Your family has been lucky in life, and as a result, you’re fortunate to have many assets. One thing that you’ve found you worry about is the potential for those assets to be taken from you during your divorce. There is a possibility that some of your assets may need to be divided, but with some preparation, you can be ready for what divorce brings.

There are a couple tips to follow if you want to avoid spending too much money or losing too many assets in divorce. The first is to avoid court if you can. The second is to be willing to negotiate.

1. Stay out of court

If you have to go to court for disagreements, you’re going to end up costing yourself much more money than if you could settle outside court. When a judge has to hear an entire case from start to finish, there’s much more at stake than if you have your settlement arrangement prepared ahead of the court date.

When a judge has to make a decision in your case, he or she will decide who gets which of your assets. The decision is final, so even if you don’t agree, there’s not much you can do about it.

2. Be ready to negotiate

Avoiding court means being willing to negotiate. Negotiating with your spouse is important, since you can come to an agreement you both can live with. This helps you protect your assets, since you can work out a plan that allows your spouse to have some things he or she wants in exchange for the assets you want to preserve for yourself. If you leave this decision-making process up to the court, you both might walk away unhappy.

Your assets support your lifestyle. With a thought-out separation agreement and settlement, you can protect the assets you want to keep.