Divorcing A Narcissist

Divorcing A Narcissist

You’re married to a narcissist and ready to break free. First, congratulations on empowering yourself to take this next, crucial step toward your new life. Second, it is critical that you take time to find the right attorney to represent you. Divorce is painful but divorcing an abusive spouse can be downright scary. The abuser will come at you and come at you. Make sure you have the proper support in your corner.

The Silence of Narcissistic Abuse

Narcissistic abuse is often silent to the outside world, but for those living in a narcissistic relationship, it is an everyday abuse that destroys self-esteem, confidence, and personal identity. Every week in our office during conference calls with incredibly smart, beautiful, and successful clients just like you, they share their stories:

“No one understands me.” “I’m terrified every day.” “I’m being gaslighted.”

“I’m financially and emotionally drained.” “I feel isolated.” “What about my children?”

These are women (and men) who to the outside world appear to be confident, successful, and strong individuals; active in the community and surrounded by friends. But internally these individuals have been torn down, degraded, and left not knowing what to do. They are highly intelligent and capable individuals who do not know how to untangle themselves from their never-ending entanglement with their narcissistic spouse.

Finding A Divorce Attorney

The bridge over these very troubling waters lies in your selection of the right divorce attorney for you. How do you do that? How do you make sure that you are hiring or retaining a divorce attorney who will best represent you? Here are three must-take steps: 

1. Interview Several Attorneys

Do not hire your attorney simply because your neighbor or best friend used them as their attorney. Every relationship is different just as every divorce is different. Their needs with their attorney are not the same as yours. Interview multiple attorneys to gain an understanding of their expertise, knowledge about your type of situation, practice style, and even personality.

2. Ask for Referrals

This is your life! This is your child’s life. When interviewing an attorney don’t be shy and ask for referrals from other former clients. Tell them you’d like the name of one or two clients that would be willing to speak to you about their experiences with the law firm. A well-regarded attorney will not hesitate to provide referrals.  

3. Trust Your Gut

No one knows how to take care of you like you. Trust your gut. If it doesn’t feel right during the interview with a potential attorney, trust your gut and walk away.

Moving Forward

Narcissists carry an air of superiority, even believing they are above the law. Facing divorce can cause a significant shift in the narcissistic personality as they fight to maintain control of their spouse and their fake reputation. 

If you are in a situation where you’re trying to find your way to a divorce with a narcissist, know this – you are not alone. Our team brings significant legal acumen and personal experience in matters of narcissistic abuse and divorce. We are here to help.

Interview us to learn more about our team, culture, and process. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

Let Me Be Your Brave!

child custody-custody litigation-matrimonial law-getting a divorce

Mia Poppe, Esq.
Managing Partner
Law Firm of Poppe & Associates, PLLC. 

Important Financial Impacts of Gray Divorce

Important Financial Impacts of Gray Divorce

Divorce is hard enough as it is, but when the divorce occurs after a lengthy marriage filled with children, grandchildren, and loads of wonderful memories, it can be especially painful. This type of divorce characterized by lengthy marriage is frequently called a gray divorce and there are unique financial considerations that you must understand if you are going through a gray divorce.

What is a Gray Divorce?

Whenever one or both parties to a divorce are mature-aged, it is considered a gray divorce. Gray divorces are more common than you may think. It’s not surprising that after the kids graduate from school, or get married and move forward with their own lives, parents will make the quality but painful decision to divorce.

A study conducted by Bowling Green University found that over the last 20 years, the divorce rate among mature-aged persons has more than doubled. And that brings us to the second question, “What is a mature aged person?” Baby Boomers between 58 and 80 are considered the largest group of mature-aged adults. And yes, Gen Xers between 42 and 57 are also considered mature-aged. And there are financial implications.

Impacts of a Gray Divorce

What you already know is that New York is one of the most expensive places to live in the United States. What you may not know is that New York has the third longest life expectancy. An August 2020 article in USA Today stated that it takes $1.4 million dollars to live comfortably for 20 years. This seven-figure amount can seem even more daunting among mature-aged couples concerned about their limited earning time horizon as well as the impact on their nest egg. But that doesn’t mean you should stay in a marriage that is over. It means you need to be prepared.

