Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer

Divorce Tactics Often Employed By Narcissists


There are plenty of spouses who file for divorce in Florida claiming their partners are narcissists who only care about themselves. While the word narcissist is often used as a way of  categorizing a certain type of behavior rather than as an indicator of an actual mental illness, there is no doubt people who exhibit these traits can make divorce proceedings lengthier and more contentious. If you are dealing with a spouse who likes to be the center of attention and who enjoys dominating others, knowing the types of tactics they often use can help you avoid taking the bait.

Character Traits of Narcissists

According to the Mayo Clinic, narcissism is a personality disorder in which a person behaves in a conceited, proud, or boastful manner, to the point that it disrupts their relationships with others and causes them to behave in frustrating and socially inappropriate ways. Those who suffer from the disorder generally exhibit some or all of the following types of character traits:

  • Clammers to be the center of attention;
  • Feels a sense of entitlement over others;
  • Monopolizes conversations;
  • Often uses put downs and name calling to intimidate people;
  • Becomes easily angered when not given preferential treatment;
  • Oftens refers to themselves as being ‘the best’ at everything.

People who exhibit traits of narcissistic personality disorder tend to have deep rooted feelings of inferiority, which they try to hide with displays of ego and boasting. They become extremely agitated when challenged or when their desires are denied, and may fly into a rage. They will not hesitate to use people, money, or circumstance to their own benefit, and are often excellent manipulators. Only a licensed professional is capable of making a firm diagnosis of narcissism, but if your spouse exhibits these symptoms and you are filing for divorce, it is important to brace yourself for what may lie ahead.

Divorcing A Narcissist

Living with a narcissist is no picnic, and you may be eager to file for divorce and put the relationship behind you. Unfortunately, even if a narcissistic spouse is unhappy with the relationship, there are still likely to be things they may do to challenge and complicate your divorce proceedings. According to Psychology Today, tactics they may use include:

  • Obstruction, such as refusing to sign documents or appear at hearings;
  • Refusing to participate in mediation;
  • Rebuffing all attempts at negotiating a marital settlement;
  • Attempting to paint you in the most unflattering light;
  • Running up your court costs over needless litigation;
  • Refusing to abide by the terms of a settlement or order.

In these situations, it is important to keep records of all costs and expenses you have occurred, as well as notes on all of your interactions. Keep your cool, refuse to take the bait, and make sure you have an attorney who is aware of the situation. At the Law Offices of Vanessa L. Prieto, we have extensive experience in these types of cases, and can help protect your rights while resolving your divorce case in the most efficient and effective way possible. Call or contact our Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney online today, and request a free consultation to see how we can assist you.