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Your Complete Guide to Divorcing a Narcissist

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Going through the divorce process is never easy, but few things complicate matters more than divorcing a spouse with narcissistic tendencies. Narcissism is a clinically recognized illness that many Americans deal with. Narcissists tend to focus on their own pain and suffering, often lashing out at others when they deal with difficult circumstances such as divorce. When divorcing a narcissist, the other spouse should take steps to protect themselves financially, emotionally, and legally.

While there are limits to what a narcissistic spouse can do to undermine the divorce, the results of years of abuse can take their toll on other family members going through the process. You should act immediately to hire a lawyer specializing in narcissism to protect yourself and your loved ones from your narcissist spouse. An attorney who understands narcissists and knows California family law can offer emotional support and legal counsel to get you through this complex process.

Our family law attorney has nearly three decades of experience helping families navigate divorce in Orange County, and he specializes in cases dealing with a narcissistic spouse. You can rely on our legal counsel and representation to get favorable results even if your spouse is unpredictable and refuses to cooperate. Contact our law offices right away to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help at 949-889-1227.

What Is Narcissism?

Narcissism is a mental disorder qualified by an obsession with one’s self. However, this doesn’t mean the narcissist is necessarily an ego-maniac. A narcissist can be someone with extremely low self-esteem who feels the need to make their pain and suffering the focus of everyone’s attention.

Some other attributes and behaviors of narcissists include:

  • Monopolizing conversations
  • Manipulating others
  • Self-righteous view of one’s self
  • Lack of empathy
  • Inability to accept criticism
  • Anger issues
  • A knack for creating drama
  • Being overly boastful
  • Looking down on others
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Fragile self-esteem
  • Impatient and irritable

If you believe your spouse may be a narcissist and you are seeking to divorce them, you need to act immediately to prepare yourself mentally, financially, and legally. Call our team of legal professionals right away to get you on the right track for a divorce that has as little drama and as few obstacles as possible.

How Can a Narcissist Make Divorce More Difficult?

Divorcing a narcissist can be extremely difficult. Typically, in a divorce, both individuals recognize the need to put the family’s well-being first, especially when it comes to minor children. Even if the spouses are unhappy about the divorce, they usually cooperate to some extent and act reasonably to find solutions that work for everyone. This is often not the case with narcissists.

Because the narcissist has such low self-esteem and needs to appear perfect, it can obliterate their self-image to know that you are divorcing them. They may view your actions as abandonment and react with anger and contempt. Often, spouses of narcissists have suffered emotional abuse and manipulation for years, making it difficult to think clearly about the situation. In these cases, it is essential to have excellent legal counsel to help you see the whole picture and stick to your commitment to protect yourself and your children.

What Forms of Abuse Do Narcissists Commonly Engage In?

Unfortunately, one of the common aspects of living with a narcissistic spouse is being a victim of abuse. This matters in a divorce because your spouse may very well use abusive tactics to get you to back down and come back under their control. If you are a victim of abuse, you can use your lawyer to gain access to the help you need, including restraining orders, therapy, and other legal tactics to get the results that will be of most benefit to you and your family.

Physical Abuse

If your spouse is physically abusive, California courts will help. You should seek a restraining order to protect yourself and your children from your abusive spouse. Domestic violence victims in California deserve protection, and you deserve that assistance so you and your loved ones can feel safe.

Emotional Abuse

Emotionally abusive narcissists are adept at showing the best side of their personalities to third parties while reserving the manipulation for you and your children. One way you can combat

your spouse’s emotional abuse is by learning to say no and refusing to get angry over their fear tactics. You should consult with your lawyer about how to proceed with the divorce while minimizing contact with your narcissistic spouse.

Financial Abuse

Another aspect of abuse that doesn’t get as much attention is financial abuse. Your spouse may claim that the money is “theirs.” This behavior often occurs in high-asset divorces where a great deal of money is at stake. However, the law is clear about how marital property should be divided. You should not make any agreements with your spouse without consulting with your lawyer. Sticking to the answer of “no” may make your narcissist spouse angry, but it can benefit you exponentially for years into the future.

What Issues Must Be Decided During a Divorce?

The divorce process includes several decisions that must be addressed. This can be extremely difficult when divorcing a narcissist. In some cases, the narcissistic spouse gives up quickly and allows you to make decisions that will benefit you and your children. At other times, the narcissist will put up a fight and undermine the decision-making process. You should be prepared mentally to go through this difficult process and have skilled attorneys on your side to protect you legally.

Some of the issues that must be decided during a California divorce include:

  • Child custody – One of the most difficult issues a couple can face is how to handle child custody. They may work out an agreement together, or a judge must issue a final order about where the children will live and who will be responsible for making legal decisions such as their education, healthcare, and religion.
  • Child support – Matters of child support may also quickly become contentious. The non-custodial parent typically makes payments to the parent who retains custody of the children. High-income divorces could result in larger than average child custody payments to ensure the child enjoys a lifestyle similar to what they experienced while the parents were married.
  • Alimony – Also known as spousal maintenance, alimony payments are made to a spouse who is not prepared to enter the workforce and provide for themselves. Some alimony agreements are temporary, but spousal payments may be permanent in cases of illness or old age.
  • Division of the marital estate – Another commonly contentious point of divorce is dividing the marital assets. This could include the marital home, real estate holdings, family businesses, vehicles, investments, bank accounts, and other valuable assets. With a skilled attorney on your side, you can be sure that your narcissist spouse doesn’t take advantage of you and walk away with more than their share of the marital property.

How Can I Formalize My Divorce With a Narcissist Spouse and Move On?

It can be overwhelming to face a divorce under any circumstances, but going through a divorce with a narcissist can have an extra measure of frustration and uncertainty. However, you still

have hope of getting a positive outcome to your divorce when working with an attorney who is experienced in working with narcissists.

Some steps you can take to prepare for your divorce include:

  • Ensuring you have access to important records, such as mortgage payments, bank accounts, retirement funds, and so on
  • Making a plan with a trusted attorney and sticking to it
  • Mentally preparing yourself for the manipulation and emotional abuse that might occur during the divorce
  • Being willing to tell your spouse no and not back down
  • Seeking restraining orders whenever necessary
  • Getting counseling to help you emotionally through the divorce

Should You Hire Our Divorce Attorney?

While it is vital to have legal representation in any divorce, it is absolutely critical to hire an attorney when divorcing a narcissist. Your lawyer can offer counsel on resolving conflicts and help you remember not to back down when your spouse uses manipulation tactics. They can present evidence to the judge and get the restraining order you need for you and your children to feel safe.

At our The Bledsoe Firm, we recognize that divorcing a narcissist has additional challenges that are not present in any other divorce. We will help you prepare for the unexpected, and we will offer emotional support at this difficult time. Our legal team will leverage our decades of experience in your favor when divorcing a narcissist.

Reach out to us right away to learn more about how we can help you during this difficult time. Contact our The Bledsoe Firm right away to schedule a consultation and discuss your unique circumstances by calling 949-889-1227 today.

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