No divorce is easy — emotionally or in any other sense. However, there are steps that everyone can take to improve the ultimate outcome and lessen the drama..

One of the first steps is to hire an experienced divorce attorney with whom you feel comfortable and who understands your goals so that he or she can help you fight for them, if you have to. The attorney-client relationship can be one of the most important ones you have during this time. Make that choice carefully.

Assessing your financial situation is key. As your attorney will tell you, it’s essential to have a complete picture of your own and your spouse’s assets and debts. If your spouse has been the one handling the money, you may want to hire financial and tax advisors to your team. These professionals can prove to be more than worth their price when it comes to your long-term financial well-being. Your spouse may have assets (or debts) you know nothing about.

Part of this assessment of your financial situation will be determining which assets are marital and which are nonmarital (separate). Often, separate assets become commingled with marital ones during the relationship, which means that they are property that can be divided if both spouses want a share of it.

You can avoid unnecessary problems by taking extra care in your own activities. Don’t give your spouse anything that can be used against you, particularly if you’re going to be determining custody of your children. That means staying off social media. Even a seemingly-innocent photo of you on a rare night out with friends or colleagues can be blown out of proportion. Refrain from anything that could be construed as questionable behavior — particularly involving drugs, alcohol or a romantic relationship.

Your attorney will provide advice and guidance along the way. It’s essential to listen to him or her. People who are going through a divorce often, understandably, allow their emotions to cloud their judgment without even realizing it. That’s why sound, objective advice is required.

Source: D Magazine, “A Successful Divorce? It’s Possible.,” Michael Wysocki, accessed Dec. 21, 2017