If you are unhappy in your marriage, you may fantasize about the freedom of being single, but at the same time, it’s likely that you are fearful about the process of getting there. Going through the process of divorce can feel overwhelming, and can take many months. The negotiations that you need to go through, from asset division to child custody, will have a huge impact on the rest of your life, so you will undoubtedly feel the pressure.

While the process of divorce can be challenging, it can be worth it, and in a year from now, it’s likely that you will thank your past self for pushing for what you want. There are also many ways to make the divorce process less stressful and complex. A huge way to impact your experience of divorce is to have a plan in place. The following are the key ways in which having a plan is the key to a smooth divorce process.

It can help you to have all documents in place

If you start preparing for a divorce before you break the news to your spouse, it will give you the chance to gather all necessary documents and understand your financial situation. This can prevent your spouse from wrongfully hiding marital assets from you.

You’ll be able to plan your ideal outcome

Once you have a good understanding of how the law will be applied to your situation, you’ll be able to gain an overview of the realistic outcomes and decide what you want to fight for. Presenting your divorcing spouse with these potential outcomes shortly after filing for divorce can give you the upper hand and could potentially help you to avoid disputes and litigation.

You need to put yourself and your children first when planning to file for a divorce. By taking early action to understand the different legal options you have, you’ll have the best chance of success.