When a North Carolina parent of young children divorces a narcissistic spouse, co-parenting may be difficult. The ex-spouse may attempt to hurt the other parent using the children.

This was the case with one woman who received an email from her ex-spouse stating that the children were afraid to come to her house. Initially, she did not take it very seriously since he had done similar things in the past. Often, they were related to an upcoming court action, and she had just filed for the fifth time to enforce the existing child support order.

However, the situation escalated. She learned that he had informed child protective services that she had abused the children. The two had shared custody of the children with time split 50/50 since the divorce, but she was now facing the possibility of not being able to see them at all. The investigation took a week. At the end of it, police came to her children’s school to inform them that they would be going home with their mother regardless of what their father said. During that week, two of the three children missed school because of stress-related illness. All suffered emotionally in the aftermath.

A parent in this situation should document custody arrangements. The parent should also respond to children with unconditional love and a stability the narcissistic parent cannot provide.

Child custody negotiations with a narcissistic parent during a divorce may be difficult, and thus the issue might have to be decided in court. Family law judges generally are in favor of children having ample time with both parents. There may be exceptions if a child’s well-being is at stake, but this may be difficult to prove and children might want time with the parent as well. If a parent can show that the other parent might be harmful to the children, one option might be supervised visitation. An attorney might offer other suggestions as well.