Facing a divorce is a stressful prospect, and many people worry about the life changes they will have to deal with as they separate from their spouse. Starting a new life might not be the only thing generating stress, though. You might be concerned about the process of divorce itself, including how long it will take and how expensive it will be.

These are valid concerns shared by most people going through a divorce. Luckily, however, there are ways to minimize both the cost and timeline of your separation. The following tips can help you get through this difficult situation with as little stress as possible.

Focus on collaborating with ex

Though this might seem like the most difficult prospect, negotiating with your ex is one of the best actions you can take to make the divorce go over as smoothly as possible. You should expect to be in contact with them throughout the process to collaborate on a divorce settlement, parse through property division and discuss custody if you have kids.

Agree on divorce settlement before filing

A divorce settlement is an agreement that will dictate all of the aforementioned stipulations. Finalizing your agreement prior to filing is sure to cut down on the time and stress of a divorce substantially. According to the Huffington Post, in fact, settlement agreements are vital to avoiding court and sidestepping unnecessary drama between you and your ex. 

Enter mediation if it is contested

If court seems unavoidable and you cannot come to any agreement with your ex, entering mediation is not just advisable — it may be mandatory if it is ordered by a judge. Legally negotiating with a mediator present can give you and your ex the opportunity you need to compromise, find satisfactory resolutions and avoid drawing out the divorce process any longer than it already has been.