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Divorcing a Narcissist? How to Protect Yourself and Your Family

When you finally realize your most reliable partner is a narcissist inflicting emotional abuse on you and your children, how do you escape safely? Divorcing a narcissist isn’t always easy, but you don’t have to go through it alone.

Colorado divorce attorney April D. Jones and the senior attorneys at Jones Law Firm, P.C., describe the path from identifying your spouse as a narcissist to finding the right divorce attorney to represent you in your divorce proceedings. Keep reading to learn more about safely divorcing a narcissist. 

How Do You Know if You’re Married to a Narcissist?

You don’t need a formal diagnosis to determine if your spouse has a narcissistic personality disorder (NPD). Instead, know that American Psychiatric Association defines a narcissist as someone who has at least five of these traits:

  • Holds an exaggerated sense of self-importance (entitlement, self-centeredness, exaggerated achievements)
  • Holds an exaggerated sense of self-importance (entitlement, self-centeredness, exaggerated achievements)
  • Preoccupied with fantasies of power, success, intelligence, or beauty
  • Believes their talents are only recognizable to people of similar talent
  • Seeks constant external validation
  • Has expectations of favorable treatment
  • Takes advantage of others to meet their needs
  • Lacks empathy to recognize or understand others’ feelings
  • Acts envious of others and paranoid of others’ perceived envy toward them
  • Displays arrogance or grandiosity

How Are Divorce Proceedings Different when Divorcing a Narcissist?

Many couples can divorce amicably or are willing to work through their issues to agree on the terms of their divorce. However, your narcissistic spouse will probably use every trick they used during your marriage during the divorce proceedings, including:

  • Gaslighting
  • Calling into question your mental health
  • Trying to make friends and family believe that the divorce is your fault
  • Lying to your children about you and the divorce
  • Hiding income and assets during discovery
  • Attempting to exert control with threats, degradation, and emotional abuse

The court may order the divorcing parties to attend mediation and use civil communicator software, which filters abusive language in messages while storing a copy of the original message. You may also need to file a civil protection order (restraining order) to protect yourself and your children from undue contact with your narcissistic spouse.

When divorcing a narcissist, find a divorce attorney with a reputable family law firm to help you build a strong case for your divorce, child custody, child support, and spousal support (alimony).

Can a Divorce Lawyer Help You Protect Your Family when Divorcing a Narcissist?

Your experienced divorce attorney has seen hundreds of marriage dissolutions. They know firsthand the measures necessary to protect you and your children when divorcing a potentially manipulative, deceitful, abusive, controlling, and arrogant spouse.

Your divorce lawyer can help you take the essential steps to serve the petition for divorce, separate your finances from your spouse’s, and move on with your life after the divorce.

Contact an Experienced Colorado Divorce Attorney

For help divorcing a narcissist in Colorado, contact us at Jones Law Firm, P.C. We’ll work with you to develop an action plan. Call us at 720-927-9840 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.
This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.


Our team includes attorneys licensed to practice in multiple states including April D. Jones in California, Patrick G. Barkman in Texas, the Cherokee Nation, the Northern District of Texas, and the District of Colorado (United States Court of Appeals 10th and 5th Circuit), and Stuart Wallace in Illinois.