While deciding to end a marriage is undoubtedly an intensely personal, often emotionally traumatic decision, it does not necessarily have to wipe out all joy in life. New Jersey spouses who keep several key issues in mind may be able to keep stress to a minimum and “get the most for their money,” so to speak, as they head to court for divorce. It is also a good idea to build a strong support network to help overcome any emotional or legal obstacles that arise.

Once the decision is made to file for divorce, many experts say it is best to “put on a game face,” meaning to treat the situation as a business matter, with a list of tasks to carry out in order to accomplish an ultimate goal. Trying to emotionally distance oneself from the situation may help one stay focused on important issues, such as property division, custody or child support. It may be better to address the more emotional aspects of divorce and to allow oneself to mull it all over after all the legalities have been taken care of.

It’s also a good idea to lay some ground rules regarding future interaction with a former spouse, such as in a co-parenting situation. While it may be impossible to completely avoid all interaction with an ex, such interaction need not be wrought with contention if one plans ahead as to what one wishes the new relationship with a co-parent to be like. For instance, a parent might ask a co-parent to agree to not make any personal comments unrelated to the children when seeing each other to exchange custody.

Another helpful idea for New Jersey residents who are preparing for divorce may be to talk to close friends and family members who have gone through similar experiences in the past. They may be able to offer advice and provide encouragement along the way. If a legal problem arises that friends or family members can’t help with, a consultation can be scheduled with an experienced family law attorney for support.