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Getting a divorce is difficult in any situation, but it is more complicated when divorcing a narcissist. Divorcing a narcissist can bring about the worst aspects of their personality, particularly when they feel challenged and child custody is involved.
1. Know That You Might Have to Make Multiple Efforts to Leave
The narcissist will make it difficult for you to leave them, as this is an emotional wound that many of them cannot bear. If it has been tough to live with the narcissist, you can imagine that it will be tough to get divorced from one, too.
2. Understand Narcissist Behavior
“Narcissistic Personality” is a term thrown around loosely. Generally, however, an accurate description of a narcissist is someone who does not accept criticism, will use almost any tactic to get what they want, does not accept perceived threats to their power, and does not particularly care about other people’s suffering.
Dealing with this kind of person can be disillusioning and disheartening, especially when entering North Carolina divorce court for the first time. For this reason, it is vital to retain the services of experienced North Carolina divorce attorneys to make it easier for you to navigate this challenging situation and to set yourself up for success as much as possible.
3. Build Your Own Community
One of the most important things you can do to fight a narcissist in court is to build your own community of support. As a divorce lawyer in North Carolina can tell you, narcissists can be some of the most challenging opponents in court. One of the most frequent techniques a narcissist uses is isolating their victims and leaving them more vulnerable to bullying and lies.
Narcissists capitalize on this power by making their victims feel in danger and afraid to ask for help. Powerful allies like an experienced North Carolina divorce lawyer can go a long way in helping you to fight back. It’s important to remember that there is likely no way to defuse your ex’s narcissistic personality disorder. Anyone who is divorcing a true narcissist must prepare themselves for a battle.
4. Prepare for Trial
In an ideal world, you’d be able to resolve everything with your former spouse outside of court, leading to more flexible and customized parenting plans, for example. But when it comes to a narcissist, any plan is almost certainly destined to fail before you even begin the conversation. Compromising in this way doesn’t feel like “winning” for the narcissist, so they’ll reject it outright.
Collaborative methods or mediation are unlikely to be successful because there is often little to no chance of successfully negotiating with a narcissist.
5. Use Your Lawyer for Communication with the Narcissist
A core component of a narcissistic personality is the need to feel powerful and the desire to control other people’s reactions and emotions. Therefore, using a North Carolina divorce lawyer to gain control of the process in your divorce is extremely helpful. It can remove the thrill that narcissists obtain from backing their victim into a corner. By making yourself virtually inaccessible and communicating primarily through your lawyer, you can decrease the emotional trauma and drama of divorcing this person.
6. Expect Narcissistic Rage
Anytime a narcissist feels a threat to their self-worth, they may engage in narcissistic rage. For example, suppose you shared damaging information about your spouse’s treatment towards your children in court or suggested that you go to marriage counseling. In that case, it might trigger a narcissistic injury that can cause aggression, distress, rage, or even abuse.
As you might expect, deciding to divorce a narcissist can represent a significant blow to their self-worth and self-esteem. You may need to cut off all contact with this person for some time. Hiring professionals can help you navigate the situation more effectively and prepare for some of the most common tactics narcissists employ in divorce.
Divorcing a narcissist is even more problematic when it involves children. In those cases, you’ll want to work with an attorney to ensure that the court upholds your parenting rights despite an antagonistic narcissist doing everything possible to deprive you of those rights.
7. Hire the Right Lawyer
In a divorce against a narcissist, you need a legal team that hears you and appreciates the gravity of the situation you’re in. Some family lawyers who do not understand the narcissistic personality might assume you’re dramatic or embellishing facts. A legal team familiar with the strategies of a narcissist will accept this reality for what it is and will help you proactively prepare for what you’re likely to face in court. Going through a divorce is hard for anyone, but you need allies when divorcing someone with narcissistic tendencies.
At McKnight Law, We’re Fluent in the Emotions of Divorce and Child Custody
We know just how hard it is for you to approach the divorce process, particularly when divorcing a narcissist. It adds another layer of stress and worries about how the entire process will impact your family. It’s why we work so hard to understand your needs and concerns at the outset of your case so that we can support you through the whole thing. You deserve an advocate at your side during this time to empower you to work towards the next chapter for your family. However, speaking to divorce lawyers is essential when you want to learn more about starting the process.
Call (919) 413-7002 to schedule an appointment to sit down and talk with divorce attorney John McKnight. If you decide divorce is the best option for you, John will be involved in all aspects of your case. As a boutique law firm staffed by two experienced attorneys, you can rest assured that you will work with authentic, honest, and transparent professionals when you choose McKnight Law. A trusted name in the community, John has worked on political campaigns and served on the Boards of Directors for the Wake County Bar Association and the Wake County Women’s Center. His active volunteerism and willingness to serve have earned him recognition from people from all walks of life in Wake County, offering an advantage you might not receive from other firms that don’t have the same community presence.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information contained in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.