As strange as it may seem, it has become borderline trendy for those going through a bad break-up or divorce to attach a dramatic diagnosis to their former partner. Far too many individuals wanting to leave a bad relationship behind decide to play the armchair psychologist.
Based on what they read on some websites and the worst-case interpretation of the behaviors of their partner, they convince themselves that they were with a narcissist or a sociopath. Some may even refer to their partner as a psychopath. While it is certainly true that there are individuals with these severe and diagnosable personality disorders, they are not common.
You may feel like putting a label on the behaviors of your spouse helps you, but it could actually hurt your case as you head to court. Instead of focusing on diagnosing your spouse for a mental health disorder, you should focus more on documenting their bad behavior.
The courts won't give credence to a non-professional diagnosis
In general, the Colorado family courts aren't going to pay much attention to allegations of specific mental health disorders unless there is a psychologist or psychiatrist affirming the diagnosis. In other words, going to the courts and calling your ex a psychopath, narcissist or sociopath could undermine your credibility with the courts.
They may view you as having a penchant for dramatic behaviors or exaggeration. That could end up swaying the courts in favor of your ex. Instead of focusing on your claim that your ex is a narcissist, show the courts how they behave and treat you instead.
Showing a pattern of unhealthy behavior can influence the courts
Unlike your home-made diagnosis, which amounts to little more than name-calling in the eyes of the courts, documentation showing abusive or unhealthy behavior could impact your divorce case.
For example, if your spouse has experience in in-patient psychological care or has had multiple interactions with law enforcement related to instability or violence, the documentation involved in those instances will demonstrate a pattern of dangerous behavior to the courts.
Similarly, even information shared by your spouse on social media and through text messages could help show controlling or abusive behaviors, as well as unstable mental health or irrational beliefs and paranoia.
Focus on your long-term recovery, not on short-term wins
Far too many people divorcing an emotionally or mentally unstable partner focus on receiving short-term affirmations that they are doing the right thing. Only you can know whether ending your marriage is the right choice for you.
No one else has as intimate of an experience of your relationship as you do. In a divorce, the primary goal should be setting yourself up for a better future, not punishing your partner for the outcome of your relationship.
Whether you want financial stability or hope to secure primary custody of your children, focusing on those goals during divorce is a better approach than simply seeking means to penalize or hurt your ex.