They’ll disparage you. They’ll fight tooth and nail to get what they feel they’re entitled to. They’ll manipulate others in the name of being right. If you’re divorcing a narcissist, this is what’s in store for you as the proceedings unfold. Divorcing a narcissist is a lot like going to war, and while you may feel grossly outnumbered at the start, sooner or later, patience and perseverance will bring others to your side.
It’s never wise to go into battle unprepared, so knowing what to expect and how to handle situations that may arise can help the divorce go smoothly (or as smoothly as can be expected with a narcissist).
Get Everything in Writing
Narcissists will flip-flop on agreements if it suits them. When it comes to consent (say, taking your child on a trip), making plans or simple general issues, your ex may agree initially, and renege later if it is in his/her best interest to do so.
That’s why it’s so important to get everything in writing. And that means having the agreement signed off by the Court, so the Court can enforce it.
Even if you do get your agreements in writing, be prepared for your ex to blame you for agreements being changed and to externalize the issue.
And if your ex won’t agree to sign the agreement (which will become a formal Court order), then get the issues in writing, so the Courts will have an easier time determining who is lying and who is unwilling to cooperate.
Start the Discovery Process ASAP
Never give the narcissist time – start the discovery process ASAP. And gather as much financial documentation as you possibly can. It’s not uncommon for narcissists to threaten their exes, saying they’ll ruin them financially. And they will follow through on these threats. Before these documents go missing or wind up misplaced, make copies ahead of time, and keep them in a safe place.
Starting the discovery process early won’t give your ex much time to plan. When narcissists have time to plan, delays, lies and complications are sure to follow. Have your attorney initiate discovery right away, and gather documentation from your ex immediately.
Don’t Delay Court Orders
Don’t wait to file for custody, child support, spousal support and/or visitation. Get these court orders immediately. It’s likely that your ex will have you believe that he/she is cooperating, and then delay the process or avoid paying you for as long as possible. And have your retirement accounts frozen, and place holds on real property.
Don’t underestimate the importance of hiring an attorney who is aggressive and strong – and has experience dealing with narcissists. Your attorney needs to be ten steps ahead of your ex, and never willing to back down. The right attorney can make or break a divorce case with a narcissist, so choose yours wisely.
The Micklin Law Group, LLC is a New Jersey law firm specializing in family law and estates. Attorney Brad Micklin was recently named to The National Advocates list of Top 100 attorneys from each state. Brad has a special expertise in working with high asset divorce. You can read more on this topic by visiting our prenuptials blog. To set up a consultation, call 973-562-0100.