Navigating the choppy and uncharted waters of a divorce is never easy.
After all, there's no handbook for how to get through divorce that tells you how to act, feel or even what to expect.
The goal for most divorcing couples is to get through the process as quickly and as amicably as possible. So if that's what you want too (and unless you want to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and waste years of your life, it should be), here are five tips for a more peaceful divorce:
Tip #1: 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 leverage to help you sort through the menagerie of feelings you're experiencing and learn how to deal with them in a constructive way.
When you can control your emotions, you will be better prepared to approach divorce negotiations with a calm, level head.
Tip #2: Avoid the Blame Game
There are always two sides to every story, but it can be tough to see that when you're in the midst of a messy and emotionally charged divorce.
One of the most important steps in how to get through your divorce peacefully is to step back and take ownership for whatever part you had in the demise of the marriage.
When both spouses own up to their own shortcomings and take responsibility for their actions, there is less blame and more open, honest communication.
Tip #3: Pick Your Battles
If you're looking to drag your divorce out for months or even years, then by all means, fight over every little thing.
But if you want to get through divorce peacefully, you're going to have to learn to pick your battles.
Take the time to figure out what's most important to you -- what your wants, needs and non-negotiables are -- before you discuss them with your spouse. That way, you'll have the clarity to tackle negotiations in a more peaceful, focused manner.
Tip #4: Choose a More Peaceful Divorce Option
When it comes to divorce, you've got plenty of choices.
You can litigate and battle it out in court. If you have a simple case, you can try to do it yourself. You can collaborate and pay half a dozen people to intervene in the process. Or you can mediate.
Take the time up front to do your homework and research all of the available options. Then, choose the one that's most likely to keep your divorce as peaceful as possible.
Tip #5: Keep An Eye On The Big Picture
The last tip on how to divorce peacefully is staying focused on the big picture.
The decisions you make now will affect you and your children for years to come, so don't get bogged down in fighting over semantics or trying to be right.
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 have a much better chance of achieving a settlement you can both feel comfortable with.