Divorcing a Narcissist in Arizona | Voted “Best of the Valley”
Posted on : March 11, 2016, By: Christopher Hildebrand
Divorcing a Narcissist in Arizona
Divorcing a Narcissist in Arizona.
Charming, self-confident, conceited, grandiose: these are a few of the common terms used to describe a narcissist. All of these are traits admired and even encouraged in our externally driven society. However, if you are married to a narcissist, you know the rest of the story: that narcissists are quick to criticize and judge, but launch brutal verbal attacks or erupt in rage at the smallest slight; that a narcissists’ charm will captivate you when they want something from you, then detach and abandon you once they’ve got it; that narcissists have no empathy for their spouse or children; that narcissists view the world in terms of “me” and “mine.” These deeper truths about the narcissist personality disorder are hard won, as anyone who has been married to a narcissist will attest.
A marriage turns into a war zone because a narcissist, lacking empathy, does not know what it means to be accountable for his or her behavior. They set up married life with himself and his needs at the center and does not hesitate to exploit you and others for his own gain. Things turn from bad to worse in your marriage and, when enough is enough, your thoughts turn to divorce. Ending the marriage often takes a surprisingly long time to present itself as a viable option, since a narcissist is good at persuading you that the unhappiness of the marriage is your fault.
You may not consider divorce until children are born when you see clearly how these young and innocent kids are being given the blame for unacceptable behavior by your spouse. Sometimes you may need to work with a therapist to figure out that nothing you can do will make your marriage a healthy, intimate relationship. Once you’ve made the difficult decision to end the marriage, you may think the worst is over. You’ll do well to protect yourself and hire a good lawyer who has represented people who were married to a narcissist and who knows exactly how to deal with such a personality.
Jennifer, thank you for being my attorney. I could not have been more pleased with the outcome of my family court hearing. Everything you have done for me throughout this case reflects in the final ruling of the judge. You helped me keep my head together and taught me a lot about myself as a person. I learned so much about my life from observing and listening to you. I will take all the advice you gave me to continue taking responsibility for my choices, continue to put the kids' needs first, and always stay truthful. Your diligence, dedication, and persistence in my case made what seemed impossible, possible. You are a wonderful person and an amazing attorney and I am stronger and more confident because of you.
I just want to again thank the Firm for working with me all that it has. I could not have done anything without everyone's assistance. You, Chris and Stacey have been and continue to provide me with compassion and hard work towards my case. Also a very special thanks to Kip for taking my case in the beginning. Also continued support from him and his dedication to providing me with his expertise in this matter.
After interviewing several law firms, I came across Jennifer Shick, and her firm, who I hired to represent me for my Family Court case. Jennifer has extensive knowledge of the law and is determined to bring the truth to every issue involved within the case. Throughout my case, Jennifer was prepared meticulously as well as went above and beyond all of my expectations. Even when the other party tried to differ from the truth, lie to the Judge, and turn situations around, Jennifer remained attentive and provided substantial evidence to show the judge the facts as well as the proof to support what was the best interests of my children. Additionally, Jennifer helped me endure many difficult experiences, situations and inspired me to remain positive throughout the entirety of my case. Her kindness, compassion, and professionalism helped me through very difficult times and made the process feel a thousand times lighter on my shoulders. She truly has my children and my best interest at heart and I trust her perspective as well as her honesty on each and every aspect of my case. She lessened the burden on my shoulders and even when I felt like the case was not going to go in my favor, Jennifer was open-minded and reassured me that the Judge would, in fact, see the truth, which he did and the case went in my favor. After nine months of court, everything finally came together. I cannot declare how much Jennifer has been an outstanding attorney. She addressed each and every issue with diligence, she cares about her clients and their families. Jennifer genuinely cares about her clients and her dedication to the details of the case was remarkable. Overall, I am extremely pleased with Jennifer’s services and I am truly thankful that I was so blessed to have her represent my children and me. I highly recommend Jennifer as one of the best attorneys in Arizona and if the situation ever arises, I will definitely have her represent my children and me again.
Dear Stacey and Kip, How can I ever thank you enough for helping me through the most difficult time in my life? I couldn't put into words my heartfelt gratefulness. You both were so compassionate and professional at every given moment throughout this process with me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You helped me to regain my freedom.
I was a client of Attorney Kevin Park for the dissolution of a divorce in 2016. And since I had never had the need to hire an attorney before for any purpose, I was somewhat apprehensive of the process. But the very calm and professional demeanor of Mr. Park eased my fears. He adeptly answered all my questions and I clearly knew the process and what to expect. And the skilled manner he communicated with opposing counsel was perfect. When it came down to negotiating with my spouse’s counsel, I knew I had selected the best attorney for my situation. What I noticed and appreciated was that he was using just the right amount of pressure with opposing counsel as was necessary. If you find yourself in this situation, you will want a seasoned professional like Mr. Park on your side. I'm very grateful that he was my attorney and not the opposition!
Chris is a smart and aggressive attorney for his clients. Chris always tries to reach a fair settlement of his cases. I’ve represented clients when Chris was the opposing counsel and while he is professional and amicable to work with, he does not back off on what he needs to do for his client
Kevin Park of Arizona Estate Planning Attorneys was just what I needed for my divorce. He was very approachable and personable. He was quick to recognize what I needed and provided it quickly and efficiently. I hope to never need a divorce lawyer again, but if I know anyone else who does, I will definitely recommend Kevin.
