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Many of my clients believe they are divorcing narcissist.  While it is not true in all cases, many of my client's believe it is true for them. 

While there are some true narcissists across the court isle, I have come across enough to know when I am dealing with one.  The one trait that is consistent with a true narcissist is that they have their own version of reality and will bully, shame, criticize and generally terrorize anyone who does not agree with them, especially a divorcing spouse and their children. 

When divorcing a narcissist, you can expect a fight and better be ready for one.  Some common traits of true narcissist: 

Easily hurt
Can't take criticism
Makes excuses for own flaws or failings
Refuses to take responsibility
Attempts to sway or manipulate others
Only associates with people deemed to be on “their level”
Reacts with rage
Shames others
Emotionally neglectful
Doesn't listen
Interrupts often

They will also placate judges and other professionals involved while ignoring the rules and the laws related to their case and try to punish you if you do the same.  Rules for thee but not for me is their motto. 

A skilled and strong litigator who knows the law will be essential in any divorce against a narcissist.  In preparing for the divorce, you will need to ensure that you know your assets, debts, and support position clearly to best present your case either in court or for a settlement.  If the assets and debts have been hidden from you during marriage, there are ways to locate them, even if the narcissist is tries to hide them.  We are very good at finding hidden assets!  

When preparing for a divorce from a narcissist, you will need a new phone and phone number and email.  Something they have never had access too.  Do not make a mistake and assume they will respect your privacy, assume they will not and that they will read all communication between you, your friends and your attorney if given a chance.  

If possible, have an end-game.  A plan for where you want to live post-separation, what job you want to have and a plan for custody.  Expect that your spouse will want to make you the bad guy, but also plan on not giving in to their shame projection.  Stand your ground.  The more secure you are with knowing your rights, the easier that will be.  Remember the narcissist wants your attention and a lot of their communication is geared to garnish a response so the aggression will escalate.  But you do not have to give him.  My favorite response to the narcissist when they spew lies is “you know that is not true.”  It is important to not respond emotionally, that only feeds their ego and makes things harder for you.  

Divorcing a narcissist will be hard, but staying married to a narcissist will be harder and longer, so choose your hard.  We can help.