A Guide to Divorcing a Narcissist in Arizona

Scottsdale family law attorney provides sound guidance

If you are divorcing a narcissist, the road ahead could be a rocky one. A Scottsdale divorce attorney from Clark & Schloss Family Law, P.C., can help smooth the way. We have assisted many people in successfully removing themselves from high-conflict marriages to narcissists and other difficult spouses. We represent clients in Maricopa County and throughout Arizona.   

Are you divorcing a narcissistic spouse?

Narcissistic personality disorder is a mental health condition that causes a person to engage in attention seeking behaviors. They also have an inflated sense of their own importance, do not react well to criticism and typically lack empathy for others. Even someone who has not been officially diagnosed with the disorder can have certain narcissistic personality characteristics that make divorcing them extremely difficult and contentious. Our attorneys have handled many divorce cases involving narcissistic spouses and will provide support to help you navigate the process as smoothly as possible.

The impact of a narcissistic spouse on divorce

Ending a marriage with a narcissist can be extremely stressful. Narcissists like to win and have extreme reactions to criticism. When they are going through a divorce, they are often not willing to negotiate on issues about child custody, who is keeping the house or other concerns that must be decided. They may retaliate against you for initiating the divorce, or if they do not get their way in divorce-related decisions. Narcissists may use manipulative behaviors to alienate children from the other parent. They may also react with rage. We can help lessen the negative impacts of your high-conflict divorce by fiercely protecting your rights in divorce-related decisions and seeking court intervention in cases of parental alienation or domestic violence.  

Utilizing restraining orders and protective orders

If domestic violence is a concern, we can help you petition the court for a restraining order against your spouse. While many people think of domestic violence as strictly physical violence, Arizona law also defines it as harassing, stalking, intimidation and a host of other actions that aren’t always physical. If an order is granted, it will limit your spouse’s ability to contact you or come near you and potentially your children, depending on the terms.

Documentation and evidence gathering when divorcing a narcissist

Keep copies of all communications between you and your ex so you have proof of what was said. Narcissists will often lie when it is to their benefit. Your evidence file should include emails, text messages, copies of social media posts and voice messages. If you speak with them directly, make note of what was said during the conversation. You should also gather copies of all of your financial records, both assets and debts. It is wise to do this before filing for divorce, if possible, in case they try to hide or destroy records.

Strategies for managing a narcissistic spouse

It can make it easier to navigate the rocky path of divorcing a narcissist by doing the following:

  • Establishing clear boundaries for communicating with your spouse and doing so only when necessary.  
  • Not reacting to every communication from them and thinking through your response and responding in writing whenever possible
  • Developing a support network of friends, family and mental health professionals

Our family lawyers can also be a strong part of your network, supporting your rights and interests throughout the divorce process.

Contact a compassionate Scottsdale divorce attorney for assistance

The attorneys at Clark & Schloss Family Law, P.C., in Scottsdale, Arizona provide experienced guidance for individuals who are underdoing high-conflict divorces with narcissists. To arrange a consultation, call 602-789-3497 or contact us online.