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How dangerous is a narcissistic parent with joint custody?

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If he is a true narcissist he hates children. The risk of abuse - physical, psychological, and even sexual - is considerable. My book: "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited" (c) 2003 Lidija Rangelovska Narcissus Publications  
I think if the narcissist is the kind who receives narcissistic supply by basking in the glow of others, for instance his children, he can be okay as a parent provided the children are beautiful, high-achieving or posses attributes that the narcissist perceives as a positive reflection on him. A potential problem arises in adolescence, however, when children seek to differentiate themselves from their parents and are rejecting of their parents. At this point, I think the narcissist is likely to de-throne i.e. stop idealizing the child, and start devaluing the child. Best not to have children with them.  
I have 5 children, 3 of whom are my dh's. I had to send my oldest to live with his father when he hit adolesence for his own protection. He comes to live with me on holidays and weekends. The only way to keep my dh from harming him, physically, psychologically, etc, is to threaten him. I have told him that if he ever touches him, I will call the police and have him thrown in jail in a heartbeat. He is scared to be exposed and for all to know that he is less than perfect, so this works. I also threatened this after he hit me once 4 yr ago when I was pregnant with baby #4. He has not hit me since, although he threatens to and tells me I should be hit to teach me to control myself. He thinks that spanking is the only form of discipline. One of the reasons why I don't leave him is because if he is alone with them, joint custody, I cannot protect them. With us living together, I can counter the harm he causes. A part of me hopes that he will do something that will cause me to be able to get full custody of the kids when I leave so that I don't have to leave them alone with him.
In short, a narcissist having custody of a child for half the time would be a bad idea. Keep a log and record conversations so that you have evidence when the time comes.  
Whoever you are - please do not stay in the marriage thinking that you are protecting or diluting the harm done by dh. I am separated from my husband (NPD) in April shortly after finding him in bed with another woman (who had had an abortion just 7 days earlier - someone else's). Your children will be better off without that influence...you are only one person and unfortunantely your children learn more by example and what you are teaching them is that it is okay to put up with it. Not to mention the example you are showing of unnecessary self sacrifice and lack of self respect by tolerating that sort of environment. Believe me, God will protect you and provide for you. My mother made the same mistake and thought she was protecting us from my abusive NPD father's tactics...but I wound up marrying one...though not physically abusive. The damage is psychological and will affect there core self-esteem and abilities to make sound decisions and choices when it comes to people.  
They will expose all the nasty bits about the spouse to the kids. That spouse in return is doing the same thing because he/she has just left the nastiest person they have ever known and can't help but expose them. My narcissist's spouse can be quite 'off' with the kids because they defend their dad to the hilt. This is because he has worked on them in his narcissist way.  
If you give in to the N they will take an arm and a leg too, with as much concern as you have about rendering a turkey carcass into soup. I left my N 12 years ago, had no problem getting sole custody after his behaviour. I have tried to be a good person throughout, lots of access and involvement, not harping on about the unpaid child support. Not knowing that I was dealing with a mentally unhealthy person, I thought, well at least he's not alcoholic. And when you think everything is peachy-keen and everyone's moved on, you discover that this person has been a busy busy bee, working away behind your back... It has taken me a year of fighting to get any say in my son's life again. His dad made a complaint that we were physically abusing my son and transferred him to another school and then they told me it was my son's decision and I should go along with it. Then things began to descend into madness. Calls from social services, calls from the RCMP, death threats from my son; my 12 year-old offering to sue me for his Gamecube and then I find out that this man pulled his kid out of school and then lied - to his own kid, telling him he had been kicked out!....separated my 12 year old boy from friends, family and peers, away from all sports or social activity, rotting in a one bedroom apartment... and then I went through a lunatic merry-go-round trying to involve the school, social services, the police, anyone to look at the situation. This with full custody, SOLE guardianship, 2 police enforcement orders and a deadbeat dad with no formal education. I have had to explain countless times that I can't go to court for visitation rights! I have custody! Finally, now that my kid is in psychiatric care and the hospital brought in a team of lawyers, now that I have taken this the whole way to our MLA (member of legislature) and put social services on the line for their past mistakes, now I am finally getting some recognition as the parent willing and able to act in my son's best interests. It has been a long road. Never leave yourself open with narcissists; they are deviant way beyond anything a normal thought process can anticipate and they will NOT change unless maybe with years of therapy. Your child doesn't have years.

The narcissistic parent (NP) will generally badmouth the other parent, and will try to turn the children against them. My father almost succeeded with my younger brother, but fortunately, my mother, siblings, and I were able to help him. The NP will also badmouth the siblings who don't buy into his false presentation. Common phrases used are "don't tell your mother, but..." or "don't tell your sister/brother, but..." or "don't tell ______that I said this, but he/she is ______."

The best course of action (speaking from experience) is to minimize contact and explain to your children what narcissism is.
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