How to Protect Yourself Financially When Divorcing a Narcissist
Divorce can be one of the most emotionally challenging times in a person's life. But divorcing a narcissist or even someone with some strong narcissistic tendencies can be even more complicated, stressful, and difficult. Narcissists are manipulative, self-centered, and lack empathy, making it challenging to protect your assets during the divorce process. However, there are steps you can take to safeguard your financial security and ensure a fair division of assets.
Steps to Protect Yourself Financially When Divorcing a Narcissist
1. Gather and Organize Financial Documents
The first step in protecting your assets during a divorce from a narcissist is to gather and organize all financial documents. These documents include bank statements, investment accounts, credit card statements, tax returns, and any other financial records showing your and your spouse's assets.
Make sure to keep a copy of all financial records and store them in a safe place. If your spouse is controlling or manipulative, they may try to hide assets, so it's essential to have a complete record of your financial situation.
2. Hire an Experienced Divorce Attorney
We highly discourage clients divorcing narcissists from attempting to negotiate with their spouse directly. Hiring an experienced divorce attorney who understands how to deal with a narcissistic spouse is crucial to protecting your assets during a divorce. They can help you navigate the legal process and protect your rights.
3. Work with a CDFA
Working with a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) can also be beneficial when divorcing a narcissist. A CDFA can help you understand the financial implications of your divorce settlement and provide a clear picture of your financial future. They can also help you identify any hidden assets, evaluate tax implications, and provide guidance on dividing retirement accounts and pensions. By working with a CDFA, you can make informed decisions about your financial future and ensure your assets are protected during and after the divorce process.
4. Be Prepared for Battle
Divorcing a narcissist can be a battle, so being prepared is essential. This means being mentally and emotionally ready to face their manipulative tactics and staying focused on your goals.
Narcissists are often skilled at gaslighting, a form of emotional abuse that makes you doubt your memory, perception, or sanity. They may also try to intimidate, threaten, or make false accusations.
By being prepared for these tactics and working with a skilled attorney, you can stay focused on your goals and ensure that your assets are protected.
5. Don't Give in to Emotional Blackmail
Narcissists often use emotional blackmail to get what they want. This can include threatening to harm themselves or others, making false accusations, or playing the victim.
It's essential to stay strong and not give in to these manipulative tactics. Remember that your assets and financial security are at stake, and you need to protect them.
6. Protect Your Credit Score
Divorcing a narcissist can significantly impact your credit score, so taking steps to protect it is essential. This means monitoring your credit report regularly, ensuring all joint accounts are closed or transferred to individual accounts, and paying all bills on time.
If you're concerned about your credit score, consider working with a credit counselor or financial advisor who can help you develop a plan to protect your credit and financial security.
7. Keep Your Assets Separate
One of the most effective ways to protect your assets during a divorce from a narcissist is to keep them separate. This means opening individual accounts, closing joint accounts, and keeping track of any gifts or inheritances you receive.
If you have joint accounts or assets, keeping track of all transactions and being aware of any changes or withdrawals is essential.
8. Be Prepared to Go to Court
When divorcing a narcissist, it's crucial to document everything. This means keeping a record of all conversations, emails, text messages, and other communications with your spouse.
If your spouse makes any threats or false accusations, document them. This can help protect you in any legal disputes and ensure your assets are protected.
If you're divorcing a narcissist, you must be prepared to go to court.
Despite the arduous journey of divorcing a narcissist, remember that each step you take brings you closer to a new chapter in your life. There is light at the end of the tunnel, even if it feels distant at times. Surround yourself with supportive friends and professionals who can offer guidance, understanding, and strength. Though the process may test your patience and resilience, in the end, you will emerge stronger and wiser. Trust in the journey, keep faith in yourself, and know that better days lie ahead. Your well-being and peace of mind are worth every challenge faced, and a brighter future awaits you.
Here's how we can help you...
We get that divorce can feel complicated and leave you with many questions about how to handle your finances. After all, this is the reason Leah Hadley founded Great Lakes Divorce Financial Solutions in the first place.
After her divorce, she was stressed and overwhelmed about navigating life independently with three kids and a new financial situation.
Helping families overcome this challenge is why we do what we do.
Whether you've never had to manage money before or are a master at investing, we are here to support you as your financial expert before, during, and after your divorce. You can learn more about our services HERE.
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