‘Let us never negotiate out of fear.
But let us never fear to negotiate.’
John. F. Kennedy
Many of us are not prepared for the behaviour of our partners during divorce, until we come to the conclusion - sometimes too late – that our partner is a narcissist. I learned this the hard way.
Irrespective that I was a highly paid executive in the Financial Markets, I had allowed my husband to control our finances. WRONG!
My luxurious life as an expat in Hong Kong, ended overnight when my husband decided our marriage was over. Our savings account disappeared quicker than I could blink, strategically hidden in offshore accounts, as I was too trusting!
That’s why my role is to ensure you don’t make any of the innocent oversights that I did. My motto is ‘Think strategically, not emotionally.’ You can deal with emotions after the divorce is final.
If you find yourself having to file for divorce because you’re married to a narcissist, here are five tips to remember from my own personal experience:
Hire the BEST Lawyer You Possibly Can
Don’t scrimp here as this is an investment in your future. Think of this like you do any other investment, and the ROI (Return on the Investment) will be worth every cent, as the ROI is your future. The outcome of your divorce decides what your future will look and feel like in every possible way.
Before You File For Divorce, Ensure You Copy All Assets & Important Documents
If you have been extremely trusting and left the finances up to your spouse , you need to get to work now. You must ensure you know all assets, property, shares etc., regardless of whose name the asset is in.
- Documents relating to purchase of property.
- Share documents.
- Any financial mortgages - Lines of Credit.
- All bank accounts, whether they are in joint names or not.
- Superannuation accounts.
- Recent pay stubs if employed.
- Tax Returns – past 3 years minimum.
- Insurance papers.
- Vehicle registrations papers.
- Airline frequent flyer numbers.
- Birth certificates, marriage certificate.
There are phone apps available (e.g. Microsoft OneNote) where you take a photo of a document and it’s uploaded to a cloud-based storage service. Once in the cloud, make further copies to other 3rd party accounts for security. In Australia, a financial planner can securely hold copies of all these documents under a regular client privacy agreement.
Open an "Armageddon Fund" Before Divorcing a Narcissist
If you do not have access to all funds before divorcing a narcissist, this is a critical MUST.
Open an “Armageddon Fund” account with a completely new financial institution that neither of you have dealt with before. Set up all communication to be via email and link to your secure email address and your new mobile phone number, if you have one.
Don’t make transfers to this account from any accounts that are visible; Use a trusted third party or cash if necessary.
Don’t be concerned that you can be accused of stealing. Tell your lawyer what you have taken and it can be treated as part of the common asset pool during the division of financial assets.
I particularly recommend this to expatriate clients who are dependant on their spouse for all income. You must begin to add as much money to your account as you can, slowly but constantly. If you don’t have access to all funds, this is Financial Abuse, and your partner will only increase their financial control if they suspect you are going to leave them.
Hire a Divorce Coach
I became a divorce coach following my career in the financial markets, as I knew it was the ‘Missing Piece’ during my divorce.
I was missing that professional, who had experienced the hell I was going through, yet could hold me during times of extreme stress, reassure me and guide me to make sound, logical decisions to create a better tomorrow.
A divorce coach is the secret silent weapon that assists you to ensure when you reflect in years to come on your divorce, you have ‘no regrets.’
Increase Your Self-Care Strategy
Standing up to your narcissist spouse will take every ounce of inner strength you have. For this, for yourself and your children, you must ensure you are as grounded, as calm and emotionally stable as you have ever been in your life by practising self care.
It’s like thinking you are a tree about to be battered by a Force 5 hurricane, and you need to be strong and stable to remain standing.
That is how your emotions will feel – battered, as your ex will throw everything they possibly can your way. They do this to ensure you come out second best, which you won’t. Not any more. That’s because you are here, understanding, learning and preparing for this experience with the BEST divorce team by your side.
Following a 25-year career in the financial markets in London, Hong Kong & Sydney, Megan created her business after helping many friends, colleagues and clients through their Divorce, following her high-conflict Divorce.
Megan’s sudden and unexpected Divorce from her Investment Banker Husband, was the impetus on how Megan began this journey. Megan realised as she sat on the Qantas jet fleeing her marriage to the refuge of her family in Australia, she had within the space of 24 hours lost her marriage, her home, her friends & support network and was left holding their much planned for and loved 8-week old baby daughter.
Megan specializes in recovery from relationships with Narcissist's, as Megan experienced this first-hand, hence why she created the online program ‘Free Yourself from The Narcissist’ and soon to release her book ‘How to Divorce a Narcissist & NOT Get Screwed.’ Megan has survived and thrived following this experience, and is the guide you need to ensure you retain your finances & sanity, while focusing on your future, and the future of your children.