Posted on in Divorce

Kane County divorce lawyerThe term "narcissist" is used to describe someone who is excessively self-involved, lacks empathy, and has an inflated sense of self-importance. An individual with narcissistic tendencies may intentionally provoke arguments and refuse to cooperate. He or she may even use threats or intimidation to upset you.  If you are divorcing a narcissist, it's important to be prepared for these behaviors. Here are five tips for dealing with a narcissist during a divorce.

Ending Your Marriage When Your Spouse Has Narcissistic Tendencies

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V) lists the criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The criteria include things like grandiosity, sense of entitlement, and being unempathetic. Even if your spouse does not meet the clinical definition of narcissistic, even one or two narcissistic traits can make someone a nightmare to divorce.

If your spouse has narcissistic tendencies, consider the following tips:

  • Take the high road - Your spouse will probably do anything to get a reaction out of you.  The best way to deal with this is to take the high road. Don't stoop to his or her level by arguing or fighting. This will only give your spouse the satisfaction of knowing that he or she can still get to you.
  • Keep communication short and to the point - When you do have to communicate with your spouse, make it brief and to the point. The less you engage with him or her, the better. If your divorce is extremely hostile or there is a history of domestic violence, it may be best to communicate through your perspective attorneys.
  • Document everything - If your spouse is being difficult, make sure to document it. This will be helpful if you need to go to court.
  • Set boundaries - It's important to set boundaries with a narcissist. If he or she is constantly calling or texting you, let him or her know that this is not acceptable and you will only communicate through email or your attorneys.
  • Get support - Dealing with a narcissist can be extremely difficult. Make sure to get support from friends or family members. You may also want to consider therapy to help you deal with the stress of the divorce.

While divorcing a narcissist can be challenging, it is possible to do so without losing your sanity. By following these tips, you can protect yourself both emotionally and legally.

Contact a St. Charles Divorce Lawyer

If your spouse has narcissistic tendencies, refuses to cooperate during the divorce process, or has been abusive, you need an aggressive Kane County divorce lawyer protecting your rights and advocating on your behalf. Call Shaw Sanders, P.C. at 630-584-5550 to schedule a free and confidential consultation.


st. charles divorce lawyerAccording to national statistics, approximately 90 percent of businesses in the United States are family-owned. These businesses are often the heart of communities, providing jobs and revenue sources, as well as services and products. Unfortunately, with the divorce rate as high as it is, when a couple who own a business decide to end their marriage, the impact their divorce can have on the business can be a significant one. This is why it is critical to have a skilled divorce attorney representing you if a family business is part of your martial estate.

Asset Division in a Divorce

Under Illinois divorce law, when a couple divorces, their martial estate is divided in an “equitable” manner. This is different from community property states that divide a couple’s assets 50/50. With equitable division, each spouse will receive an equitable share of their estate, although the dollar amount will not necessarily be exactly the same.

When a couple owns a business, that business is often the largest asset they own, however, those assets are usually not liquid assets, which can make it more difficult to divide the business. Instead, the assets may in the form of equipment, inventory, accounts receivables, and more.

The result is that either the couple must sell the business and share the proceeds or one spouse must “buy” the other spouse’s share of the business. If this is what is decided, the first step is to determine the value of the business.

In order to “buy” the spouse’s share of the business, the couple may use the buying spouse’s share of the couple’s real estate, retirement accounts, and other financial accounts towards the price.


st. charles divorce lawyerIt is recommended that every adult have an estate plan in place, no matter what their financial status is. An estate plan stipulates what the person’s wishes are when it comes to the distribution of their assets when they die. There are different tools that can be incorporated into an estate plan, including wills and trusts. Unfortunately, one of the things that often get overlooked during and after a divorce is updating an estate plan. So what happens to these plans while the divorce is going on and once it is complete?

What Happens to the Will?

