Going through a divorce can be stressful. Knowing what to expect can help you face the challenges you’ll encounter and increase your resilience.

Here are five important facts about the divorce process that you should be prepared for, and tips to take into consideration.

  1. Divorces are emotional and difficult. Whether you’re the one who wants the divorce, or whether your spouse is the one who wants the divorce, it’s still going to be a big life change for you. It’s important to have a support system in place. While ultimately things are likely going to be better for you down the road, you’re still going to have to get through the process.
  2. It’s important to choose the right attorney. An important aspect of choosing the right attorney is to choose someone who concentrates in matrimonial and family law. You don’t want to pick a criminal lawyer or somebody who does mostly trusts and estates, or even somebody who has a general practice. You’re best off having someone who concentrates in this field and does it on a daily basis. And because going through a divorce is so personal, it’s important to choose somebody that you have a good rapport with, so you can communicate candidly and comfortably with that person.
  3. Know your finances. Be aware of all of your accounts, including investment and retirement accounts. Know all of your online passwords. Sometimes during the divorce process, one spouse will try to hide things from the other and will take control of financial records—so it’s good to get this information together and in order, before you take any initial steps.
  4. Try to anticipate what your living expenses will be after the divorce. Are you going to be able to afford them on your own income? Are you anticipating getting spousal maintenance or child support? Will all of your resources be sufficient to support you in your current lifestyle, or are you going to have to downsize? Have a sense of what your needs will be going forward.
  5. Your children don’t want to be in the middle of your divorce. That’s obviously absent any issues of abuse or danger from the other spouse. It’s important that the children be permitted to maintain a healthy relationship with both parents. To the extent possible, they should be left out of everything. We recognize that this is perhaps the most difficult of all of the tips in this article, but it’s also the most critical.