Even healthy marriages have the potential to fall apart. If you come to realize that divorce is the only way to solve your differences, you know that you’re tackling a process that’s full of challenges.

Although no two people face the exact same divorce circumstances, there are some general tips everyone in this position can follow:

  • Plan how you’ll ask for a divorce: When the time comes to discuss this with your spouse, have a clear plan of what you’ll say and how you’ll move on from the conversation. Of particular importance, this isn’t the right time to discuss the terms and conditions of your divorce. Stick to the basics.
  • Protect your finances: Your financial circumstances are changing, so it’s important to protect yourself before, during and after the divorce process. For example, create a property and debt division checklist so you have a clear understanding of what will come into play during your divorce.
  • Protect your children: If you have children with your soon-to-be ex-spouse, the two of you should get on the same page about how to best protect them during this difficult time in their life. For example, you should never put them in the middle of your divorce, such as by asking them what they think about their other parent.
  • Give mediation a real try: Even if you’re not getting along, mediation is still the best place to begin the divorce process. With the help of a mediator, you can work through all your disagreements, such as those associated with child custody and property division. Unlike litigation, mediation gives you more control over your divorce.
  • Think about the future: It’s hard to picture a day when your divorce is in the past, especially if it’s been challenging, but it will come soon enough. Plan for the future, such as by creating a new budget and setting personal goals.

You may not follow these divorce tips down to every last detail, but they should provide a better idea of where to focus your time and energy.

When you combine this advice with detailed knowledge of the divorce process and your legal rights, it’s easier to avoid setbacks and position yourself for success.