1. If Possible, Do Not Litigate; Choose a Less Stressful Divorce Option.

When it comes to divorce, you have some choices: You can litigate and battle it out in court, or you can try to resolve the issues either through mediation, or, getting advice and guidance from a trained professional. Litigation is usually the worst option. 

Take the time to do your homework and research the various options. Then, choose the one that’s most likely to keep your divorce as peaceful as possible.

2. Get Organized.

During the divorce process, you’ll need to make significant decisions that will affect you and your children for years to come. And the more organized you are, the better the quality your negotiations (and resulting settlement agreement) will be.

Work with your spouse to make a list of assets and debts and begin gathering copies of all financial records such as: your most recent federal and state tax returns, W2’s, pay stubs, bank accounts statements, brokerage accounts statements, credit card statements, insurance policies, retirement accounts, mortgage statements, car loan statements, etc.

Create a budget so you can get an understanding of what your projected monthly expenses will be after you’re divorced and living in separate households.

3. Take Responsibility.

Don’t be a passive about your divorce – this is your divorce so take control of the process. Listen to your divorce professional, but be prepared to make your own decisions.

The best way to get through a divorce is to take an active role in the process, even if you are not the initiator. You will reach a better settlement and your divorce will likely take less time, be less stressful and cost less money.

4. Get Support.

It’s important to remember that no matter how isolated you may feel, you are not alone.

Recognize that there are sources of divorce support that you can reach out to help you sort through the feelings you’re experiencing and learn how to deal with them in a healthy and constructive way.

When you can control your emotions, you can better prepare yourself for your divorce negotiations and approach them with a calm, level head.

5. Stay off social media.

No matter how angry or betrayed you might feel, or no matter how much your spouse may be pressing your buttons, do not let him/her get the best of you. Rise above, bite your tongue, take a deep breath and be the adult in the room.

Stay off social media and resist venting details of your divorce to anyone who will listen. Don’t badmouth your spouse to the kids or your family (even if he/she is badmouthing you to them).

As difficult as it might seem, you need to focus on taking care of yourself – physically, mentally, and emotionally so you can be in a better position to make good decisions about your future with a calm, rational head.

Make every effort to help yourself not let your divorce ruin the rest of your life.

If you need help with how to cope with your emotions, get yourself a good therapist, exercise, eat healthy, get enough sleep and surround yourself with positive people.

6. Focus on The Big Picture.

The last tip on preparing for a divorce is to stay focused on the big picture.

The decisions you’ll need to make during the divorce process will affect you and your children for years to come, so don’t get bogged down in fighting over trivial things or trying to be “right.”

Ultimately nobody “wins” in divorce, but if you focus on what’s most important, like the kids and your future, instead of the painful past, you’ll have a much better chance of achieving a fair and reasonable settlement. Then you can file an uncontested divorce, instead of fighting it out in court! .