When the end of your marriage is inevitable, no matter the cause, the emotions involved are often volatile, especially when dealing with a contentious divorce. Psychology Today reports that because of the conflicts involved in this type of divorce, the process usually takes much longer and can last a decade or more.

If you find yourself in the middle of a contentious divorce, there are several steps you might take to reduce arguments and toxicity to end the marriage more quickly.

Signs of a toxic divorce

There are several reasons why you might experience a contentious divorce, which often happens when one person in the marriage either does not want it to end or uses the proceedings to exact what he or she perceives as revenge tactics. After you file for divorce, there are several signs of toxicity you may want to watch for, including:

  • Withholding child visitation
  • Hiding financial assets
  • Stalking behavior

These actions may increase once you start to seek out a new partner or form a new circle of friends, as jealousy often fuels toxic behavior.

Navigating a toxic divorce

While the courts can help ensure you receive child visitation, alimony and other rights you entitled to you by law, there are also a few actions you can take to avoid further conflict with your ex-spouse. Ensure that you and your lawyer word documents in a way that makes provisions for alimony payments and child visitation times clear. When you make your needs known and refuse to argue or participate in the toxicity, speaking with your ex may go more smoothly.

Dealing with a contentious divorce can have a severely negative impact on your emotional well-being. Careful planning and patience with the process may help you avoid this.