When you got married in Washington, you and your spouse no doubt shared dreams and plans that you hoped to bring to fruition as you lived out your marriage together. Perhaps you made several of your dreams a reality, such as having children or starting your own business, living in a certain area or other happy events. You may be one of many people who realized, as time went on, that there were toxic issues in your relationship; so toxic, in fact, that you have decided to file for divorce.

Unfortunately, situations like this often get worse before they get better. Toxic relationship issues have a way of working themselves into the courtroom when you’re navigating divorce proceedings. Being aware ahead of time regarding your spouse’s tendencies, and knowing where to seek support if a problem arises, can help you avoid stress and achieve a swift and fair settlement.

Were these issues factors in your decision to divorce?

No marriage is perfect because no person is perfect. Marriage is a union of two people who are capable of error and unkindness. Sometimes, you can resolve relationship problems, rise above your differences of opinion and move on in life together as you forgive and start afresh. If you’ve determined that your marital problems are not resolvable, you might be ready to move on in life without your spouse rather than stay in an unhappy relationship. The following list includes issues that often lead to divorce:

  • Your spouse is only concerned with his or her own needs and desires.
  • You fight about money or child-related issues all the time.
  • Your spouse is narcissistic and it’s placing your mental health at risk.
  • You have been cheated on one or more times.
  • Your spouse is a chronic liar or sociopath.
  • You or your children have suffered neglect or abuse.

When you make a decision to file for divorce, you understand that it’s going to activate changes that will disrupt your family members’ lives. If the issues shown in this list were present in your marriage, it may also disrupt court proceedings.

How do you get a fair settlement if your ex isn’t being honest or fair?

If you’re in the middle of property division or child custody proceedings, and your ex is lying to the judge, it’s difficult to achieve a fair settlement. If you have a narcissistic spouse, for instance, he or she might try to turn the court or your own kids against you. Your ex might try to hide assets or accuse you of doing so, which can complicate property division proceedings.

If you believe your ex is abusive, you may have grounds for requesting sole custody of your children; however, it’s likely that your former partner might try to get the court to deny your request.

Deal with toxic issues one at a time, and always obey the law

It can be tempting to lash out or try to take revenge against a person whose toxicity is causing stress and turmoil in your life, especially when you’ve been married to the person in question. To obtain a fair divorce settlement and help your kids cope with the situation, however, it’s best to try to remain calm, and seek additional support as needed to help you protect your parental rights and your children’s best interests.