Nobody said divorce was going to be easy, but does it really have to be so difficult? This is a question that so many people end up asking when help a friend through divorce, or face divorce for themselves. The process is notorious for being long and difficult — but it’s also important to realize that many divorces are amicable, organized, efficient, and fair to everyone involved.

Divorce is such a personal process, and there are so many variables in play. It’s impossible to boil it down to a few “tricks and tips” that make divorce easy for everybody, in every single case. Anybody who has been through an emotional divorce can tell you that it feels anything but straightforward.

That being said, there are a few general insights that do apply in the majority of cases. Taking some time to learn about them in advance can help minimize the stress, anxiety, time, and financial costs of divorce. Even if divorce isn’t in the picture for you, a friend or family member might be in a position to benefit from the following three ways to make divorce easier.

1. Be open to a constructive outcome

It’s important to know what’s most important to you as you navigate the divorce process. If there are children involved, their wellbeing (which includes your ability to financially support and co-parent) will be at the top of the list. If there are no children, the financial side of things usually takes center stage. It’s important to think not only about what you’d like the outcome to be for yourself, but what might be the most constructive outcome for both parties.

2. Don’t rush

To many people just want to get the divorce process over and done with, and that’s of course understandable. There are many situations in which emotions run high. But leaping into the legal process of divorce — without first working out some of the key problems and challenges that need to be faced — is a common mistake. It can make the whole experience of divorce more drawn-out, stressful and expensive than it really has to be.

3. Seek professional mediation

Divorce mediation is an effective tool in a wide spectrum of divorce cases, even when the financial or parenting side of things seems complicated. One of the questions people often ask divorce mediators is, “How can we do this in the best possible way at the lowest expense?” The mediation process can guide divorcing couples through different solutions and scenarios, and is skilled at helping both parties to find a middle ground that works and results in most amicable approach possible.

Maintaining a big picture mentality

One of the best things people can do in the midst of a divorce — especially when tensions are running high — is to step back and think about the bigger picture. There are practical ways to bring the process of divorce to a more amicable and constructive level for all parties involved. It may seem easier said than done, and it does involve an effort on both sides. But over the long-term, a fair and amicable divorce process will always lead to better results.