How to Divorce a Narcissist

Divorce A Narcissist In ArizonaOne of the most common things we hear from clients here at Owens & Perkins is that they think, or their counselor has said, that their spouse is a narcissist. According to the DSM-5, narcissism is a preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love.

Most people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (“NPD”) believe they are special, unique and/or can only be understood by people or institutions of higher statues.

Common Traits Of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

People with the disorder can:

  • Expect to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
  • Have a sense of entitlement and require constant, excessive admiration
  • Lack the ability or willingness to recognize the feelings and needs of others
  • Have a distorted sense of self-importance
  • Overblown achievements and talents
  • Manipulate others to get what they want
  • Believe that others envy them
  • Be preoccupied with fantasies about power, success, beauty, or the perfect mate
  • Believe they are exceptional and can only associate with equally exceptional people
  • Monopolize conversations and disparage or look down on people they perceive as inferior
  • Expect special favors and unquestioning loyalty with their unreal expectations
  • Behave in an arrogant or haughty manner, coming across as conceited, boastful and pretentious
  • Insist on having the best of everything — for instance, the best car or office

Divorce A Narcissist

Sound familiar? Divorce can bring out the worst in us, but if your spouse has narcissistic tendencies, then it can certainly manifest itself during the stress of a divorce and make the process much more difficult as a result.

Having an experienced attorney on your side to deal with these personality traits can help alleviate the stress for yourself and move the process along quicker. Dealing with a narcissist takes strategizing for his or her specific personality traits.

Be Prepared For Narcissist Games

The primary strategy implemented by narcissists is to grab power and gain an advantage by keeping others off balance.  If you are planning on divorcing a narcissist, expect this to continue into the divorce process.  “Gaming” the legal system will be their primary focus.  This can be especially challenging if your ex is the charming type of narcissist with plenty of financial resources.  Often times they try to wear you down by filing excessive motions and making false accusations about you being a neglectful parent or spouse.  

Keep Records Of Everything Possible

It’s always important to keep detailed records but that is especially critical when divorcing a narcissist.   This has been extremely valuable for several of our clients in helping discredit their narcissist spouse’s lies.  Be sure to provide your divorce attorney with all of these records which will greatly help your defense should your divorce end up going to a judge to decide.

Here at Owens & Perkins, we have years of experience dealing with narcissists and can navigate through those waters so you don’t have to do it alone. We will gain the relevant information from you and develop the best strategy for success for your situation.

If you, a friend, family member or loved are in need of assistance with a family law issue, and need the advice and counsel of an experienced attorney, please call OWENS & PERKINS at 480.994.8824 to schedule your free 30-minute legal consultation.