Litigation is costly and lengthy, and many people seek to use mediation to avoid it. People – especially people who want to have a good relationship with their ex – will try anything to avoid the pain of a protracted divorce fight. Unfortunately, that isn’t always possible.

If you see these signs in during the early stages of your divorce – and possibly at the end of the marriage – you may be in for a long, difficult fight.

Narcissistic tendencies

We’ve written before about narcissistic and toxic personalities in a relationship leading to divorce. While these tendencies and disorders may lead to a divorce, they may also lead to a more disruptive and contentious proceeding. If a person cannot admit fault or wrongdoing, that will become a major aspect in coming to a mutually beneficial agreement. You would become the “fault” for everything, thus leading to aggressive litigation.

Discovering hidden assets

One of your attorney’s main job is to closely research any assets you and your impending ex may have. Since Washington is a community property state, this means that you will have a 50% share of the marital estate. However, if you find that your ex conceals assets in preparation for the divorce, it may ruin any trust. It will be hard not to move into litigation to settle such matters.


When two people have a difficult marriage, both sides can inflict lasting emotional damage on each other. That kind of bitterness will last for a long time and be hard to let go if you want an amicable divorce. It’s not impossible, but it is certainly not the norm.

Breakdowns in communication

Bad communication between parties is a major contributor to contentious divorces that go to litigation. These can lead to disputes in every aspect of a divorce, including child custody and property division and support.

Good communication can happen between parties, but it’s also much more possible by turning to your attorney. They know how to advocate for you and can do so without the baggage of an entire marriage behind them.