Proving a case against a narcissistic spouse can be complex, as narcissists may not be adverse to lying under oath, even if the truth can be easily shown. They may actually believe their lies and simply talk in circles. This is part of their need for gamesmanship and control. Therefore, it is very important that you gather as much evidence as you can to support your position or that demonstrates your narcissistic ex’s false statements.
Documentation is key to proving your case against a narcissistic ex. Once you have gathered all the documents you can, be sure to carefully organize the information. It is important that you be able to timely locate the information you need.
Hire an attorney experienced in dealing with narcissists. Not all attorneys will know how to best handle a narcissist. Do not be tempted to fight fire with fire – just because your narcissist ex wants to fight about every little issue during the divorce, an experienced attorney will know when fighting is in your best interests.
Because narcissists engage in gamesmanship, manipulation and lies, whenever you deal with your narcissistic ex always put everything in writing. By having your interactions with your narcissistic ex in writing, you will be able to better show the court your ex’s lies and manipulation. When at all possible, allow your attorney to communicate with you narcissistic ex.
Do the opposite of what your narcissistic ex will do. Steer clear of mudslinging, lying, and gamesmanship. Narcissists are experts at all three. You cannot out maneuver a narcissist. Instead, do not give your narcissistic ex ammunition to use again you.
Expect that your narcissist ex’s charms will work on the court, at least in the beginning. They worked on you in the beginning. Your narcissistic ex knows that by charming the court or mediator, you are put at a tremendous disadvantage. Expecting this behavior will help you be prepared for your ex’s lies and drama.
Stay focused on the facts and goals, not the emotional rollercoaster that the divorce is going to cause. Do not react to your narcissistic ex’s antics. Stay focused and calm. The best way for a court or mediator to realize your ex is narcissistic and see through his/her games is to let your ex uncover his/herself. The court/mediator need to see your narcissist ex behaving badly. Narcissists have hair trigger rage. You can trigger narcissistic rage by putting the narcissist in a position of looking bad. Narcissists do not take criticism well.
Gather witnesses who have seen your narcissistic ex behaving badly. This could include family, friends, co-works, teachers. The more you can simplify issues and deal with them one at a time, the harder it is for your ex to convolute and confuse issues. The easier it is for you to prove your case.
Consider asking for a “bi-furcation” or splitting your issues into separate hearings. Also consider getting an arbitrator instead of going through the regular family court process. It will give you access to the arbitrator when you need to get an order and do not have time to wait for months for a family court hearing.
This is the fourth blog in our series on divorcing narcissist. For the other sections, see below.