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Getting divorced is a common experience, but that does not make it any less stressful. Nobody expects that their marriage will end, but when separation is the best option, you need to assess your options and determine what the best course of action will be. The outcome of your divorce will largely depend on whether you approach it proactively or passively—and the latter can leave you in the lurch.

Consider the following three ways that you can be proactive in your divorce and garner a positive outcome for yourself and your family.  

Consider your needs

Too many people approach divorce as something to get through and survive. While it may seem that this is the only option when stress is high, you should not neglect your own needs when you are negotiating the details of your divorce. According to Huffington Post, many divorcees—especially men—do not ask for alimony. If spousal support is necessary, though, you should request it. 

Plan for kids’ needs

If you have kids with your ex, your own needs are not the only ones that should be considered. Think about what will be best for them, too, in the coming months and years after the divorce. If you have concerns about custody or child support, it is a great idea to discuss these things with your soon-to-be ex. Being proactive in this area can prevent disputes from emerging that put more stress on your child.

Understand the process

One of the worst mistakes you can make in a divorce is listening to the advice and feedback of friends and family without doing any research for yourself. This is an unfortunately common misstep as many people passively collect information about divorce from other people’s experiences. Rather than acting on what you have heard, proactively research the process so you can understand what to expect.