comprehensive estate plan will take the uncertainty out of what happens to you and your loved ones in the event of illness or death.

There are three primary components to an estate plan: power of attorney (POA), health care directive, and a will.

Do this when considering property division in divorce

You might realize that you have to divide everything when you're going through a divorce, but you may not understand just how involved this is until you're already in the midst of the process. Most people try to focus on the larger assets. This is understandable but you can't overlook the smaller ones either.

It is best to go through the process thinking logically instead of emotionally. This gives you the chance to determine how each proposed split is going to impact your future.

Seemingly happy marriages can end in shocking divorces

Some people see a divorce coming and they can try to prepare for it; however, it is much more difficult to deal with one that you didn't know was coming. It is shocking to realize how many marriages end even though the spouses reported that they were in low-conflict divorces.

In the United States, only around 15% of couples who were heading toward a divorce were high-conflict couples, but 66% were low-conflict couples. Looking into the root cause of those divorces might shed some light on why seemingly happy marriages are failing so much.

High-conflict divorce negatively impacts the children

High-conflict custody battles are difficult situations for everyone involved. Some parents assume that their children won't suffer long-lasting impacts, but this isn't likely. Many children will face changes that can make life more challenging.

The way that parents handle these divorces can determine exactly how the children fare afterwards. Parents who can keep the conflict away from the children will usually notice that their children are able to cope. Parents who keep the conflict going and argue in front of the children will possibly notice some negative behaviors in the kids.

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