Colloquially known as “being a sociopath,” antisocial personality disorder is a mental illness which impairs a person’s ability to empathize with others, feel remorse, and maintain relationships. Though not every person with antisocial personality disorder will end up getting divorced, many partners of those with ASPD do struggle to help their spouse manage their symptoms. If you are married to a person suffering from antisocial personality disorder, and you are considering filing for divorce, make sure you follow these tips.
Get Legal Advice
A lot of people don’t know what their legal options are when the thought of divorce first enters the picture—that’s okay; that’s why family law attorneys exist. If possible, you may want to get family law advice before you and your spouse have officially decided to divorce. After learning about your rights, you may decide that filing for divorce at a later date may be better for you. Or, depending upon the information the consultation gave you, it may be better to file sooner rather than later. It’s important to note that a lot of people find that they were not expecting their initial consultation to go the way it went. If your spouse is suffering from antisocial personality disorder, you probably cannot afford to be caught off guard by surprises. Knowing your legal rights can help protect you from surprises that may come up during the divorce process.
Work with a Mental Health Professional
Those suffering with antisocial personality disorder exhibit symptoms such as impulsivity, and recklessness. They may have a disregard for what is considered socially acceptable and appropriate behavior. They may violate the rights of others through the use of manipulation, and lack remorse. It is not uncommon for romantic partners of those suffering from antisocial personality disorder to be hurt by some of these symptoms. In some cases, a person may be traumatized. If you have been harmed by your spouse with antisocial personality disorder, you may need counseling with a qualified mental health professional. Going through counseling during the divorce process can help you cope with the pain and trauma of the separation while working toward a path to take back your life.
If your spouse has antisocial personality disorder, it’s important to protect yourself from what may turn into a high conflict divorce. When one party has a personality disorder, the chances of having a high conflict divorce are much higher. You can protect yourself from having a high conflict divorce by maintaining firm boundaries. Do not escalate conflicts. If your spouse is sending you inappropriate texts, or leaving threatening voicemails, do not respond with similar conduct. Depending on the content of the texts or voicemails, you may need additional protection. Being reasonable in your negotiations may also help you protect yourself from your spouse’s high-conflict behavior. If both parties are making unreasonable requests, the divorce is likely to be more contentious and the divorce process may take longer.
If you’re going through a divorce, and your spouse has antisocial personality disorder, you’ll need to prioritize what you really want out of the divorce. Prioritizing your goals in the divorce will help you minimize the conflict and keep your divorce shorter. It’s not uncommon for couples to drag out a divorce for much longer than necessary due to an inability to agree over who will get items of sentimental value. If you’re divorcing a sociopath, do not waste time fighting over items of sentimental value, or negligible monetary value. Prioritizing your wants and only fighting for the most important items will also help make your divorce cheaper since you don’t have to spend time negotiating every little thing.
Stay off Social Media
Stay off of social media. If you’re not sure whether or not posting something is a good idea, it’s probably best not to post it at all. A person with antisocial personality disorder may use social media to post upsetting things. Doing this may only make things worse for your mental health. In this case, it may be a good idea to stay off social media altogether during this time. If you decide not to use social media, it may be a good idea to have a trusted friend or family member monitor your ex’s posts in case they post something that you can use to your advantage during the divorce.
Hire an Attorney
People suffering from personality disorders are more likely to have high conflict divorces. If you are at risk for a high conflict divorce, having an attorney who knows your specific circumstances and can advocate for your rights is the best way to protect yourself and your family. At CoilLaw, our attorneys specialize in high conflict divorces. If you’re divorcing your spouse and you need someone to advocate for your best interests, contact CoilLaw today.