At the request of our global listening audience we began our search for an attorney that would be willing to join Mental Health News Radio to discuss the topic of narcissism. Many of our listeners are attempting to divorce their narcissistic partner only to find themselves in a maze of legalese they do not understand and often working with an attorney that is not well-versed in cases of narcissistic abuse.
Robert Farzad practices marriage and family law in Orange County, California. He has published multiple blog articles on the topic of divorcing a narcissist. He’s graciously accepted our invitation to discuss the unique aspects involving these kinds of cases. Please join us in welcoming him on our show.
What is the narcissist’s tool in a divorce case?
There are several but the most common one we see in California divorces is fear – specifically striking it in the other spouse. Fear by threats. Fear by causing uncertainty about what is to come.
What is an ineffective mindset of a person divorcing a narcissist?
Letting emotions make the decisions. A narcissist strikes fear and therefore the victim lets fear make his or her decisions. A narcissist causes uncertainty and the victim allows paralysis to set into decision making. Part of the reason it happens is because, in some situations, the narcissist has been in control of the family. A victim may be predisposed to believing everything the narcissist threatens or says because that’s been the status quo.
What is the better mindset when divorcing a narcissist?
Calm, fact focused, and logical.
Stop feeling and start thinking.
Stop wishing and start acting.
In California, child custody decisions are all about a child’s best interest so that becomes the parent’s focus.
On financial issues, it’s about the law. Here is where the advice of a family law attorney come in handy.
What do the laws say about issues like child support, alimony or division of assets and debts?
Hire an experienced attorney, ask questions, get advice and plan a strategy and a budget for what lies ahead.
Find out what the law is in your State or jurisdiction through the help of your legal professional and, with his or her help, use it as an ally to focus you on making smart decisions.
Our top four are:
Of course, an experienced family law lawyer. That should be obvious.
The second is a therapist, someone who is experienced with such matters. Just as a lawyer is there for the legal side of it, a therapist is there for the mental health part of it.
A family and/or friend support group – this one is less obvious and I actually think harder than the first two. With family and friends, sometimes, “the worst vice is advice” (to quote Al Pacino who, coincidentally, was playing the Devil when he uttered the words). And sometimes family or friends who mean well can lead a person down the wrong path, especially when they start playing lawyer or therapist. But with family and friends who are good listeners, loving and supportive, that can be invaluable.
The fourth one is what your listeners are doing right now – educating themselves. There are articles, podcasts, radio shows, books, so much knowledge out there. Now, with this one, be careful. Legal advice about your situation should come from your legal professional, not something you read or hear on the internet.
Is there hope when divorcing a narcissist?
I am a big believer that there are two things in life that you control – your words and your actions. The narcissist you are divorcing does not control either of those. Only you do. So, yes, not only is there hope but through your due diligence and smart choices, you can come out of the other side of divorcing a narcissist with a fair result as well as a better and stronger person for it.
B. Robert Farzad is an experienced family law attorney and licensed in the State of California. He is the president of the firm Farzad Family Law, which is a multi-attorney firm with offices in Santa Ana and Mission Viejo, in Orange County, California. He is an avid writer on the subject of divorce and family law and the issues that husbands, wives, fathers and mothers face when going through this challenging time of their life.
Mr. Farzad’s comments and blog article on Mental Health News Radio are related only to California matters because he is licensed to practice law in California only. Nothing he has said is legal advice or any other type of advice nor is it intended for any particular case or situation. These are his general thoughts on the subject. If you have questions about your specific legal matter, please consult with an attorney in your State or jurisdiction.
Articles available on Farzad Law regarding narcissism and divorce can be found here.
*Examples given regarding Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Psychopathy, or Sociopathology may be related to the guest or host’s experiences over vast interactions in their field. An amalgamation of experiences may be described but may not represent any specific entity. Should any listeners resonate with the information discussed or written, a list of licensed professionals will be made available upon request.