Are you facing co-parenting with a narcissist and want real tips on how to deal with this
toxic personality so you can protect your children from them?
By the end of this video, you will have advice and tips on exactly how to do just that.
I'm Rebecca Zung, top 1% divorce attorney and the bestselling author of the books, Negotiate
Like YOU M.A.T.T.E.R. and Breaking Free: A Step-by-Step Divorce Guide, and I've helped
thousands of clients go from drama trauma and chaos to step into lives of freedom, possibility,
prosperity and purpose, and I do the same thing right here with you on these videos.
So before we go any further, hit that subscribe button, hit that little notification bell
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Now, if you are co-parenting with a narcissist and you really want to protect your kids from
that toxic personality, there are a few things that you can do.
But before I get into that, let me just give you a few ideas of the kinds of things that
you're going to be in for if you are co-parenting with that narcissist.
Number one is parental alienation.
Most people who are alienators are also narcissists and I have an entire video on narcissistic
parental alienation and I will drop a link to that below.
You're definitely going to want to check that out.
But they engage in all kinds of things that look like parental alienation, which is a
campaign of denigration against you, trying to turn the kids against you so that the kids
think that you're the most disgusting thing that ever walked the planet even if you had
a wonderful relationship with them before and they start drip, drip, dripping on the
kids in a way that starts turning the kids against you.
It is very serious and very toxic so definitely check out my video on parental alienation,
narcissistic parental alienation, if you haven't already seen it.
In addition to parental alienation and the campaign of denigration, they'll also just
personally attack you, not necessarily just to the kids but also just to you.
So, they will go on these personal attacks in messages, in person, to third parties,
to whoever their lawyer is.
In whatever way that they possibly can, they will go on this campaign, a personal attack
against you and not to mention twisting everything that you say, gas lighting, manipulating you
and on, and on, and on.
And the third thing that they're going to try to do is legal attacks on you.
So they will use the system as their sword.
They hide behind that.
They don't want to actually have to have a conversation with you unless they think they're
going to be able to control it.
So, they will file like 15,000 motions and then obstruct you in every possible way from
getting any information and make you run up fees and spend lots of money and then they'll
nicely come to you and say, "Oh, let's just go have a conversation at Starbucks" or whatever,
something like that, but they will use that legal system as their sword, as a means to
try to control you.
If this is all sounding too familiar so far, give me a 'definitely' in the comments.
Okay, so what can you do to protect your children from this toxic personality?
Let me just say at the outset that there's no easy answer here.
There's no magic wand.
There's no way to turn that narcissist into a normal person.
They have a personality disorder, there's something wrong inside their head and nothing
that you're going to be able to do is going to be able to change that about them, and
the worst thing about narcissists is that, they don't think there's anything wrong with
them, so they'll never go and get help.
So, the only thing that you can do is control yourself and your behavior, okay?
So, let's just say that at the outset, but there are a few things that you can do to
minimize the issues and to protect your children.
So, number one is a custody evaluation.
If you decide to get a custody evaluation, you have to file a motion for it unless the
other side agrees to doing it.
Sometimes they're so crazy that they want the custody evaluation to try to show the
world how terrible you are, which is, kind of their way of projecting their own behavior
onto the other person.
But it is only in the context of a custody evaluation that you'll very easily be able
to get psychological evaluations done if you just ask for a psychological evaluation without
bringing the children into it, without having a best interest reason for it, you probably
won't get it.
But if you say that it's for the best interest of the children, that you are concerned for
the children and their welfare when they're with this person and you put it at issue,
then the court more than likely, will agree to order this custody evaluation.
They sometimes don't, even if they think they should, because sometimes they just feel neither
side can really afford it.
They do get a little bit costly.
It's certainly less costly than bringing 50 witnesses into the courtroom because the custody
evaluator, who is a trained psychologist, does all of that leg work at a much lower
So, you do get that in the interview, both of you, they interview the children, they
get to come to your home, they get to interview anybody that's related to the children.
They get to observe stuff.
They do all kinds of testing, not just psychological testing, but they can do drug testing, they
can do testing on somebody's propensity to be a good parent.
There's all sorts of things that they can do, and so it's something to consider.
Number two is to stay unemotional, and those of you who are my regular listeners and viewers
know that I say this all the time, and yet it is the hardest thing to do because they
definitely know how to push your buttons.
They definitely know how to get under your skin and they will definitely try.
So, they will taunt you, goad you, do whatever they can to get you to respond and get down
on their level and hopefully get you unglued so that they can use that against you.
