Divorce will turn your life upside down by forcing you to face challenges head on, change your life in a variety of ways and plan for a future in which you’re no longer living the happily ever after dream.

Although there’s a lot on your plate, there are steps you can take early in the divorce process to put yourself on the road to success.

One of the most important things you can do is become familiar with what the process entails, as this allows you to plan accordingly. For example, there are common mistakes that people make as they prepare for and navigate the divorce process. Here are four to avoid:

  • Talking about the details with your soon-to-be ex-spouse: Once you decide to divorce, you know there will be times to hash out the details, such as those related to child custody, in the future. Don’t rush to discuss these details with your spouse, as it’s likely to end in disaster.
  • Neglecting to create a property and debt division checklist: You need this checklist to guide you, as it’s imperative to know which assets and debts are subject to division. Organization is a big part of a successful divorce. Let this type of checklist be your guide.
  • Forgetting to create a post-divorce budget: A budget is critical to your future well-being, so it’s best to create one as soon as you decide to divorce. If you don’t do this, you may find your finances in a state of disarray after your divorce is finalized.
  • Assuming your children are okay: If you have children together, it’s important for the two of you to take steps to protect them during this difficult time. Ask them questions, provide information and let them know that everything will be okay in the end.

When you prepare in advance, you’re able to avoid these common divorce mistakes, among many others. This gives you a clear mind as you move into the meat of the process.

No matter what, don’t make rash decisions. Instead, think things through and always consider what you must do to protect your legal rights.