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Telling your spouse that you want a divorce isn’t easy, and this is especially true if your spouse is suffering from narcissistic personality disorder. Though not everyone who has NPD is prone to flying into a fit of rage, some people who have the mental disorder can have unpredictable tempers. If you’re concerned about telling your spouse that you want a divorce, follow these tips.

Consider Your Safety

Not everyone suffering from narcissistic personality disorder has violent tendencies. However, if you feel as though your spouse may become violent, it may be a good idea to consider how you can leave your marriage safely. When it comes to abusive relationships, the most dangerous time is the time at which the abused partner leaves. If you are experiencing abuse, it’s important to have a safe exit plan in place. Notifying a trusted family member or friend that you’re planning on leaving may be an essential part of your exit plan. Depending on your situation, you may also want to consider moving out the same day you announce your intention to leave. If there has been abuse, it may be a good idea to seek a protective order in conjunction with filing for divorce.

Gather Your Belongings

It isn’t uncommon for people—regardless of their mental health—to destroy, sell, or hide their spouse’s property. If your spouse is doing this, it may be very difficult to get these items back. This is especially true if your ex claims to have no knowledge of the items nor their whereabouts. Since it’s difficult to objectively place a monetary value on items that only have sentimental value, it’s often difficult to receive compensation for items that were lost or destroyed. This is particularly true if you’re unable to prove they existed in the first place. If there are items that you would like to keep, it’s important that you get these items out of your house before you announce your intention to initiate divorce proceedings. If there are items that you are unable to move, make sure that you take photographs of the items and note the condition that it’s in. If there are appraisals, or certificates of authenticity, or any other documentation relating to the item, you may decide to take those as well. These should be kept in a safe place that your ex cannot access, this includes both digital and physical copies.

Get Your Stuff Together

You’ll need certain documents to be well-informed and make good decisions during the divorce proceedings. These documents will also help your attorney provide you with better insight and advice during the divorce process.. You’ll need items such as income statements, bank statements, tax returns, mortgage statements, credit card statements, other information on debts and assets, and a list of questions you have for your attorney. It may take a few days to gather all this information so make sure you’ve got time to do this before consulting an attorney. Most of these reports can be obtained online. However, if you do not have your tax returns, you may need to request a transcript from the IRS. If you’re meeting with an attorney preparing for a divorce, they can help you figure out how to gather these documents and information.

Protect Your Assets

If your ex cleans out your joint savings account and spends the money on frivolous 

nonsense, your ability to reclaim those funds may be limited. Though a judge may award you assets equal to your portion of the savings, it very likely won’t be the same as having cash. For this reason, you may want to consider taking out a portion of the funds and moving them into an account that your spouse does not have access to. You should consult with an attorney about how much you should take and do this before filing a divorce. It may also be advisable to change your direct deposit to a different account as well. Since this will likely be noticed by your spouse, you may want to wait until the last minute to do this. 

Consider a Process Server

If you’re concerned about your spouse’s reaction to divorce, you may wish to hire a process server. A process server is a person who will serve your spouse with the petition for divorce. This way, you don’t have to be the one to tell your spouse. A process server can serve your spouse with divorce papers regardless of where your spouse is. So you don’t have to be in the home while they’re being served with papers. Depending on where you’re located, you may also be able to have a trusted friend or family member serve your ex. An attorney can help you coordinate this if you have concerns about your safety or telling your spouse that you intend to file for divorce.

Before You Tell Your Spouse

It’s always a good idea to get legal advice before you tell your spouse that you intend to file for divorce. A lot of people don’t fully understand their rights and how their circumstances will affect their divorce process. An attorney can help provide additional insight as to what your legal rights are, and how to protect yourself during divorce. Before you file for divorce, and before you tell your spouse that you want a divorce, it is a good idea to consult with an attorney to get a better idea of what your options are.


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