Special Considerations When Divorcing a Narcissist
Being married to a narcissist isn’t easy and divorcing one can be just as difficult. Narcissists have an exaggerated sense of self-importance that causes them to become bitter and combative when they don’t get what they think they deserve. Whether your spouse has been formally diagnosed with narcissistic personality disorder or simply displays such tendencies, you will want to prepare yourself for a potentially bumpy ride.
Once you begin the process of divorcing your narcissistic spouse, you should not be surprised if they engage in disruptive tactics and behaviors such as:
- Lying in court filings or even while giving sworn testimony
- Attempting to manipulate your children or turn them against you
- Hiding assets or critical information from you and your attorney
- Steering everything toward litigation rather than engaging in good-faith negotiations
These types of conduct can impact not only your divorce case but also your own mental health and even that of your children. Here are some actions you can take to cope with the added strain:
- Seek counseling — Your spouse’s manipulation and lying can take a toll. Talking to a therapist during your divorce can be a positive response. We have connections with a few Asheville-area professionals if you need help finding one.
- Get things in writing — Narcissists often will try to twist your words or make up conversations out of thin air. Retain text messages and email exchanges so you can rely on them if needed.
- Record conversations — North Carolina is a one-party consent state, meaning it is legal to record phone conversations between yourself and another person without asking their permission, as long as you are both located in this state.
- Communicate only through your lawyer — While this isn’t possible in every situation, it’s best to let your lawyer be the sole communicator with your narcissistic spouse. This prevents your spouse from trying to manipulate you.
- Stay calm and don’t take the bait — Narcissists like to fight. If you stoop to their level, it can work to your detriment, especially if an incident happens in court. Don’t give the narcissist what they want. Take a few breaths and avoid conflict.
- Choose the right lawyer — You’ll want to hire a divorce attorney with a track record of litigation success, because a narcissistic spouse is likely to make things difficult at every turn. You want an attorney who can be aggressive yet strategic and able to negotiate effectively.
While divorcing a narcissist is sure to present emotional and legal challenges, try not to let those challenges overcome you. With the right lawyer and support system in place, you can handle the situation.
At The Moore Law Office, PLLC you’ll find a team of attorneys who know how to handle divorces involving narcissists. Call 828-333-4796 or contact us online to arrange a meeting with at our Asheville office.