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Negotiating a Divorce Settlement with a Narcissist
Happily Ever After Divorce®
Atlanta Divorce Law Group
Narcissistic behavior by one partner often leads to marital struggles and eventual divorce for couples in Georgia. Unfortunately, this type of conflict may continue throughout the marriage dissolution process, despite your best wishes to remain civil and settle certain issues outside of court. A narcissist will often attempt to make their divorce as difficult as possible as a way of maintaining control.
Based on prior actions and behavior patterns, you may feel discouraged or intimidated regarding how to negotiate a divorce settlement with a narcissist. However, there are certain things you can do to navigate the Georgia marriage dissolution process more successfully. Reach out to our team to learn more.
Manage Your Expectations of a Narcissistic Partner
Because a narcissist lacks empathy and does not care about how others feel, it can be challenging to get them to understand your side of things or meet in the middle and compromise. For most people, litigating in a Georgia family court is a stressful and undesirable process, but the narcissist may see it as an opportunity to showcase their superiority and “win over” a judge.
However, while a narcissist may display a façade of entitlement and bravado, this behavior stems from an underlying sense of worthlessness. This is what causes them to be excessively critical of their partner as they attempt to bolster their own shaky self-esteem. Unfortunately, you should not expect them to change or be willing to work amicably with you. Accepting this will help you maintain realistic expectations of your narcissistic ex-spouse as you begin settlement negotiations in Georgia.
Keep Your Emotions in Check in Divorce Negotiations
The narcissist may want to keep the divorce conflict going by deliberately trying to anger you. It is essential to set clear boundaries and not waste emotional energy reacting to their drama. The emotions surrounding your divorce will fade over time, but the decisions you make in the negotiation process may have practical ramifications for years.
Preparing for Trial with a Narcissist
When it comes to divorcing a narcissist, we want you to come to an amicable resolution that gets you what you want, gets you out of your divorce, and gets you back on your feet. But you can not approach a divorce with a narcissist like you would with “a normal person,” for lack of a better word. You have to prepare for war, because that’s what they’re going to be preparing for.
It is crucial to be strategic in your decision-making. You have to put what seems reasonable and normal aside in the beginning and be strategic about how you proceed. That might mean filing a flurry of pleadings in the beginning, asking for legal fees to be covered, for temporary support, to get your ex kicked out of the house, etc. Being super aggressive in the beginning lets us know what exactly your spouse fears losing most.
Going hard in the beginning and creating a fear of losing that supply may make the narcissist more inclined to settle without going to trial. While preparing for trial may seem counterintuitive in a lot of ways, it’s critical for gaining the upper hand on a narcissistic spouse who may otherwise be hellbent on fighting you.
When you have a consultation with a family law attorney, you need to be very clear that you are divorcing a narcissist, what their supply is (i.e., what they value so dearly), and what your priorities are. That way, your attorney can come up with a plan that suits your exact needs.
Document Everything in Your Divorce
In accommodating their need for control, you may have relinquished most or all of the financial management in your marriage to your narcissistic spouse. This is a common scenario, as narcissists often shut their partners out of any discussions about money.
To ensure that you are fully prepared for divorce negotiations and know what should be addressed in the Georgia family court, make copies or take photographs of all assets and important documents. This may include the following:
Mortgage and other loan statements;
Valuable collections, including coins, art, and jewelry;
Account statements, including stock and retirement accounts.
Documenting all of your assets and liabilities can reduce your spouse’s ability to create an alternate reality when it comes to your finances.
Start a Divorce Fund to Counter Narcissistic Demands
Because the narcissist will often do anything to win, money may be no object to them. They may push you to give into their divorce demands by outspending you in court. One way to keep things on a level playing field and promote reasonable negotiations is to make it clear that you have the resources to match their every legal move. It is a good idea to set funds aside early in the Georgia divorce process in an account that your narcissistic spouse cannot access. This can strengthen your negotiating position when seeking a fair settlement.
Seek Support From an Attorney During Divorce Settlement Negotiations with a Narcissist
Working with a Georgia attorney who is familiar with narcissistic personality disorders can be crucial in negotiating your divorce settlement. An experienced lawyer can combat various narcissistic behaviors, such as grandstanding in court, stalling court proceedings, and refusing to consider reasonable settlement offers.
Additionally, legal counsel can handle communications with your ex-spouse in the negotiation process to protect against their attempts to assert control. Since the narcissist may derive pleasure from luring you into upsetting conversations, it is best to keep one-on-one contact with them to a minimum.
Unfortunately, your narcissistic partner may be so focused on causing you emotional and financial harm during the divorce that they reject any attempts at compromise. However, making efforts at calm communication through a skilled attorney can be key in successfully negotiating your divorce settlement with a narcissist. Legal support can help you persistently maintain clear boundaries and protect yourself in this trying process. Contact our firm today to learn more.
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