Protecting Your Finances

It’s impossible to completely protect all of your finances during any divorce including a gray divorce. However, you need to have a strategy to either mitigate the financial impact or a plan to recoup your nest egg after a gray divorce. Recouping is the appropriate term here because it is a fact that your nest egg will be impacted by your divorce and the divorce process. The potential loss of dual income sources may be significant, but there are tips to help you rebuild:

  1. Cut Costs – It may be time to establish a budget. Cut out the luxury items, and reduce expenses where you can, to increase savings potential. It may be time to downsize out of your large family home or reconsider that new car purchase. Be smart with your money.
  2. Hire a Financial Advisor – A Certified Financial Planner or financial advisor can guide you in making sound investment decisions, and can also help you plan for expenses and future unknowns. Their expertise is earning money with what you have available, so lean into their insights.
  3. Get a Job – Don’t be afraid to get back into the workforce and certainly don’t be afraid to start your own business. It may be time to retool yourself to enter into a job or profession. Choose an outlet that gives you passion. I, the author, went to law school at age 42. I’m confident that you can retool if that’s what you choose to do.

Hiring A Qualified Attorney

The unique financial considerations of gray divorce are significant and can impact your retirement years. Protect yourself by interviewing divorce attorneys who understand the landscape of a gray divorce and who know how to navigate the related financial nuances.

Move forward into this new happily-ever-after stage of your life. Contact us today to discuss your gray divorce or matrimonial concerns.

Let Me Be Your Brave!

divorce lawyer_female divorce attorney

Mia Poppe, Esq.
Managing Partner
Law Firm of Poppe & Associates, PLLC.

Divorce Behaviors That Undermine Your Children, Part 2: The Middle Pawn

Divorce Behaviors That Undermine Your Children, Part 2: The Middle Pawn

Now that you’ve read part 1 of this 3-part series, KEEP READING because divorce is challenging and cannot be addressed in one blog. Even “amicable” divorces can be difficult to navigate. In high-conflict divorces, tensions are high, and the gloves come off, but it’s your child that suffers most because of the continued animosity between you and your child’s other parent. Using your child as a pawn is undermining and manipulative behavior that puts children into a dangerous psychological tailspin. Control your emotions purposefully and model your emotional management skills for your kids.


Listen up parents, your children are not a negotiation tool. You may not realize you are putting your child in the middle, but it is an all-too-common occurrence.  Can you identify with any of these damaging divorce behaviors?

The Blame Game

There’s a dangerous pronoun in divorce – ‘Your’.

“Your father did this to me.” “Your father is a cheater.”
“Your mother told this lie.” “Your mother gave up.”

The problem with ‘your’ is it’s possessive. You have shifted the blame to include your child. Airing your grievances to them is selfish and hurtful. Your child is half you and half the other parent. When you speak against your spouse you are putting your child down as well.  Hold your tongue and save the venting for your inner circle.

False Promises

You do not need to buy your child’s love. Do everyone a favor and skip the special treats, the new puppy, and the randomly purchased gifts given with intention of buying their love. These behaviors teach children how to manipulate others, deceive, and use material things to get what they want.

Who Do You Like Best

Are you really expecting your child to pick one parent over the other? Did you really ask them to say who they want to live with? Children caught in a contentious divorce often feel pressure to choose, and you might be surprised to find that putting this decision on them will only make them resent you.


If your soon-to-be ex wants to go on vacation will you manipulate your schedule to prevent it? Do you alienate your children from your former in-laws and relatives? You may think your actions are only hurting your ex, but the reality is that you are punishing your kids as well.


Divorce is difficult for children, and your behavior will impact their physical and mental well-being. Let me ask this, are you guilty of any of these behaviors in front of your child?

  1. Arguing with your spouse
  2. Spousal silent treatment
  3. Discussing adult matters
  4. Physical altercations
  5. Needlessly calling the police (the lowest of the low!)

Children dealing with a tense home environment due to parents going through a divorce can lead to:

  • Depression, social withdrawal, regression
  • Troubles concentrating in school
  • Anger, bullying, defiance
  • Loss of sleep or sleeping too much
  • Inability to handle conflict
  • Physical pain from anxiety or stress

Children with positive co-parents experience less depression and anxiety. Manage your intentions and your emotions. Your sole focus during the divorce should be your child’s best welfare. Be a team with a superpower for good, not a team set on being destroyed by divorce.  An empowered parent raises empowered children.

