Much has been written about the subject of divorcing a narcissist from the emotional and mental perspective, but how does this materialize on the legal side? There are some common signs in court proceedings that should raise red flags. The number of times a narcissist spouse replaces their attorney during the divorce is a big one. If the court record shows one party continually changing attorneys, then you may be dealing with a narcissist.
In general, if a narcissist is disagreed with or criticized, they will reject the other person and their point of view. This manifests legally by the firing of one, and possibly more, attorneys during the course of the divorce. The cause can usually be traced to a disagreement between the attorney and their client. It may be that the attorney does the firing (yes, this can happen). Some common disagreements include:
Poor Outcomes in Court: Since a narcissist refuses to take accountability, they need to blame someone else for a negative legal outcome in court. They can’t fire the Judge or their ex, so it’s the attorney who ends up on the chopping block.
The Bill: To be fair, lots of clients disagree with their divorce attorney’s legal bills each month. However, constant battles over the bill each month will wear down the attorney-client relationship. If the attorney refuses to modify the bill or offer a discount, it may quickly lead to termination.
Legal Disagreement: In general, disagreements with a narcissist do not end well. This doesn’t change in their lawyer’s office. An attorney’s refusal to follow a certain strategy (for example, one that may be unethical or inconsistent with the law) or view certain facts in the same way may light the fuse that leads to their termination. Then the search is on to find a new attorney who will see things their way. This can also happen with therapists, custody evaluators and other experts that regularly participate in a divorce.