Anyone divorcing a narcissist needs to understand how narcissists think, what tactics they use to manipulate others, and how to fight back. Gaslighting is one of the most pronounced narcissistic behaviors seen in divorce cases and usually involves:
• Making demands that you can’t possibly meet
• Making statements that cast doubt on your perception of the situation
• Misrepresenting the facts
• Delaying or avoiding giving you information
This makes reaching a divorce settlement with a narcissist extremely difficult because you’ll be trying to resolve issues of child custody and child support, marital assets and debts, and alimony with someone who refuses to play fair.
Child custody is indisputably one of the most frustrating stages of divorcing a narcissist. A self-centered spouse will use any bargaining chip they have, from money to sex to using the children as pawns.
As the more reasonable parent, it is important that you make the safety and wellbeing of your children your top priority. You can get helpful information on the California Center for Families, Children & the Courts website.
The terms of your divorce will determine how much money you will receive as a settlement from your former spouse. After you have submitted your request for a decree, the judge will decide whether the amount of money you are requesting is fair.
There are issues you should consider before making an offer to your former spouse. If you or your spouse have economic problems, you may need funds to help you care for yourself or your family.
When negotiating finances with a narcissistic spouse, remember these individuals tend to view any relationship as a zero-sum game and will stop at nothing to win, even “cooking the books.” Read that again. Yes, narcissists can sometimes even become involved in overt criminal activity.
When battling a narcissist in divorce court as a man or woman, you’ll need to document everything they say and do. But remember, it’s illegal to record conversations without the other party’s knowledge in California.
Instead, you could give them a taste of their own medicine by giving them the silent treatment and insisting on text or email communication only. Written communications can be used as evidence and are time-stamped, making your side of the argument bullet-proof.
In addition, before you start badmouthing your spouse in front of a judge, remember that most judges won’t accept hearsay, so a formal NPD diagnosis is preferred. A clear-cut diagnosis from a mental health professional will help your divorce lawyer prove you’re right about your partner’s outrageous behavior.
You don’t have to do this alone. A California family law attorney specializing in narcissism and divorce can help you figure out how to negotiate a divorce settlement. Discuss your situation with The Law Office of Laurence J. Brock by using the contact form below or call 909-466-7661.