Divorce is never easy. We are inundated with stories of difficult separations, drawn out proceedings and the legal process making a complicated situation more difficult. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to simplify the process and make it as efficient and amicable as possible. Here are three tips for unraveling the complicated divorce process.

Consult with an Attorney

The most important step you can take when considering a divorce is to consult with an experienced divorce attorney. The idea of handling a divorce yourself and avoiding an attorney’s fee may be temping, but in the long run you put yourself at risk without having an experienced attorney reviewing your case. Highly trained and experienced divorce attorneys, like Novack, Jeffrey N, will be able help you navigate issues and pitfalls not obvious to the untrained eye. Don’t go into a decision this important without an expert on your side.

Consider Mediation

Typical divorces involve lawsuits in a public court of law. The details of your divorce can become public and the ultimate decision will rest in the hands of a judge. Many of the frustrations of a traditional divorce can be avoided by going through mediation. Mediation is a private proceeding involving the parties and a mediator that is typically an attorney. The mediator is a neutral party that guides the parties towards an amicable agreement. Mediation is often faster and less expensive than a divorce and the decision is ultimately in your hands. Mediation isn’t for everyone however. If you aren’t able to come to an agreement you’re no closer to resolution than you were before you started the process. It’s a good idea to consult an attorney before mediation as well. The mediator involved may be an attorney but he or she will simply be looking for consensus and not advocating for your interests.

Get Your Financial Records in Order

You can’t expect to amicably distribute property if you and your spouse aren’t on the same page regarding what state your finances and property are in. The best practice is to get copies of all financial documents as early in the process as possible. Not only will it assist you and your attorney with understanding what your financial situation looks like, it is also typically easier to obtain documents from a spouse earlier in the process. It is impossible to know if a divorce is going to get messy. Getting your financial documentation in order early is much easier than doing so after the circumstances have become combative.

No one wants a contentious divorce. The best way to achieve the most positive results is to consider these tips. Always consult with an experienced attorney before beginning the divorce process. It may be tempting to try and handle this on your own but having a trained professional guide you through the process can save you a lot of frustration in the end. Discuss with your attorney the possibility of using the time and money saving option of a mediation. Finally, have your financial documents in order before you begin the process to insure nothing gets overlooked.