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Your new divorce: 5 tips for handling your divorce

You never thought you'd be someone who would go through a divorce. You loved your spouse when you got married, and in some ways, you still do. The reality just is that you can't be with your spouse and that your marriage isn't working.

Now, you want to make sure the divorce goes as quickly and smoothly as possible. How can you make sure you're not dragging out your divorce or focusing too much on minor things? Here are five tips.

1. Get your assets in order

First, you need to get all your assets in order. List everything you own, no matter how insignificant some may seem. Start with major assets and then list smaller assets. Compare your list with your spouse's list, so you can decide if you're missing anything.

2. Choose the right attorney

Once you think you're ready to contact an attorney, do your research. You should choose an attorney you feel comfortable with, who has experience with divorce cases and who has a history of success.

3. Focus on the major things first

Once you're ready to negotiate with your spouse and have an attorney, it's time to focus on the major parts of the divorce. Do you have kids? Work out your child custody arrangements. Do you have property or many assets? Discuss how you plan to split them up. It may take some time to negotiate the division of your assets or to come up with a child custody plan that works for you, so getting those out of the way first helps resolve your divorce faster.

4. Avoid drama

Another thing you can do to help yourself is to avoid making the divorce dramatic. If there are arguments or times when you can't communicate, you're only dragging out the divorce. Even though negotiations can become heated, it's vital to keep a cool head and focus on your end goals.

5. Consider mediation or arbitration

Finally, consider mediation or arbitration. If you have one or two things you can't resolve, mediation or arbitration can help. Mediation allows a third-party mediator to listen to both sides' arguments. Then, he or she helps you by educating you on legal options or giving you information on what happens if you choose one path over another.

Arbitration, on the other hand, has a judge or arbitrator listen to you plead your cases. At the end, the judge or arbitrator makes a decision for you, which is unlike mediation.

These are five tips that can help you handle your divorce as well as possible. Try to remain professional at all times and focus on the major points of your divorce to get through it faster.

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