In the United States, there is one divorce every 36 seconds, and the average marriage lasts only about nine years. Considering that 40-50% of first marriages and 60% of second marriages are likely to end in divorce, keep the following tips in mind if you need to file for divorce.

Don’t Let Emotions Lead Your Financial Decisions
While it is common for exes to take their frustrations out on each other during the process of divorce, it is not recommended. It is important to choose your battles and to do so wisely. Keep in mind that there is business to conduct and emotions must not interfere.

Make Big Purchases Before Filing
Many states issue automatic financial restraining orders once a petition for divorce has been filed. Once this happens, both parties will be prevented from making large purchases until a final decision has been reached and filed. For this reason, many divorce lawyers advise their clients to buy any big items they may anticipate needing prior to filing for divorce.

Get Property Valued Ahead of Time
During the process of divorce, just about everything is fair game. To better your chances of getting what you want, you should know the value of your assets before proceedings begin. In many cases, attorneys can recommend resources to help you appraise your assets.

Don’t Hide Assets
One of the worst things you can do during a divorce is to hide or conceal assets from your divorce attorney or former spouse. If it is discovered that you are withholding assets, you could lose your credibility in court or be charged a harsh penalty. Save yourself the trouble and declare all assets upfront.

Have a Paper Trail
The majority of assets are divisible in court, but some exceptions do apply. Proper documentation can help you to keep what you feel should be separate property. Experienced attorneys are well aware of this and will advise you to collect these documents ahead of time.

Be Aware of the Worst State for Divorce
If you live in Arkansas, New Jersey, Rhode Island, South Carolina or Vermont, your divorce could take as long as 540 days. These states have the longest time-frame for divorce proceedings in the country. Most divorce lawyers in Harrisonburg VA advise clients to consider relocating to speed up the divorce process.

Divorce is never easy. Between the money spent on attorneys and court fees to the division of property and other assets, the whole process can be draining. Luckily, by following the above tips, you can avoid further stress and, in some cases, preventable expenses.