So, stay as unemotional as possible.
That's tip number two.
Tip number three is, if you really do believe that you or your children are in danger, don't
wait to call your lawyer.
Please call the police.
There are other people that can help you as well.
Sometimes there are shelters for abused women or shelter even for men who are abused.
Don't just sit there like a sitting duck.
Please call the police, and once you do call the police and you do have a record of threats
and things like that, you can potentially try to go get an injunction, also sometimes
called a restraining order, and it's a little bit difficult for me to quantify when you
can get a restraining order or when you can't.
The one thing I will say though is, that if you decide to try that path, to hire somebody,
a lawyer who really understands the system and understands the statute, because you want
to make sure that it sticks if you do get it.
The worst thing in the world is to try to go get one and then have it be dismissed because
then the other person feels empowered.
So, you're going to want to make sure that you've got enough.
Unfortunately, even if you feel in fear and you don't really have any way to prove why
you're in fear, you probably won't get one, but if you are in real danger, of physical
abuse or stalking, something like that, please call the police.
Number four, what you can do is use a co-parenting app that can help you minimize the interaction
between the two of you because sometimes just the escalation of interaction between the
two of you becomes a danger to your children.
So if you want to protect your children, then minimizing the fighting and the back and forth
and all the toxicity and poison that's going on between the two of you will definitely
help to protect your children.
So, more than likely you'll have to get a court order.
More than likely the other person won't agree to it.
Even if they do agree to it, have that agreement or stipulation turned into court order so
that the other person is ordered to use it because if they're a narcissist, they're not
going to want to use it.
Even if they're court ordered to use it, they'll still try to figure out ways around it.
Well, we're here right now, let's just talk, or oh, it's too hard to use the app.
I'm just texting you.
They'll still try to find ways around it, but then at least it's a violation of a court
Okay, my next suggestion is non-disparagement clauses and those can be written right into
a parenting plan where it says, neither parent is allowed to talk badly about the other parent
to the children.
Now, I'm going to tell you that most of the time I find these kinds of clauses to be aspirational
rather than actually useful because it's really hard for a court to enforce them.
Even if you have proof, even if you have a text message from the parent to the child
that says, mommy is a loser or daddy is a drunk.
Even then, the judge is probably just going to go, don't do it again because it's really
hard to enforce that kind of an agreement.
So my suggestion to you is to have some kind of extra thing written into the agreement
that helps you enforce it, like if the person violates it, then the person who violated
that clause loses the ability to have ultimate decision making authority on one particular
area or another like medical or educational or something like that.
Oh, and the person who violates it has to pay both sides fees or something like that.
Give the judge some kind of teeth to be able to enforce that court order.
Number six is document, document, document.
You all know, who are my regular listeners, you better document every single thing.
Have the notes section open to your phone or use an app or whatever you need to do.
I've won entire court cases on documentation, so if a person's late or they didn't show
up to take the kids or whatever, so that down the road you could potentially modify that
parenting plan so that you get more time sharing than the other person does.
And the last one is to get therapy for your child.
You might have to get a court order for this.
You might have to go to the judge and say, my child needs therapy because if the other
person doesn't agree to it, which if they're a narcissist, they probably won't because
they probably don't believe in therapy when they're afraid of what therapists might uncover
or say about them, or they just won't agree to it because that's what you want and they
just don't want to give you what you want.
So, you might have to go and ask the court to order that it's okay.
But give your children an outlet, give them a place that's protected for them to talk
about what's going on and how they're feeling about the entire situation.
Some states do actually have statutes that say that only one parent's permission is needed
So you'll have to check with your lawyer on what is needed for ordering a child to therapy
in your particular state.
I have a lot more about this in my video on dealing with a narcissist over child custody,
know what to expect, and I will drop a link to that below.
You will definitely want to check that out.
And if you're negotiating with a narcissist, you're definitely going to want to grab my
'Crush My Negotiation' prep worksheet.
It is filled with lots of great information.
Make sure you download that.
I will drop a link to that below and if this video was helpful for you, just let me know.
Drop a like on it, drop a comment, share it.
If you do comment on the video, I will respond to you so make sure you do that, and if you
haven't already, subscribe, hit the notification bell so that you don't miss one single secret
or tip or trick that I share in these videos and I release a new video every single week.
I'm Rebecca Zung, top 1% divorce attorney, and I'm so glad that you stopped by here today.
I will see you in the next video and remember that today is a great day to start negotiating
your best life.