At The Law Firm of Poppe & Associates, our focus is relentless advocacy for our clients. If you or someone you know is considering divorce, reach out to schedule a consultation: (212) 792-9501.

divorce lawyer_female divorce attorney

Mia Poppe, Esq.
Managing Partner

Are you considering divorce and think mediation may be the right option for you and your family? Contact the Law Firm of Poppe & Associates today to schedule a consultation to talk with an attorney about whether mediation or litigation is the right fit for your situation. 

Divorce Behaviors That Undermine Your Child Part 1: Publicizing and Sharing

Divorce Behaviors That Undermine Your Child Part 1: Publicizing and Sharing

If you are considering divorce or are pursuing one, YOU MUST READ this 3-part series to ensure the well-being of your child. Most children have the resiliency to overcome the challenges of divorce, but when it becomes a high-conflict situation, it’s incumbent upon you to use emotional management, especially when your kids are around. The damage to your child is not always the divorce itself, but rather it is the continued animosity between you and your spouse that they witness. Be the rock in your child’s life and avoid these destructive divorce behaviors.


Note to self… push back from the keyboard – “don’t do it!” Taking it public to share the heartache, anger, and everything the former spouse “did to you.” I call this the “Parade of Horribles.” Divorce affects everything you and your spouse are integrated with, including your child.

Take a look at Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. In 2016, Jolie filed for divorce from Pitt, then used her star status to unleash the media. At the heart of it was a custody battle, claims of an unfair trial, an unqualified judge, new court petitions bouncing back and forth, and dragging her ex through the mud. Six years later, and still no resolution. It doesn’t matter who you believe, the true victims are their six children caught in the middle. Used as pawns in the public eye, and most of them are old enough to read about it online.

Keep the details of your divorce private from the public domain. Uphold your integrity and rise above your need to publicly vent. Choose to protect your child over getting even.


It’s never pretty, in fact, it’s accurate to describe it as “parents gone wild.”

Parental Alienation – Most likely you feel hurt, tempting you to villainize your spouse online. We all understand that we don’t post online when we’ve had too many glasses of wine. The same is true when you are angry. Blasting accusations can be reasonably calculated to put your child in the line of your divorce fire. Your emotions can cause them to feel guilty. So, choose not to do that.

Bullying – Online gossip spreads like fire and gets more exaggerated with each telling. Your divorce may be entertaining for others, but it can cause serious harm to your child. Children who are exposed to aggressive behaviors at home often transfer this conduct to others. Those in high-conflict divorces have a higher risk of losing relationships with friends, family, and especially a non-resident parent, usually the father. [i]

Predators – Your sole responsibility is to protect your child, and with 5 billion people on the internet, there’s reason for concern. Every day predators search the internet for that lost child looking for a friend to console them about their parent’s divorce. Posting your problems online places your child at risk for predators who are quick to be that needed confidant. Keep your divorce offline. Period.


Posting about your split online can negatively influence the divorce process and impact your own reputation.

Financial Sharing – Remember, your online posts can be used against you in court. Are you exposing confidential information or revealing private financial details?

Spousal Blasting – Watch what you say. Spouting vengeance and accusations in a moment of anger can result in a defamation claim.

Unsolicited Opinions – It’s important to surround yourself with a strong network of support and not open the door to 500 opinions of people you barely know.

Evidence – Anything you say can, and will, be held against you in a court of law. Got it?

There are many reasons to fight with your soon-to-be ex, but I encourage you to drop your weapons. Burdening the community, you, your child, and the other parent is simply a bad idea. Choose to walk through your divorce with integrity. It’s the parent’s responsibility to ensure their child thrives during the divorce.

Mitigate the social and psychological impact on your child. Embrace positive communications with your spouse and keep it private! It’s healthy for your child long-term and shows the courts you both can communicate and maintain an agreeable relationship.

At The Law Firm of Poppe & Associates, our focus is relentless advocacy for our clients. If you or someone you know is considering divorce, reach out to schedule a consultation: (212) 792-9501.

Mia Poppe, Esq.
Managing Partner

Are you considering divorce and think mediation may be the right option for you and your family? Contact the Law Firm of Poppe & Associates today to schedule a consultation to talk with an attorney about whether mediation or litigation is the right fit for your situation. 

[i] https://sites.dartmouth.edu/dujs/2010/05/30/risk-and-resilience-in-child-coping-with-parental-divorce/