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If you are divorcing a narcissist, understanding potential challenges can help you get through the process.

What is a narcissistic personality disorder?

According to the Mayo Clinic, a person with a narcissistic personality disorder has an inflated sense of importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. The individual is very vulnerable to the slightest criticism, causes problems in many areas of life (relationships, work, school or financial affairs) and may be generally unhappy and disappointed when not given special favors or admiration.

When divorcing a narcissist…

According to a Psychology Today article that incorporates input from a therapist and the author’s attorney, here are some factors to consider.

Divorce and Narcissist Statistics

Narcissist Character Traits

Here are some narcissistic traits have that are problematic for divorce:

Being right – Truth does not matter but “being right” does, and if playing the victim serves the goal, then a narcissist will do that.

Maintaining power and an edge – A narcissist is not interested in changing or becoming a better person and would game the system if at all possible, even if that means filing endless motions or false accusations. Dragging you through a court battle can make the narcissist feel empowered, and how long the divorce takes is of no concern. If you give up and go away, the narcissist enjoys the victory.

No empathy – Hurting the other spouse does not matter to a narcissist. This can take its toll on your children and you.

Court battles – The narcissist may prefer a court battle to negotiation because letting a judge decide means not having to take responsibility for the outcome. Beware, because the narcissist often wants to obstruct the process, will refuse to negotiate or settle, run up your bills, paint you as the bad guy, and continue dragging issues to court even after settlement or divorce.

What Should You Do?

Discuss Divorce with a Caring and Competent Divorce Lawyer

There are many factors to weigh when considering divorce, and it is wise to seek legal advice right away. Attorney Chris Palermo takes your divorce seriously and works diligently to help you obtain as favorable an outcome as possible.


It may come as a surprise, but gray divorce, which describes divorcing couples over the age of 50, constitutes 25% of today’s divorces. In fact, today people who are 50 and older are twice as likely to divorce than they were in 1990.

This research information comes from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. (Reported in

Reasons for Gray Divorce

Five main reasons for couples divorcing later in life include:

Growing apart. Most gray divorces are years in the making and aren’t sudden occurrences. Take Al and Tipper Gore for example. After spending 40 years together, they decided to divorce and it came as a surprise to many people, but couples can grow apart.

Age differences. As people hit middle age, some take stock of their lives and want to reinvent themselves. An age difference at a younger age may not matter to couples, but a viewpoint shift tends to happen around 40.

Boredom. Sometimes people become so complacent that their relationships become boring. They quit giving their partner the attention that keeps that spark alive and makes the marriage vital.

Finances. Conflict can arise when spouses have different financial goals. One spouse wants to save money and the other wants to spend it. When they have increased financial responsibilities, like sending kids to college or paying for medical expenses, it can put stress on the relationship. After awhile, all the minor conflicts add up and reach a tipping point, which leads to divorce.

Sexual incompatibility. As couple age, their sex drives change and hormonal shifts in each person may be quite different for one than in the other. Once again, this is a manifestation of two people growing apart, but in this case the gap is regarding sexual compatibility.

Discuss Divorce with a Caring and Competent Divorce Lawyer

There are many factors to weigh when considering divorce, and it is wise to seek legal advice.  Attorney Chris Palermo is diligent about providing you with sound legal guidance and protecting your interests.