Despite what television and film may show, divorces do not have to be an all-out battle. That is, it is possible to end your marriage without fighting with your spouse in open court. Not only do amicable divorces tend to be less stressful, but they are also often more affordable than protracted litigation.

Even if you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are on good terms, you still must protect yourself during your divorce. After all, you and your husband or wife may have vastly different interests. Here are three ways to protect yourself in an amicable divorce.

1. Identify all separate and community property

In Texas, divorcing spouses usually jointly own the marital estate. To be sure you receive what you deserve, you must identify all separate and community property. Separate property is everything that belongs exclusively to you. Community property, by contrast, is everything you and your spouse own together.

You should not trust your spouse to disclose all separate and marital assets. Instead, you should conduct your own investigation and gather all relevant financial and other records early in your divorce process.

2.  Obtain independent legal counsel

Because you and your spouse may have divergent interests, relying on a single lawyer may be a mistake. Seeking independent legal counsel gives you an attorney who can look out for your legal and other interests.

3. Look out for your kids

Judges in Texas must consider the best interests of the children when making custody determinations. Even if you and your husband or wife have worked out some custody issues, you must be certain your arrangement satisfies this legal standard.

Children, of course, can complicate even amicable divorces. Consequently, when finalizing your divorce, be sure to prioritize the physical, emotional, educational and other needs of your kids.