Many divorces are stressful, even those where spouses are attempting to be amicable. Navigating divorce when your relationship with your spouse is contentious or even abusive is very challenging and emotionally stressful. If you are planning to divorce a narcissist or are in the process of doing so, you need a compassionate and dedicated Wichita divorce attorney by your side.

This is not an easy divorce to handle, and it is very likely that your spouse will fight you the entire way. When your spouse is narcissistic to the point of manipulation, control, and abuse, you need to get your divorce litigated. This helps protect your rights and prevents a narcissistic spouse from dragging out the process of the divorce. There are several things that are essential to understand when divorcing a narcissist.

What Characterizes a Narcissistic Spouse?

Narcissism is a word that can be used to describe a person who is self-centered, but when it’s used in a legal or professional setting, it refers to someone with a specific personality disorder. Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) tends to present as a lack of empathy, feelings of superiority, entitlement, and manipulation of interpersonal relationships.

A spouse with NPD may undermine, isolate, manipulate, or abuse their spouse during a relationship and during a divorce. Dealing with a narcissistic spouse can increase the stress and conflict in a divorce, making it very hard on the other spouse.

Tips for Dealing With a Narcissistic Divorce

If you are facing a divorce from a narcissist, there are several actions that you can take to protect yourself. These include:

Find an Attorney

Divorcing a spouse with NPD is likely to be a long, exhausting, and complicated court case. It is even more crucial in this situation that you work with a compassionate, diligent, and skilled divorce attorney. When you work with an attorney who has experience with narcissistic spouses, they may be able to apply this knowledge to the tactics that your spouse uses. Every marriage is unique, but this experience can help your case be resolved.

When selecting an attorney, you should find one you feel comfortable with, especially considering the emotional and stressful nature of your divorce.

Do Research, and Be Prepared

If you don’t already have an understanding of NPD, now is a good time to find basic knowledge and mentally prepare for how to talk to them and when to disengage. Additionally, you want to take the time to prepare for your future. This includes:

  • Safeguarding your finances
  • Determining how to keep yourself and your children safe
  • Finding a place to stay
  • Changing your passwords
  • Preparing yourself for how your spouse will react to the divorce paper

Document Evidence

An important aspect of preparing is gathering as much evidence as possible. This can frequently be complicated, as a narcissistic spouse likely manipulates those you would rely on as witnesses, and it is harder to have evidence of emotional abuse.

One option for those in narcissistic marriages is to journal and document interactions with your spouse, ideally over a period of time. This can show a timeline of your relationship and what abuse was committed. An attorney can help you present this evidence in the right way.

Don’t Engage With Your Spouse

A narcissistic spouse will often provoke drama and conflict. Rather than engaging with them, set boundaries, maintain businesslike communication, and try to maintain your own composure. This both protects your emotional and mental health and is viewed positively by the court.

Take Care of Yourself

Find ways to prioritize your own well-being during this difficult process. This may include spending time with your loved ones, relaxing and doing things you enjoy, and working with a mental health professional.


Q: Do Judges Recognize a Narcissist?

A: Each family law case is unique, and there is no concrete way to say whether a judge will be able to recognize a narcissist. However, if you have a skilled divorce attorney who understands how to navigate this type of divorce or similar family law cases, it can be beneficial. Your attorney can help you prove that this person is emotionally and psychologically abusive. If you are able to present evidence of their behavior, this can affect the outcome of your case.

Q: How Do You Initiate a Divorce From a Narcissist?

A: There are several things to do if you are planning to divorce someone who is emotionally or psychologically abusive:

  1. Gather evidence and information about their abuse, including communications, journal accounts you made, videos, and other information.
  2. Do not tell your spouse that you are filing for divorce prior to filing, as it is likely they will manipulate you not to. Before you serve divorce papers to them, get support to keep yourself safe.
  3. Find your support system in friends and family.
  4. Secure an effective divorce attorney who knows how to navigate these uniquely complex cases.

Q: What Should You Not Do When Divorcing a Narcissist?

A: Each relationship and divorce is unique, but some things you can do to limit conflict and frustration include:

  1. Don’t lose your temper toward your spouse or incite conflict, as this may reflect badly on you in court. It is also likely to fuel your spouse’s manipulation.
  2. Don’t communicate with your spouse beyond what is necessary. If you do have to talk with your spouse during the divorce, it can be helpful to have an attorney there to ensure that discussions remain on topic and safe for you.
  3. Don’t let your spouse choose how and when you get in contact; set boundaries and stick to them.

Q: How Do You Prove Narcissistic Abuse?

A: To prove narcissistic abuse during a divorce, you need significant evidence. This includes information that you gather yourself and information that you can secure with the help of an attorney. This may be evidence of economic abuse, emotional abuse and manipulation, and other controlling behavior. Evidence may include:

  • Any communication, including emails, texts, and voicemails
  • Bank account statements and other financial information
  • Police reports
  • Eyewitness statements

It is often beneficial to keep a record of all instances of abuse and manipulation, thoroughly documenting these events to show a timeline of your spouse’s actions.

Defending Your Financial and Personal Interests in Wichita

At Stange Law Firm, our attorneys focus on family law and have experience navigating the unique challenges and frustrations of a narcissistic divorce. Contact our team today.