Whether because they believe that they can come to an agreement on their own or because they want to minimize the cost and conflict of the divorce process, many couples want to keep their divorce out of court. However, even in an amicable divorce, you may want to get legal guidance during the divorce process to protect your rights and your interests.

Remember that amicable divorces can still be stressful.

Taking a collaborative approach to divorce can eliminate a great deal of stress for you and your spouse, but your divorce will probably still put you under emotional strain. This is especially true when determining the division of your property or creating a parenting plan for your children. Stress could lead to butting heads with your spouse and leave the divorce process at a standstill. Careful planning can help you respond more quickly to these stressful situations and have the knowledge you need to move forward.

Be ready to negotiate.

If you want an amicable divorce, it can be tempting to agree to your spouse’s wishes to keep the peace when dividing property or determining child custody. However, this can leave you without your fair share of assets or without the quality time you need with your children.

Keeping the peace can involve mutual compromise. Negotiating with your spouse—whether with the assistance of a mediator or the guidance of your own attorneys—can help you reach an agreement that protects what matters most to you. Negotiation can also ensure that you end your marriage with the financial foundation you need.

Explore all your options.

Many people do not want to speak to an attorney because they believe that it will lead to conflict. However, speaking to an attorney early in the divorce process may be the best way to choose the divorce process that will work best for you and your spouse.

With careful planning and legal guidance, you can create a legal strategy that protects your rights and helps you move forward into life after divorce.