Divorce can be stressful and challenging, to say the least, but compound this with a spouse who is a narcissist, and the case becomes complicated. This term narcissism has been used loosely to describe someone who is basically all consumed with themselves, but this is something more-this is a true psychological disorder, as serious as bi-polar or depression, that can make the divorce process significantly more difficult for the other spouse.
It may be hard to recognize a narcissist on the outset because these people are usually charismatic, charming and financially successful, having all of the manifestations of self-centeredness and conceit inwardly. These are the type of people who talk-down to their partners to make themselves feel superior. They work hard on alluring their spouse and others into thinking they are attractive, powerful and superior in everything they do because they have a grandiose sense of self. Unfortunately, they exploit their spouse and use their children as pawns to get what they want. They lack empathy and are highly controlling to the point of bullying. Narcissism and abuse often go hand-in-hand. They may be verbally and/or physically abusive, but ironically feel that they are the ones that have been wronged.
Not surprisingly, narcissists love the adversarial nature of the court system and are good at manipulating it to their advantage. Adam Schaffer, Associate Attorney at Stange Law Firm, PC explains it this way. He says, "A narcissistic spouse is used to being in control. They run every boardroom or sales meeting they enter. It is difficult for them to allow someone else to take control or for them to play by somebody else's rules."
What does this mean from a legal point of view and what do you do? If you are involved in a divorce, you better have plenty of cash on hand because the controlling and manipulative tactics of a narcissist make for an all out war that can stagger on and on. They often do not cooperate or negotiate with their spouse and their attorney. They even go as far as believing they are above the law and defy court orders.
A narcissistic spouse will also refuse to provide financial information and documentation which means you should have all necessary paperwork in order to minimize having to ask for it once the process has begun. In addition, it is prudent to put together a divorce team comprised of an experienced attorney, a therapist who has dealt with this type of disorder, and a financial planner.
At Stange Law Firm, PC, our only focus is family law, meaning our attorneys have the experience to recognize those spouses who display this type of disorder. We know how to take control of the divorce process to ensure it runs smoothly.
Stange Law Firm, PC offers a confidential half-hour consultation to meet with an attorney. You may call us toll-free at 855-805-0595 or contact us online.
Source: Financial Strategies for Divorcing A Narcissist, By Jeff Landers, Forbes