Tips and Strategies for Co-Parenting with a Narcissist

I am a partner with Brauti Thorning LLP and practice exclusively in the area of family law, with a particular focus on cases involving domestic violence and spousal abuse. Every month I send out a newsletter full of helpful tips, advice and insights that will help you navigate through family law challenges.

Leanne’s Divorcing Well podcast: strategies for co-parenting with a narcissist

Co-parenting with a narcissist is challenging, but you can develop strategies to minimize the negative impacts on yourself and your children.

In a recent episode of my Divorcing Well podcast, I spoke to Neelam Dhall, a family mediator and divorce coach, who shared tips and advice on how to protect your children’s best interest, maintain boundaries and ensure that your own mental health and well-being aren’t compromised in the process.

Step one is having a parenting plan that outlines the expectations around children’s schedules and other key issues, says Dhall of Simple Solutions Mediation.

Set boundaries and ensure they are consistently followed, she advises. If phone conversations create  drama, consider limiting communication with your ex to emails or texts.

Listen to the episode on Apple or Spotify.

Does divorce have an impact on life expectancy?

The stress of a marital breakup can have a negative impact on your physical health and mental well-being. A new study from the University of British Columbia, suggests that divorce also poses an increased risk of death.

The best way to reduce the amount of stress associated with divorce is to minimize the conflict between yourself and your spouse. 

In my recent blog post, I point out that divorce is not a game with winners and losers. Both people have to compromise, and no one ever gets everything they want.  If you can approach it with a cooperative attitude and an earnest desire to settle out of court, you’ll have more control over the outcome.

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It’s complicated: Post-secondary expenses in the COVID-19 era

With September fast approaching, co-parents with children attending post-secondary school — either in person or virtually — are considering how to split the expenses.

Responsibility for the costs of university/college education, such as tuition, accommodations, meals, and transportation, is usually outlined in a court order or separation agreement. But what happens if the child’s campus is offering online classes only in the fall and they decide to stay at home with one parent? Should the parent who’s housing and feeding the child receive the money previously allocated for accommodations and food?

In a recent Instagram Live with family law lawyer Steve Benmor, we discussed several scenarios for separated and divorced parents and provided guidance for how to handle post-secondary expenses, fairly and reasonably.

Check out the replay of the IG Live here

Should children know if you’re divorcing because of infidelity?

Children may be curious to know the reason for their parents’ divorce, but if infidelity is at the root of the breakup, it is a good idea to tell them? 

It depends, says Tonya Cotta in a recent post on If it’s common knowledge and the children are likely to learn about it from someone else, parents should probably take the lead. It could also be an opportunity to impart a lesson on mistakes and forgiveness, she says.

However parents choose to handle it, they should make their decision based on what’s in the best interests of the children, Cotta writes. 

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One mom wrestles with the decision to send her son back to daycare

As the world starts to re-open, many parents are struggling with the uncomfortable question of whether to send their children back to daycare.

Beyond safety considerations, there are also concerns around the additional stress for daycare teachers, writes Vanessa Magic in a recent column for CBC Parents

“It seems like an unreal expectation that now they will also be tasked with constant cleaning, disinfecting, learning new safety protocols and keeping their personal protection equipment unscathed by tiny sticky hands,” she writes.

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We could all use a break, am I right? The kids are home, demanding snacks and entertainment. The boss wants your report by the end of day. Lunch breaks consist of scarfing down cold leftovers between Zoom meetings. There’s no time to hit the gym, even if you feel safe to go, so what are your options for recentering yourself amid the chaos? Luckily, there’s an app for that!

In a recent column for Fast Company, Doug Aamoth, a father of three who says he hasn’t been alone in his own home since early March, shares five “useful, fun, and sanity-saving apps to recharge your brain, stretch out, or even take a quick nap.” Aamoth suggests even a five-minute break can feel like pure bliss if you can capitalize on it. 

Serving clients during COVID-19

As we navigate the new normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic,
the safety and well-being of clients is my top priority. Social distancing is vital right now to prevent the spread of the virus so I will continue to work with clients through virtual meetings. If you have any questions or concerns about your family law matter or would like to schedule a meeting, please reach out to me by email.


Looking for more information on what to expect during a divorce, abusive relationships, love and money, life after divorce or other family law topics? 

Check out the In the News and Blog sections of my website where there’s a wealth of great content to get you up to speed on everything you need to know.

Leanne Townsend, Family Lawyer

Partner, Brauti Thorning LLP
Brookfield Place161 Bay Street,
Suite 2900,
Toronto, ON M5J 2S1

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One Parent Wants Kids in Class, the Other Thinks Remote Learning is Best. Who Decides?


Leanne Townsend Lawyer and Divorce Coach
Leanne Townsend is a multifaceted entrepreneur and attorney experienced in the areas of family law and domestic violence. She provides a full range of family law legal services in addition to running workshops and other programs to support people as they go through divorce.

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