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Divorce is rarely ever an easy process. Even when both spouses are largely in agreement about major issues, things like deciding custody, dividing up assets, and creating a parenting schedule can be challenging.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to make your divorce much less stressful. This guide explains how to approach your divorce in a way that mitigates conflict and ensures all involved parties receive the best possible outcome for their needs.

Be polite & respectful as much as possible

Divorces work best when ex-spouses work through issues on their own. While it can be challenging, especially during contentious splits, you must maintain a respectful relationship with your ex at all times. Blowing up in court could diminish your case and make it less likely that the judge will rule in your favor. It can also be hard on your children, who are likely to be caught in the middle when you and your ex fight.

Make sure you are both working toward the same goal

In the above example, keeping the focus on your children is a good way to keep your divorce respectful. When both you and your ex keep your children’s best interest in mind, you will be able to make decisions more clearly. If you do not share children, make the common goal of your divorce to navigate through the process as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Make sure divorce is really what you want

While divorce is a good option for many couples, it does spell a permanent end to your marriage. As a result, you must enter into the process fully committed to the idea. A trial separation is often a good start if you are not sure whether divorce is the best option for you. You can also pursue mediation, which entails discussing divorce issues in the presence of a mediator, who can provide guidance on how to make decisions. If you are sure that divorce is the best way to go, be sure to work with an attorney to ensure a better outcome.