If you don’t want your divorce to drag on in court, consuming all of your time and emotional energy, you’re not alone. Plenty of people say they want to have fast, easy divorces, but things just tend to swell once they get underway. With the tips listed below, you can make your divorce as fast and simple as possible.

1. Prepare in advance. Know what paperwork you need to have and make sure you get it. Understand the different parts of the process–property division, child custody arrangements, and the like–and what will be required. The more you know up front, and the more you do in advance, the less time you’ll spend in court.

Divorce and Mediation

2. Communicate with your spouse. When the two of you can agree on things beforehand, it speeds the process up tremendously. A lack of communication slows everything down and leads to conflict. For example, you could waste a lot of time fighting over property in court, but you could also agree to a split in advance and then simply have the court sign off on your agreement.

3. Don’t try to get everything for yourself. The process will take the longest if you fight for every last cent or try desperately to get sole custody of your child. If these things are important to you, they may be worth the time and energy. While that’s fine, if your goal is to get done quickly and easily, compromises may be needed.

As you go forward with this, you must know about all of the steps that are required in Maryland, as knowledge of the legal process also speeds things along.

Source: FIndLaw, “How to Make a Divorce Fast, Cheap, and Painless,” Christopher Coble, accessed March 25, 2016