You have probably managed large projects of various kinds but perhaps none as stressful and expensive as your divorce.

Take steps early on to keep the stress level down as well as the cost and you will weather the divorce more comfortably than you anticipated.

Prepare well

Gather the pertinent documents. Keep copies for yourself and provide copies to your divorce attorney. Documents required will include pay stubs, bank statements, credit card statements, mortgage information, investment and retirement account statements, insurance policies and loan documents.

Be methodical

Divorce is a huge project. You may feel overwhelmed just thinking about it, not to mention angry and depressed, frustrated and sad. There is so much to think about and so much to do. Your best approach to the whole process is to break the bigger tasks down into pieces you can more easily manage. Be methodical, practical and more businesslike than emotional.

Rely on emotional support

Form a support network to help lower your stress level. Choose relatives and friends you can talk to when you need comfort and support, people who will provide sympathy and understanding.

Agree to compromise

There are benefits if you and your soon-to-be-ex can compromise and come to agreement on major objectives such as property division, spousal support and a parenting plan. If you can avoid a contentious divorce and settle out of court, you will save time, money and needless stress. Your children will also benefit from a less tense and combative atmosphere and you can all begin the post-divorce era with greater confidence and a more peaceful frame of mind.