Separating two lives, especially after many years of marriage, is a process. With the high emotional tensions that come with divorce, it can be difficult to differentiate hurt and grief from financial and material necessities. What do you want to keep because you really cherish them and what do you just not want your spouse to have? Are you letting resentment dictate your decisions?

We have compiled a list of tips to help you work through divorce and property division:

  1. Make a list of the things you want and why you want them. Remember what items really are important to you. Your mother’s china? Absolutely. Your spouse’s mother’s china? Maybe not.
  2. Cross out things you want just so your spouse doesn’t get them. They probably won’t be worth the fight in the long run and aren’t always beneficial to hold onto when you’re trying to move on.
  3. Spend some time with your list. Once it’s written out, step away and see how you feel. Give yourself a couple of days to really see how it sits.
  4. Listen to the experts. Your attorney, financial planner and other experts have made a career of helping people through your situation. They know how to set you up for a successful future, so let them help.
  5. Focus on yourself. Physically, emotionally, financially… divorce is draining. Maintain a life outside of your divorce and spend time with friends and family you know will be there to support you. Remember to put yourself first sometimes rather than constantly getting wrapped up in your spouse and your divorce proceedings.
  6. Weigh your options. With so many emotions involved, make sure you are thinking critically about the process and how your settlement options will affect your life. Remember that when you decide to let some things go, it can be easier to fight for the things you really want.
  7. Look forward. The purpose of divorce and the separation of property is to ensure a brighter future for both parties. Remember that things will get better, even though the current situation is difficult.

Dividing property and finances sets up the rest of your life and there aren’t any do-overs. Even if you have a cordial relationship with your spouse, working with a professional and thinking critically about how your divorce will affect your future is important.