How To Deal With A Narcisisst Spouse Within Divorce?
A narcissist is a mental personality disorder in which a person has a lack of empathy for others and has a deep need of admiration and self importance. Narcissism may be caused by events or environments of our childhood or genetic and biological factors. However, the ultimate cause of narcissism has yet to be determined.
Behaviors of a Narcissist Spouse include:
• Controlling and manipulating
• Very charming and persuasive
• Arrogant behavior and attitude
• The constant need for attention
• Taking advantage of the people around them
• No ability to empathize or sync with others emotions
• Taking everything personal and attacking when feeling insulted
Within a divorce a narcissist spouse will be in it to win “the battle”. The likelihood that you will end up in court with a narcissist spouse is very high because usually they are unable to be reasonable in negotiation. In many cases negotiation and mediation will not work for a couple that includes a narcissist because he or she will see themselves as the victim, regardless of what happened within the marriage. However, in our experience, when the narcissist has a reasonable attorney and when an excellent private meditator is utilized, litigation can be avoided.
Important actions you can do to stay ahead of a narcissist spouse:
1) Make copies of important documents pertaining to your marital assets
In many cases a narcissist spouse will attempt to convince the other spouse that many of the assets acquired during the marriage are the narcissist spouse’s assets only. This is a manipulation tactic and it is incorrect. The majority of assets acquired during a marriage, regardless of whose name the asset is titled in is indeed a marital asset and is jointly owned by both parties. You can get ahead of a narcissist by obtaining documentation of the marital assets before they try to hide them from the courts. Within a divorce with a narcissist it will be your word against theirs. When there is conflicting storylines, it is smart to gather any and all evidence that you have to prove your side of the story. Additionally, a typical narcissist may start disposing of important documentation, make sure you have copies of all documents you may need within the divorce proceedings.
2) Create a support system for yourself
When dealing with a narcissist spouse during divorce it is very smart to get a therapist. In dealing with their behavior during the marriage you may deal with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It may be useful to join a group or find someone who has been through divorce with a narcissist for support. And of course, it is additionally helpful to keep friends and family close during this time, but make sure they are sources of positive support. During this difficult time, you may need to distance yourself from any persons who are toxic to your mental and emotional well-being.
3) Try to be reasonable, even when the narcissist spouse is not
One of the strongest and smartest things you can do when dealing with a narcissist spouse is to be the calm, cool, and collected spouse. Be careful how you respond to their behaviors. Even when you are full of anger and rage, you need to not indulge in any kind violent or vague language of written or oral form that can be recorded or printed out and shown in court. Try to be reasonable, and use the facts of the case. Remember, a narcissist thrives on conflict. The less you engage in anger and conflict the sooner your attorney can try to either settle your case or get it to trial for final resolution.
4) Pick your battles and decide prior to court hearing what is important to you
Remember that a narcissist is usually very selfish, so try not to fall for any of their manipulating behavior as an expressions of caring and concern. This is standard manipulation tool they use to get their way. Narcissists are likely to twist your words and completely lie under oath. It is smart to set firm boundaries and cut off any and all communication with your narcissist spouse and communicate strictly through your attorneys. It has been said that the best way to strip a narcissist of power is to refuse to engage with them at all. However, if you have children together, you will have to communicate with them on some level, but make sure that you speak to your attorney and therapist so that boundaries can be established between you and your narcissist spouse.
5) Hire an attorney that is familiar with narcissistic personality disorder
The Law Office of Patricia Palma has 18 years of experience dealing with narcissist spouses. If you have questions regarding a narcissist spouse and the divorce process, contact The Law Office of Patricia Palma, P.A. at 813-258-3211 to make an appointment to discuss your case in detail.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from Justia Inc. or the individual author, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information included in, or accessible through, this Post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.