As you prepare for divorce, you have every reason to believe that it could quickly become contentious. You want one thing, your imminent ex-spouse wants another, and both of you are blaming the other for the divorce in the first place.

There’s no way to completely eliminate tension in the divorce process, but there are steps you can take to reduce it. By doing so, you make it much easier to resolve every disagreement.

Here are some steps you can take to reduce tension:

  • Prepare yourself: You never know what the divorce process will bring, so prepare for anything and everything. When you’re ready for every possible scenario, you won’t feel as much stress when you have to make key decisions or pivot.
  • Take time for yourself: When you feel that your personal level of stress is getting out of control, take a step away from the divorce process. Even if you only do so for a few minutes, it gives you time to calm down and consider how to get back on track.
  • Know when fighting back is a lost cause: Fighting against your spouse doesn’t always matter. It may feel good for a moment, but it won’t get you anywhere in the long run. It’s often better to calm down, negotiate and compromise.
  • Put yourself in the other person’s shoes: Yes, you need to do what’s best for yourself, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t empathize with the other individual. Putting yourself in their shoes will help you understand where they’re coming from.
  • Prepare for life after divorce: If you have children with your ex-spouse, you’ll need to co-parent with them post-divorce. Prepare for this by creating a well thought out parenting plan and visitation schedule.

Even if you’re ready to move on with your marriage, you shouldn’t expect to make it through the divorce process without tension and bad feelings.

Knowing how to deal with your emotions can be just as important as understanding the divorce process. By reducing tension, you improve the likelihood of making informed decisions while protecting your legal rights.