Is Your Spouse a Narcissist?

narcissist, Wheaton divorce attorneyDoes your spouse often attempt to control or manipulate you in a malicious way? Does he or she dismiss your feelings as unimportant or nonsensical? Do you ever feel like you are losing your sense of self and only living to please your demanding and unreasonable spouse? If you, you may be married to a narcissist.

The term narcissist technically refers to those with a mental illness called Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) but is often also used to describe those individuals who have some of the characteristics of a person with NPD. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders defines the criteria for an NPD diagnosis. Individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorders often exhibit behaviors such as:

  • Having an Exaggerated Sense of Self-Importance: Narcissists are often very full of themselves. They believe that their accomplishments are more important than those of others and that they are superior to those around them. They have grandiose perceptions of themselves and do not appreciate when others do not share these perceptions. This often manifests into behavior like making every conversation about himself or herself, or craving to be the center of attention at all times. Narcissists may also indulge in unrealistic fantasies of success, fame, power, or wealth.
  • Needing Constant Admiration and Approval: Those with narcissist tendencies often believe that they are better than those around them but, paradoxically, also crave the attention and approval of other people. A narcissist has a very difficult time accepting criticism and can even become enraged by it. He or she will often tout his or her accomplishments (either real or imagined) and become offended if those around him or her do not respond how he or she wanted.
  • Having a Strong Sense of Entitlement: Someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder will demand favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations regardless of how unreasonable they are. Narcissists believe that they are entitled to special treatment or privileges even if they did not earn them.
  • Manipulating Others to Get What They Want: Narcissists are unapologetically exploitative of others and will take advantage of others to get their way. This can unfortunately lead to emotional or physical abuse. They tend to lack empathy and do not feel regret for manipulative or cruel behavior.

Although being married to a narcissist is challenging, it does not automatically mean that the marriage will not last. That being said, many marriages involving a narcissist are not healthy, especially if narcissistic behavior goes unchecked.

Divorcing a narcissist can be particularly challenging, but an experienced DuPage County divorce attorney can help prevent your spouse from manipulating the proceedings. Call 630-871-1002 for a free consultation today.



Do I Need Grounds for Divorce?

grounds, DuPage County divorce attorneyYou may realize that divorce is technically a lawsuit that results in the end of a legal marriage. You may also know that in order to file a lawsuit, you must have a cause for legal action. In a car accident case, for example, property damage or bodily injury gives a person cause to file suit against the liable party. From the standpoint of the law, a divorce is no different. So, what are the causes that give a person the ability to file a petition for divorce? Causes of action in divorce proceedings are known as grounds, and the number of possible divorce grounds might surprise you.

Irreconcilable Differences

Since changes to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act went into effect in 2016, there is exactly one cause of action for a divorce in Illinois. All divorces in the state are now granted on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. More specifically, the court may only grant a divorce if that “irreconcilable differences have caused the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” In addition, the court must also find that efforts at saving the marriage would be “impracticable and not in the best interests of the family.

Irreconcilable differences can mean different things to every couple, and the court is usually inclined to let each couple determine that their marriage is over. It is not in the interests of the court to block a divorce when it is clear that the spouses no longer want to remain married. The same is true in regard to reconciliation efforts. Testimony by each party that they have tried everything reasonable is usually sufficient to satisfy that element of the law.

Fault Grounds

Prior to 2016, there were about a dozen possible divorce grounds in Illinois, including those that addressed negative behaviors by one spouse. Behaviors such as infidelity, abandonment, patterns of abuse, and even being convicted of certain crimes could give the offended spouse cause to file a divorce action. The problem with fault grounds, however, was that they required proof. A woman who suspected her husband of cheating, for example, would need to find and present evidence of the affair before the court could grant a divorce on the grounds of adultery.

Irreconcilable differences have been a divorce option in Illinois for more than three decades, and over time, couples began to shy away from fault grounds in favor of the no-fault alternative. Finally, the Illinois legislature decided to eliminate fault grounds altogether.

Call Us for Help

If you are considering a divorce, it is important to understand as much as you can about the process. Contact an experienced Wheaton family law attorney for guidance. Call Andrew Cores Family Law Group at 630-871-1002 for a free consultation today.



Yours, Mine, or Ours? Identifying Marital Property in Divorce

marital property, Illinois asset division attorneysWhen two people get married, they often choose to combine all of their financial interests. They may have joint checking and savings accounts, put both names on loan documents and titles, and generally consult with one another about major purchases. Other couples may elect to keep things more separate. These couples may have joint accounts to be used for household bills and other expenses, but they may also have investments or property held in their own names. Whichever option a couple chooses, a divorce may leave more property subject to division than many people realize.

What the Law Says

If a divorcing couple is able to reach a reasonable agreement regarding the division of property, the court will approve the agreement without much a problem in most cases. If the couple cannot agree, however, Illinois law says that a court has the authority to divide the couple’s marital property in a manner that is equitable and just—not necessarily equally. Only marital property is subject to division in a divorce, and determining what constitutes marital property is the first step of the property division process.

According to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act, marital property includes all assets and debts acquired by either spouse during the marriage with a few important exceptions. Gifts or inheritances received by one spouse are considered to be non-marital, as are the proceeds realized by the sale of property owned prior to the marriage. Non-marital property may be considered in analyzing a party’s financial situation, but it is not subject to division.

What It Means

The law does not make reference to whose name is on a real estate deed or vehicle title, nor does it address which spouse paid for which items. If either spouse obtained the asset during the marriage, the asset is almost certainly considered to be marital property. This applies to tangible items such as cars, real property, and furniture, as well as to financial assets including earnings, savings, and investments.

Certain assets may consist of both marital and non-marital portions, and only the value of the marital portion is subject to division. Assume, for example, that you took out a mortgage to purchase a home and made payments for 15 years before you got married. Your spouse moved into your home, and you continued to make payments using your normal income for the next 15 years, successfully paying off the home at the 30-year mark.

If you were to get divorced after the home was paid off, the portion of equity paid into the home during the first half of your mortgage is likely to be considered non-marital property. The equity built during the second half while you were married would likely be marital property. Calculating the exact value of each portion may require the assistance of a real estate appraiser or financial professional, but only the marital portion must be accounted for during the divorce.

We Can Help

Identifying marital property is not always as easy as it seems, but our team is equipped to help you. Contact an experienced DuPage County property division attorney to discuss your situation today. Call 630-871-1002 for a free consultation.