Information is empowering. This is true in many areas of life, and it’s very true in terms of the divorce process. In many cases, divorce has been a lingering possibility for quite some time. Both sides have had a chance to research and think about what it would actually be like, and what steps would be involved in the process. Perhaps you’ve been holding out an actually starting the process of getting divorces because one or both of you are hesitant to get into a complicated, drawn-out and expensive process.

Knowing some of the common stumbling blocks in the divorce process isn’t a bad idea, even if you’re looking to pass on some useful information to a friend. If more Americans knew more about divorce ahead of time — instead of always waiting until the last minute to actually learn about it — we could have more amicable and constructive divorces, without so much wasted time and money.

1. Hiring a lawyer right away

Hiring a lawyer really shouldn’t be the first thing you do in a divorce process. Making a considered attempt to reach amicable agreements in the most important areas — children and finance, chief among them — can often lead to a much better result. It’s also worth reiterating that a lawyer is not actually needed to reach a final judgment of divorce in the state of New Jersey.

2. Being dishonest about finances

The financial side of divorce can only run smoothly if both parties are completely honest about assets, debts, and other financial aspects of life. When everybody understands that honest and transparency are mutually beneficial in the long term, a better result is achieved.

3. Getting too emotional

Divorce is obviously an emotional process — that goes without saying. But it is possible to approach divorce with a big picture mentality. This often involves going through a more emotional process before entering into professional divorce mediation. Some divorce mediators have a background in professional therapy and are better at working with emotions during the mediation process.

4. Not keeping your kids in the foreground

Divorce involves history, a whole range of emotions, financial settlements, properties and a whole lot more. But if there are minors involved (especially young children), they should always be kept in the foreground as divorcing parties negotiate around co-parenting and all of the other practical issues of divorce. Settling amicably and in a way that is sustainable over the long-term will be of enormous benefit to any children who are involved in the divorce.

A smoother, more amicable outcome

Divorce is often difficult for both sides, and for good reasons. That does not mean, however, that the divorce process cannot be efficient, economical, and constructive on many of the most important levels. It may seem as though child custody and financial issues will necessarily make divorce complicated, but if these issues are talked out with a mediator who understands both the legal and interpersonal issues involved in divorce, your chances for a swift, fair and amicable resolution are much greater.