How Do You Divorce A Narcissist And Win? By Choosing A Domestic Violence Lawyer

If you’re planning to divorce a narcissist and you think this article is not about you because your spouse has never physically assaulted you, think again. One of the definitive traits of narcissistic personality disorder is manipulative and controlling behavior. And in California, verbally abusing or belittling your partner, controlling what your partner does, who they see, or what they spend can qualify as domestic violence. It’s called coercive control.

If you’re the married victim of a narcissist’s coercive control, it will come as no surprise that divorcing a narcissistic spouse can be significantly more painful and more complicated than it otherwise might be. A narcissist’s almost overwhelming insecurity and self-absorption drives them to obsess about what you and everyone else thinks of them which, as you probably know, is not to be confused with actively caring about you or anyone else! How did you get here?

As any good domestic violence lawyer knows, abuse within the context of an intimate relationship comes in many different varieties, but there’s often a behavioral pattern. Narcissistic abuse is no exception. A classic narcissist comes on strong and positive at first, often showering you with attention, compliments, gifts. They can be exceptionally solicitous, charming, even agreeable at this stage, but what appears at first to be an interest in your happiness and well-being is actually a ploy to ultimately rob you of both.

They’ll take the lead in the relationship, always one step ahead therefore making decisions for you both. The really clever ones will make you feel as if you’re calling the shots when in fact you’re equilibrium is a bit off due to the over-the-top attention and you defer to their wishes more and more so as not to disrupt the dream.

Once they know they’re in charge, reality arrives in the form of initially small corrections – your hat, your choice of movie – that become bigger, more frequent, and more cruel – your pet, your accent, your intelligence, your family. They systematically cut you off from your support system as they control you with their extreme displeasure, even rage if you don’t do as they say.

And yet, there’s a very good chance their own counsel doesn’t even know they’re a narcissist because only their victims see them as they really are. The rest of the world often perceives them as kind, generous, charming, reasonable people, but make no mistake, they can be cruel, and they will take everything from you if you allow them. And it’s critical that you get the right legal help.

Don’t choose a regular divorce lawyer to help you, choose one of the best domestic violence lawyers in California.

If you suspect you’re a victim of coercive control, it’s especially important that you seek legal help from a skilled domestic violence attorney, someone who can identify a narcissist, is armed with a high EQ, and is skilled and experienced at navigating these potentially explosive situations.

In a divorce or child custody setting, the first approach we generally take with a narcissist is to be both firm and friendly. You structure a deal that will spare their ego by making them feel they’re being generous, that they’re ‘doing the right thing.’

The reason this can work is it appeals to a narcissist’s basic agenda which is simply to be liked, loved, even adored by everyone. They want to be perceived as a hero. It doesn’t have anything to do with what’s good or not good for anyone else. But if signing the agreement might make them look – and feel – like a hero, however briefly, they just might take it.

If firm and friendly doesn’t work, you go full bore because that’s what you will be met with. If you threaten to take a narcissist to court, it will be perceived as a threat to publicly expose and embarrass them, and you will unleash a demon. They will go on the attack and stop at nothing. Narcissists are horribly, crushingly insecure. No one likes to be accused of wrongdoing, but for a narcissist, it’s their biggest fear and worst nightmare rolled into one.

Schedule an hour with an experienced domestic violence lawyer.

At Laughlin Legal, we are expert California domestic violence lawyers, having litigated/handled many cases both representing narcissists and opposing them. If you think our experience could be helpful to you in your divorce or child custody case, we hope you’ll call us for a consultation.

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