I feel that Tracey Van Wickler is certainly one of the best family lawyers around. She is logical, intelligent, and truly cares. Tracey always does what is in the clients best interest, does it well, timely and with integrity. She is good at keeping her clients informed as to what is going on and clear in her communication both written and verbally. I have recommended Tracey to other people and will continue to recommend her. I recommended Tracey to someone who was having issues with their ex-wife and his response was, “I know how good she is because I went up against her and she ate me for lunch”. This same person was so impressed with her, he even recommended her to someone else, WOW, that is impressive! I am exceptionally happy with her attention to detail, her ability to explain things in ways that are easy to understand, as well as her ability to keep everyone focused on the most important things. I would recommend Tracey to anyone who may be in need of her services.
I retained Hildebrand Law after interview a number of firms in the valley. Working with Michael C. was incredibly easy and informative. My case progressed in such a organized and thought out way to ensure that my needs were met. Michael was incredibly proactive and was able to see far ahead into my case to steer clear of some roadblocks. I would not hesitate to recommend Michael Clancy, and Hildebrand Law in general, to anyone.
I have worked with Hildebrand law for about 8 years. They are always ready to serve, provide guidance and give you a few options. When they provide you options they also take the time to walk you through the pros and cons of each and give you a recommendation of what is best, but will listen to you and support whatever course you choose after making and educated choice. I’d recommend them to my closest friends and feel Chris Hildebrand is now a friend to me.
Despite the unfortunate situation I found myself in, Chris Hildebrand @ Hildebrand Law helped me maneuver every step with professionalism, expertise, and even a sensitivity that was an added bonus.Chris and his staff helped me even when I didn't know I needed the help. In other words. . . they made sure we did not leave anything undone. And in the rare instance we needed the expertise of another professional, Chris knew exactly who to recommend.Chris also knew, because of his experience, what to anticipate down the road of litigation. That meant we were better prepared to meet the challenges head on, which lead to a more equitable and fair outcome. I appreciated that Chris did his best to meet my every need in a timely fashion, even if I had a simple question that required only a phone call or e-mail or if we needed to talk face-to-face.I highly recommend Chris Hildebrand @ Hildebrand Law, PC.
No divorce is pleasant, but when you divorce a narcissist, it’s like a whole new front to your marriage wars. Your narcissist spouse has no conception of how he or she failed as a spouse and a mother or father. They are not conscious of their bad behavior and will have no idea why you could choose to leave and they will not get over being left, not soon, not ever. They will wage an all-out battle to prove you are to blame, and, unfortunately, the court system is an ideal platform for a narcissist. Expect an all-out, take-no-prisoners war. It is pure fantasy to think that your narcissist spouse will talk through property issues, come to a reasonable agreement, work out an equitable parenting plan, and move on with their life.
By taking the step of filing for divorce, you have – in their view – launched an attack on “their” home, “their” kids” and “their” money, and they are not going to forgive and forget. They will take every opportunity to exact revenge and have you publicly labeled the guilty party. Your spouse’s preferred path for getting back lost power and meting out revenge is to create massive chaos in the divorce process. Their rage will know no bounds, so you risk being drawn into ugly skirmishes. The nastiness of the fight may cause the court and involved professionals (like social workers) to view you two as a “high conflict” couple who are both in need of psychological treatment.
Since it isn’t easy to establish emotional abuse in a disputed matter, the charge is not always taken seriously by the court. If this sounds discouraging – it is. Nothing is easy about divorcing a narcissist. But an experienced legal team can help you avoid all or part of the punishing battle by staying on top of the issues and steering a careful course through the entire divorce proceeding, stating from day one. Your spouse will turn on that charm for mediators, judges, and juries. Think back to when you first met your spouse – how charming he was, how attentive, completely engrossed in you. A narcissist spouse has the power to turn on that charm for the divorce court judge, a mediator and a jury if you have one.
Hildebrand Law, PC | Voted Best of Our Valley in Arizona Foothills Magazine.
The Divorce Court May Not Be Aware of Narcissism and Its Effect on Divorce
Effect of Narcissism on Divorce.
Since narcissism is not well understood by court personnel, your spouse will have every chance of presenting himself as the star he wants to be. Dr. Mark Banschick discusses Malignant Divorces in his article by that name on the About.com website. He notes that in order to deal with a narcissist in a divorce, you have to understand the lengths he can and will go to win over court personnel and divorce witnesses. “The narcissist can undermine you with your friends, with your kids, and steal your money,” Banschick ways, “all the while looking sincere and generating good will among the community.”
In fact, any attempt to mediate or use other non-adversarial methods of resolution with the narcissist can just play to his strength. He has a big personality and knows how to win over his audience when he wants to. During legal procedures like depositions and while testifying in court, your spouse is likely to win the hearts and minds of all present, coming across as charismatic, rather than calculating and manipulative. This can leave you feeling emotionally vulnerable, alone and unsupported. Since people who work in family law courts are not usually trained to identify narcissistic behavior, they may not see the performance for what it is, but rather tend to see things his way. Be sure you hire a lawyer sufficiently experienced to avoid these same mistakes.
You need a strong-minded, experienced divorce attorney. Your best bet for navigating the rough waters of your divorce from a narcissist spouse is to hire a lawyer who’s been down the road before. While there is a first time for everything, you do not want your case to be an attorney’s learning-experience with narcissism. Choose an attorney who is familiar with narcissism and has many tried-and-true tactics for handling his manipulation. If you select the right person to represent you during this profoundly challenging divorce, you may be able to avoid the financial and emotional damage your spouse intends to inflict on you, not to mention the trauma to your children. Your spouse probably had no emotional bond with the kids during your marriage, since narcissists cannot have intimate relationships. But he or she is sure to claim them in a divorce, knowing that they are the best weapon against you.