You may have learned the hard way that narcissists thrive on control. When you got married, you may have thought your spouse was kind, caring, loving and had a number of other positive attributes. However, soon after you tied the knot, your spouse’s personality seemed to completely change. Rather than feeling as if you could make your own decisions, you likely began feeling controlled by your spouse.
Any disagreement you had may have gotten blown out of proportion, and your spouse may have done everything possible to belittle you. Though you may have felt trapped in this ordeal, you came to the difficult decision to end the marriage. Now, you have to contend with the task of divorcing a narcissist.
Prepare for conflict
Your narcissistic spouse may do everything he or she can to make the divorce as difficult as possible for you. As a result, you may have your work cut out for you when it comes to preparing. First, you may need to become more knowledgeable about your financial affairs. If your spouse thrives on control, it is likely that he or she took over handling the household finances and may have even controlled the money you could access and how much you could spend.
Unfortunately, this situation could also mean that your spouse made purchases or has accounts that you know nothing about. It may benefit you to take steps to obtain financial documents and to search for hidden assets. Without this information, you could end up at a disadvantage when it comes to property division, spousal support and even child support, if applicable. Some information to document includes the following:
- Recent pay stubs
- Investment accounts
- Insurance policies
- Mortgage loan information
- Other lines of credit
- Bank accounts
- Retirement accounts
Because a narcissist may also try to hide other information, you may want to make sure you have your birth certificate, marriage certificate and other important personal documents.
You may have a long road ahead as you work to regain control over your life, and your spouse will likely try to manipulate you and the situation as much as possible along the way. Fortunately, you do not have to face this trying ordeal alone. An experienced California attorney can help you understand your rights and options and assist you in finding the best path for working toward a favorable marriage dissolution.