Under Illinois law, just because a spouse has filed a petition for divorce, there is no impact that filing on the estate plan while the process is playing out. This means that a spouse remains the beneficiary of a will until the court has entered a divorce decree. If a spouse was named the executor of the will, that too would remain in effect.

The last thing many people who have filed for divorce would want is their spouse to have control and/or to inherit from their estate should they die while the divorce is pending. But this is exactly what can happen if a divorce is not going to resolve quickly.

There are two legal options a person has in Illinois in this case. The first choice is for the person to change their will and remove their spouse as a beneficiary and executor.

With the second option, a divorce attorney can file what is referred to as a bifurcated divorce. In this type of divorce, the court splits the divorce into two different proceedings. One part is where the court issues an immediate divorce and the second part is where all the issues (i.e., child custody, asset division) are resolved at a later date.


st. charles divorce lawyerBy the time a couple has decided to get a divorce, the acrimony between them is often high. It is not uncommon for the contention between the two spouses to be so thick that they are even unable to have a civil conversation with each other. This can make negotiating divorce issues difficult. If the couple has children, this tension between them can make co-parenting impossible. In these situations, the court may decide to appoint a parenting coordinator.

Parenting Plan

When a divorcing couple does have children, a major part of the divorce settlement is the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time (previously referred to as child custody and visitation). In many divorces, the couple is able to civilly work through and come up with an agreeable parenting plan, usually with the help of their divorce attorneys. But if they cannot get to this point, the court will intervene.


If the couple has significant disagreements about parenting time, the court will order the parents to participate in mediation. The mediator must be on a court-approved list and meet certain requirements, including having either a law degree or an advanced degree in family relationships. The mediator must also have a minimum of two years’ experience in their profession.

If the mediation can help the couple reach an agreement on a parenting plan, that plan will be drafted into a formal parenting time agreement for the court.

Guardian Ad Litem

If the couple is unable to reach an agreement even with the assistance of a mediator, the court will appoint a guardian ad litem. This person is an attorney who is solely focused on what is in the best interests of the child. The guardian ad litem will meet with both parents and the child. In some cases, the guardian ad litem may also meet with extended family members, family friends, the child’s teachers, therapist, and any other appropriate parties.


 st. charles divorce lawyerOne of the main components of a divorce is to divide the assets and property the couple have acquired during their marriage. Under Illinois law, this is done via “equitable distribution.” This means that the court will distribute the assets between the spouses in an equitable manner. Unlike community property states, which split the marital estate 50/50, Illinois courts focus on the division being a “fair” one, not necessarily and equal one.

Marital Property

Under the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, the state defines marital property as any property that is acquired by either spouse during the marriage, excluding inheritances or gifts. Other definitions of non-martial property under the law include:

  • Any property that is acquired by a spouse after the court has entered a legal separation judgment.
  • Any property that is specifically included by a legal agreement, such as documented in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
  • Any property acquired before the marriage. This exception may not apply to any retirement plans that spouse may have.
  • Any increase in the value of non-marital property, regardless of where those contributions that result in the increases.

One other factor to consider is that the court also considers marital debt as part of the marital estate and will decide how debt should be divided between the spouses.

Other Issues That Can Impact the Equitable Distribution of the Marital Estate

The equitable distribution of the marital estate may also be affected by other factors that arise in the divorce. One of the most common issues is the comingling of marital and non-martial assets, such as one spouse depositing what would normally be considered non-marital assets into a joint bank account. In these situations, the courts will have to decide if those assets still “retains their identity” or “loses their identity.”

Another common issues is “dissipation of assets.” This occurs when one spouse “wastes” martial assets. This often comes up in divorces where one spouse is cheating on the other or has some type of addiction, like gambling or drugs. When a court determines that one spouse has committed dissipation of assets, it will likely redistribute marital assets in a way that compensates the wronged sposue.


Recent Blog Posts



Contact Us

How Can We Help?

NOTE: Fields with a * indicate a required field.