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Unhappily married couples may try everything possible to save their relationship before divorcing. No matter if they work through their obstacles or dissolve their marriage, they must consider certain facts.

CNBC breaks down vital issues to think about before ending a marriage. When couples fully understand the stakes, they make informed choices about their shared and separate lives.

Divorce court or mediation

Couples divorcing amicably could benefit from working with an experienced divorce mediator rather than letting a Maryland court handle their legal matter. Mediation often saves couples money and time and gives them more control over the terms of their divorce settlement.

Financial assets

When deciding which assets to fight for and which to give up, married partners must understand the asset’s actual worth. Specifically, spouses must think about an asset’s after-tax value and its risks. for instance, while one spouse may have fond memories of the marital home and want to keep it, she or he may have trouble paying the mortgage and keeping up with other homeownership costs. If so, it could make more financial sense for the couple to work together and sell the home.

Post-divorce budget

Those dissolving their marriage deserve to have a long-term post-divorce budget when discussing child support, alimony and similar divorce settlement matters. Parents must not only think about their child’s immediate needs, such as extracurricular activities and doctor’s visits, but also future expenses like college tuition. The further ahead a couple thinks about, the better for all involved.

Divorce brings a tide of emotions, choices and considerations. The better-informed couples are, the better they know how to protect their interests.