High-conflict divorces take up a large part of the family law docket in Colorado courts. If you are divorcing a narcissist, you can expect the conflict that started during your marriage to continue and prolong the process. Narcissists use various toxic behaviors to initiate and extend disputes, but how do you deal with them during the proceedings?
Never-ending battles take different forms
Not every high-conflict divorce involves a narcissist, but narcissists and high-conflict partners share many of the same characteristics. Many narcissists exhibit high-conflict characteristics like verbal and physical aggression, excessive hostility, and distrust. Covert narcissists display a different tactic by hiding behind overly aggressive legal teams, pretending to be the innocent victim, and similar behaviors. Their goals are to drag out the proceedings as long as possible.
When children are involved, the process becomes even more complicated, as kids often become pawns and collateral during negotiations. Children suffer most in divorce, but a narcissist will use their offspring to get back at their soon-to-be-ex-spouse no matter the cost, hurting them even more. Children of high-conflict divorces frequently suffer from emotional distress, disturbances, and tentative, broken relationships with their parents.
No matter the issue, narcissists will seldom accept any blame. They will continue to paint sad stories about themselves while engaging in harassment and character assassination.
Surviving a narcissistic divorce
Many family court systems are not equipped to deal with the intricacies of high-conflict divorce. Thus, you have to become your own aggressive advocate when undergoing divorce negotiations to get the best possible agreement for yourself and your children. When divorcing a narcissist, realize that your proceeding will probably take longer than expected.
Possible ways to help your situation are to work with professionals experienced in high-conflict divorce and know the most effective tactics. Professionals like mediators and financial analysts can give you a realistic picture of how to negotiate for assets and what post-divorce life will look like for you and your narcissistic ex-spouse. Having someone else handle tough negotiations can take some of the emotional conflicts out of the situation.