Man and woman signing papers

The Challenges of Divorcing a Narcissist

What Should you Expect when Divorcing a Narcissist?

No divorce is without its measure of pain. Even in the most amicable collaborative divorces where the parties easily come to an agreement on all terms, there is likely at least a pang of pain or sadness over the failure of what was once a happy marriage.

More often, divorce is adversarial to some degree. Phoenix divorce attorneys attempt to keep things civil and prevent tempers from flaring out of control as much as possible while negotiating the many issues that need resolution before a divorce can be finalized. Even when things do get emotional and tempers flare, an openness to compromise and a desire to move forward to a cost-efficient finalization of the divorce generally brings the couple back to the bargaining table so issues can be resolved expeditiously and civilly for the most part.

Such issues may include child custody and visitation (formally known as legal decision-making and parenting time in Arizona), child support, spousal support, and division of property. When the parties cannot come to an agreement, a judge will ultimately decide the contested issues for them.

That’s how divorce generally works. But that’s not what happens when one of the spouses is a narcissist.

Divorcing a narcissist makes the entire process uniquely challenging and difficult—as well as more lengthy and costly.

What is a Narcissist?

According to the Mayo Clinic, Narcissistic Personality Disorder (“NPD”) is “a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.”

If you are wondering whether you are married to a narcissist, reviewing the extensive list of common symptoms and behaviors may shed some light.

Divorcing an easily angered, lying, manipulative, uncompromising, extremely controlling person determined to “win at all costs” who thrives on high drama and doesn’t see the harm in using their children as pawns will require a specialized approach by an attorney experienced in navigating narcissism in divorce proceedings.

If you are considering getting divorced in Arizona, or have been served with divorce papers, Cohen Family Law can help you. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

From our office in Phoenix, we represent clients throughout Arizona and routinely handle all aspects of family law. We are well-versed in conflict resolution whether through mediation, arbitration, or where necessary, litigation and offer our clients compassionate support while navigating life’s challenges and transitions.