Going through a divorce can be difficult, but it’s even more difficult to try and live with the aftermath of a divorce. That’s especially true if you ended up settling for things you care about and fighting too hard for things that don’t matter to you.

The best way to make sure you end your relationship civilly during a divorce is to work hard to make the process go more smoothly as it unfolds.

You should:

  • Follow your attorney’s lead
  • Allow time for self-reflection
  • Choose your battles carefully
  • Get to the root cause of the problem
  • Give yourself and your ex-partner grace and forgiveness

Follow Your Attorney’s Lead

The very best way to make sure your divorce goes as smoothly as possible is to follow your attorney’s lead. Follow their suggestions and ask them for advice when you’re feeling stuck.

For example, attorneys are skilled at identifying cases unsuitable for divorce mediation. If an attorney recommends following the traditional method of getting a divorce, then do it. If they need certain information, get it to them in a timely manner.

When you listen to your attorney, you’re more likely to get through your divorce, and you’ll feel more comfortable living with the rulings after it is over.

Allow Time for Self-Reflection

It’s easy to focus on your ex-spouse and their behavior during a divorce. It’s probably true that they contributed to the reasons for getting a divorce, but there are likely things you need to reflect on as well. It’s especially important to do some reflecting before you get into another relationship to ensure you don’t play out the same patterns that led to your divorce.

Start by looking at your actions from your ex-spouse’s point of view to gain a deeper understanding of your role in the marriage.

You should also ask yourself questions like:

  • What did I need from this relationship that I didn’t get?
  • What did my ex-spouse need that I couldn’t give them?
  • What could I have done to fix issues before they turned into bigger problems?

Choose Your Battles Carefully

In a divorce, it can seem like every issue is an important issue, but that’s not true. There are some issues that are more important to you and some that are more important to your ex-spouse. Focus on the issues that are important to you without getting caught up in fighting for something that you don’t actually care about.

Financial issues are a common point of contention, but there are likely things you can agree on. For example, decide which assets you really want without putting things on the list just to make your ex-spouse’s life miserable. Avoid making decisions based on revenge, and you’ll be happier after your divorce is over.

Get to the Root Cause of the Problem

A lot of problems crop up during a divorce, but the problems you’re discussing aren’t always the problems you should be discussing. It’s much better to get to the root cause of any problems that arise so you can move through them more easily.

If you really want to keep the house, think about why. You might realize that you only really want to keep the house because a grandparent helped you with the downpayment. You might discover that you could ask for the downpayment amount in the divorce proceedings and let the house go.

By really thinking about the root cause of any dispute or wishes you or your ex-spouse have, you are more likely to come to a positive resolution.

Give Yourself and Your Ex-Partner Grace and Forgiveness

Getting a divorce is a complicated process that can bring up a lot of feelings that can lead to actions you aren’t proud of. Rather than dwelling on those things, it’s important to give yourself grace and practice forgiving yourself for your mistakes.

It also means giving your ex-partner grace and forgiveness, even though it may be hard. By remembering that they are doing the best they can with what they have, you’re more likely to give them the space they need to work through their own issues so you can work through your divorce together.

The divorce process doesn’t have to be a contentious, negative experience. When you take control over your own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with the tips on this list, you can get through your divorce and come out the other side a happier version of yourself.