How To Communicate When You’re Divorcing a Covert Narcissist

covert narcissist

Note: This is part 2 of our 2-part series on covert narcissism. Find part 1 here: How to Spot a Covert Narcissist.

Unfortunately, covert narcissists don’t see that their self-absorbed, unreasonable behavior makes good communication almost impossible. You will forever be banging your head against the wall if you try to “talk sense” into your covert narcissist spouse or try to get him or her to see your point-of-view. So what can you do to cope with a communication-heavy process like divorce or co-parentingRead more

What Happens To Life Insurance After Divorce?

Custody, parenting time, the marital house, the bank accounts: all are issues that divorcing couples have on the forefront of their minds, probably because who is going to live in the marital home and who gets custody of the children are issues that are in the present. The here and now. But, what about future issues that may arise after divorce…like life insurance?

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You Got the House in the Divorce: Along with a Huge Lien!

The dust settled and the smoke cleared after your divorce. The final papers were signed nearly eight months ago and Sarah had really started to move forward, full-steam with her life post-divorce. In her and James’ settlement, they agreed that she would get the vacation home in South Carolina. And, as Sarah began to complete the paperwork to transfer the property to her name only, she discovers a massive debt incurred by James. That debt resulted in a lien against the property that she had no idea existed. Now what?

Sarah is understandably very upset and does not want to be responsible for this debt that she never know James racked up paying for gambling debts he put on her credit cards. And, because of the lien, if she tries to sell the property, the debt of nearly $150,000 will be paid to the credit card companies as part of the sale proceeds. She is at her wits end, but simply does not know what to do. Should she confront James? Does she need to go back to court? Is her divorce settlement even valid?

Both Sarah and James had attorneys in the divorce and she believed that she was protected. Her attorney was thorough and requested all information about the couples finances during the process. Her attorney even asked to depose James because of some uncertainty about his business income. At no time did James ever mention this gambling debt or that the credit card companies were coming after the vacation home. Sarah firmly believes that he hid this purposefully from her in an attempt to walk away from the responsibility of paying his gambling debts.

Sarah may have a good case to go back into her divorce and reopen the final judgment of divorce. It’s certainly not easy to go back to court and tell the judge that your divorce needs to be reexamined. But, if a fraud was committed by James lying not only to Sarah, but to the court, this may be exactly what happens. New Jersey court rule 4:50-1 allows courts to change a divorce settlement for a variety of reasons. Most relevant to Sarah and James are:

Just discovering new evidence: If you weren’t aware of information during your divorce and you just learned about it, such as Sarah learning of the lien, you can ask the court to reopen your divorce case and take into account this new information.

You’ve learned of fraud or other misconduct by your ex: If James did purposefully keep this information from Sarah and her attorney during the divorce, she could argue that her divorce needs to be reexamined by the court because this fraud made her act a certain way during the negotiations and settlement. It is without question that Sarah would not have accepted the vacation home with the debt and that fact would certainly have affected the outcome of their divorce. Perhaps James would have had to satisfy the debt. Or, Sarah may have accepted a different piece of property.

The case involved a mistake or excusable neglect: Let’s give James the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he really did not recall the lien on the North Carolina property. Perhaps at the time of the divorce negotiations and settlement, the lien hadn’t attached, yet and he simply forgot this was a possibility. Maybe James told his attorney, but his attorney did not relay the information. Any of these scenarios is still a reason for a court to consider going back into the divorce and allowing the parties to rework their settlement.

Sometimes, reopening a divorce means that a divorce trial may have to happen. If the settlement as it is simply is not workable, the parties may come to an impasse. In that situation, the judge will have to hear both sides of the issue and make a decision regarding some or all of the issues of the divorce. If you can, attempt to again work out your issues. It will certainly save you time and money.

Above all, if you discover that you have been misled or tricked into a settlement agreement with your ex-spouse, talk to your divorce attorney immediately. Bring to them the newly discovered evidence and detail all that you have learned since the divorce. Your attorney will be able to guide you appropriately and will be able to represent you in a motion to reopen your divorce if it comes to that. Your attorney may also suggest asking for sanctions against your spouse, especially if her or she willfully misrepresented facts to you, your attorney and the judge.

If you have further questions about your divorce settlement or any other family law issue, contact us today to schedule your confidential consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate attorneys.

Swiping Right On Post-Divorce Dating

post-divorce online dating

If you’re diving back into the dating scene post-divorce, the complexities of this terrain may make you feel like you’re in a foreign land without a map. And you’re not alone in your confusion! Read more

Strangulation In Domestic Violence Is a Dire Red Flag: Here’s How To Help Victims

Strangulation is one of the most underreported crimes of domestic violence. It’s also among the most deadly. According to the Journal of Emergency Medicine, domestic violence strangulation is a key predictor of future domestic violence homicide.

New Jersey recently passed a law elevating strangulation from a third to a second degree crime in the state. As Bari Weinberger wrote in her recent New Jersey Law Journal article, “Strangulation: How The ‘Rough Sex’ Defense Doesn’t Wash in DV Cases,” while this new law is an important step in the right direction, there’s more work to be done to bring justice to victims of strangulation.

Do you have a friend or loved one who you suspect may be a victims of domestic violence strangulation? Here’s how to get them the help they need.  Read more

5 Problems You’ll Encounter When Divorcing A Narcissist

Wondering what to expect when divorcing a narcissist? You’ll likely encounter the same issues you had during your marriage — only on steroids! Read on to learn what these problems look like once you begin the divorce process, and how to solve them. Read more

Tips For Co-Parenting Teens And Young Adults

teenager

Your teen has asked to spend more time with their other parent. Should you say yes?

As children mature during adolescence and their later teen years, they want their needs and opinions to be taken into account when parenting decisions must be made. For divorced parents, this can mean updating co-parenting philosophies you’ve followed since your kids were small. In order to support your kids’ personal growth, it’s helpful to understand the development stages of adolescence and early adulthood. Read more

Custody Advice For Brangelina — And You

Brad Pitt Angelina Jolie custody disputeAngelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, the impossibly gorgeous and talented movie stars who are the parents of a half dozen children, have been waging high-conflict divorce war for almost six years: Angelina filed in September 2016. But it’s not money that’s prolonging the battle; rather, the ex-couple appear to be embroiled in custody disputes with — so far — no resolution.

So what needs to happen for any high-conflict co-parents to reach an equitable agreement that supports their children’s well-being? Read more

Back to School 2021: What Divorced Parents Need to Know

back to school co-parenting 2021

With the first day of school now just a few weeks away, it’s time to get your school year co-parenting game plan together. This can mean deciding who buys the school supplies and back-to-school clothes, but with the Delta variant still surging, divorced co-parents must also grapple with extra layers of Covid-related prep this fall. Are you and your child’s co-parent pandemic-ready for the 2021 school year? 

Here’s what you need to know.   Read more

Who gets the family dog in divorce?

Will deciding custody of your dog be part of your divorce? As August’s National Dog Month puts pooches in the spotlight, let’s take a look at how the courts determine ownership of dogs and other pets in divorce.  Read more