How to Divorce a Narcissist

Divorce can be a taxing process for anyone, no matter what the circumstances. Divorcing a narcissist can be even more complex and emotionally draining and usually leads to a high conflict divorce. A high-conflict divorce can be more expensive, time consuming, and have detrimental effects on one’s mental health and that of the children. There is anger, lack of courteous communication, refusal to cooperate, and lack of trust in this sort of divorce.

High-conflict divorce has long been defined as that which features verbal and physical aggression, overt hostility, and distrust. In addition, this type of divorce does not make it easy on the children who can oftentimes be used as pawns in a divorce. A high conflict divorce will impact the entire family’s mental health – it can lead to greater levels of depression and anxiety in both the parent and children. About 10 to 20% of children in divorcing families are exposed to this type of trauma. A high-conflict divorce is considered an adverse childhood experience, and in some cases, it can even be seen as a form of neglect. The effects of this experience can have lifelong consequences.

Narcissists are excellent at manipulation and will use their skills to take out their anger on their ex-partners by means of the legal system. They are uninterested with the well-being of their children or partners, and instead prioritize inflicting pain and turmoil. Their own needs matter more than that of their kids’ lives.

Some narcissists might be of the covert variety. They will be less likely to be involved in dramatic antics, and instead they go the route of spreading lies to friends and family, and/or play the victim and hire an aggressive legal team that they will use to their advantage. The effects of covert narcissism can be just as damaging.

Never taking accountability for one’s actions is a hallmark behavior of narcissists. When they are accused of having done anything negative – such as cheating on a partner, spending the couple’s money, or breaking the law – the narcissist will always portray it in the light of being triggered by something the other partner did. They will not see it as their fault. They may manipulate the court by creating a depressing narrative about being a struggling single parent on the poverty line, meanwhile harassing their ex and abusing court time.

So how do you divorce a narcissist? The answer is one step at a time. And the first step is to hire an experienced divorce attorney that can help you remain strong and serve as an advocate for you during this difficult, but financially crucial time, and push through for you and make your divorce a reality, so you can move forward with your life.

At Amaral & Associates P.C., we have many strategies in place to manage a high conflict divorce and keep your Narcissist, soon to be ex-spouse, in check. We are best equipped to guide you through the challenging waters to get you divorced, and where you need to be, in a cost-effective manner. Please visit us at or by phone, at (617)539-1010 ext. 111.

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