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Special Considerations When Divorcing a Narcissist

Divorce is never easy, but divorce proceedings can be especially complicated and difficult when one spouse is a narcissist. People afflicted with this personality syndrome are highly self-centered and tend to have an inflated sense of self-importance. They may be lacking in empathy and often exploit or manipulate others for their own gain.

Narcissistic behavior can make marriage tough. They can be controlling, manipulative, and demanding and may be prone or to selfish pursuits, to infidelity or to “gaslighting” — a tactic that may cause the other spouse to doubt themselves. Sometimes the healthiest outcome for the other spouse is to end the marriage. But divorcing a narcissist can be equally tough, as he or she will typically try to control every aspect of the process. In addition, divorce may be emotionally draining for the other spouse, who may constantly feel belittled or put down. Ultimately, divorce from a narcissist can be a long and difficult road.

How should you prepare for battling a narcissist in divorce court? Here are four positive courses of action:

  1. Gather evidence — This may include medical records, statements of potential witnesses and documentation of episodes of abusive or narcissistic behavior. Such evidence can be helpful in establishing ground rules for communication and for seeking a protective order if necessary.
  2. Set realistic expectations — This is crucial, as the narcissist spouse is likely to attempt to manipulate and control the outcome of the divorce proceedings. Get a clear understanding of your finances and set goals for what you would like to achieve in a property settlement and with regard to child custody.
  3. Refrain from confrontation — A narcissist engaged in litigation is looking for a fight. Don’t give him or her the opportunity to provoke you. As a general rule, communicate with your spouse only through your lawyer. If you need to discuss an issue directly, such as one pertaining to children, keep the conversation focused and brief.
  4. Seek support — It is vital to have a solid support system in place. Family and friends can help you stay emotionally strong while a therapist or counselor can provide professional guidance. These aids can make it easier to stay even-tempered and clearheaded.

Separations and divorces with narcissists are tough on everyone involved. If you’re going through a divorce or child custody battle, you need an experienced Michigan family law attorney who understands the stress and anxiety that comes with such disputes.

At Dawson Family Law, PLLC in Sterling Heights, we’ll review your divorce case and will work tirelessly to resolve it quickly and efficiently with your best interests in mind. Contact us online or call 833-671-4445 today to schedule a consultation.

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