5 Winning Strategies for Divorcing a Narcissist

When married to a narcissist, separating is only the first step to finding peace and starting your healing journey. There’s still the divorce, and most court systems encourage you to work with your abuser to find a peaceful resolution. Working with a narcissist can be an emotionally straining journey and almost always ends in a high-conflict divorce. 

Having a support system and a strategy in place ahead of time can help you stay focused, strong, and ready to combat the manipulation tactics your abuser is sure to use against you. These five strategies will prepare you to move through the divorce proceedings with as little conflict as possible and help you take control of your life.

Strategies for divorcing a narcissist 

Going through a divorce is never easy and is one of the most emotionally challenging things you will go through. Divorce proceedings are even more difficult when you are dealing with an abuser or narcissist. Your abuser will take extreme actions to “win” a divorce, whether it’s getting money, custody battles, or property assignments. Some of their behaviors may be difficult for you to manage. But with the right strategies, you can get through this tumultuous time and maintain control.

1. Start with realistic expectations

Narcissists will act out in ways that they believe will help them get what they want. Setting yourself up with realistic expectations will allow you to see through their behaviors and prepare for the worst. They will lie and manipulate you in many ways. Your abuser will make this divorce as difficult as possible and try to paint you in a negative light. Prepare for the worst (and hope that you do not experience it, but be ready for everything they might try).

2. Set clear boundaries 

Setting boundaries is one of the most important steps after separating from your abusive partner. You may have to remind them often, but setting clear boundaries can help make divorce easier. Boundaries let your abuser know directly what they can and cannot do and how they cannot act towards you. ”Boundaries” might be certain days and times you allow contact, or only agreeing to meet at a neutral public place like a coffee shop you both like.

3. Document everything 

In a high-conflict divorce, your ex will take drastic actions and lie constantly. Your ex may tell you one thing and say something completely different while you are in court. Documentation can help protect you in court from the negative ramifications of what they try to convey to the judge. Limit your interactions with your ex and keep a record of any communications and actions to provide evidence to the court if necessary. Save all texts, voice mails, emails, etc. 

4. Hire an experienced lawyer

Many people can work through a divorce without having to hire lawyers. In a situation where you are divorcing a narcissist and other tactics like mediation don’t work, you may want a strong, reasonable lawyer on your side who has worked with difficult people. They can help you make smart decisions when your abuser begins to act out and help you take a path to help you in these divorce proceedings. There are a lot of resources out there to help you find a great, affordable lawyer that can work with you if you’re concerned about finances. 

5. Establish your support system

This divorce will be a trying time, and you will need a strong support system to get you through. Talk to your friends and family and ask them if they can be a shoulder to cry on or a voice of reason as you manage this high-conflict divorce. 

Partnering with a divorce coach can be a beneficial way to have a professional on your side as a neutral party who understands what you’re going through. 

Learn more about divorce coaching with Hello Divorce here.

While divorce is never easy, having the right strategy can set you up for success to help you better care for yourself. Remember, the path may be difficult but once you get through the divorce, you can create a new life you control and set yourself on a path to peace. 

Navigating a divorce is challenging on its own, but factoring in your abusive ex can make it seem impossible. As a high-conflict divorce coach, I can help you manage your recovery from an abusive relationship while strategizing how to get through your divorce unscathed. 

Need more help? Book a strategy session with me today to set healthy boundaries and set yourself up for success. My podcast, Relationship Recovery Podcast, can help you with your healing journey and provide valuable support and insights into the complexities that are emotional abuse. 


About Jessica Knight
Jessica Knight, MA, CPCC, NICC, is a Certified Life Coach through the Coaches Training Institute (CTI). After receiving her certification in 2016, Jessica has helped women of all ages heal from toxic relationship patterns. After navigating through her own divorce and single mommyhood, Jessica received training in Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse from the Post Traumatic Growth Academy and is a Certified Narcissistic Abuse Specialist. Jessica works with clients virtually and serves women all around the world.
You can connect with Jessica here: Millennial Life Crisis Coaching | Narcissistic and Emotional Abuse Coaching
On Instagram: @jessicaknightcoaching | @emotionalabusecoach