Divorce is an incredibly difficult process, and one of the aspects that many people struggle with the most is getting along with their former partner. Although divorce is about ending your relationship, it often requires working together.

The settlement phase of a divorce – during which you and your former spouse will reach an agreement regarding things such as child support, custody, visitation and alimony – can often be the most contentious and difficult part of the process.

Many people go into a divorce settlement fueled by negative emotion. They bring a sense of anger or frustration into the process that leads to them believing they have received a raw deal as their marriage ends.

A far better way to deal with a divorce settlement is by remaining civil with your ex partner throughout the process and not letting emotions cloud your judgment, your actions or your legal decisions.

In this guide, we’ll share five ways that you can stay civil with your ex partner as you work out a divorce settlement. From working together to keeping your eyes both on the future, read on to learn how to make your divorce settlement truly work.

Accept that your marriage is over for good

Many people go into their divorce settlement with a sense of anger and frustration that their marriage has come to an end. Instead of being objective and rational, they let their emotions cloud their thinking and start making irrational decisions.

Part of the process of working through your divorce is accepting that your marriage has come to an end. Keep your mind focused on moving forward in the best position for you and your former spouse and you’ll find staying civil far easier.

Don’t turn divorce into a competition

Fueled by frustration and a sense of bitterness, many people attempt to turn their divorce settlement into a competition. Instead of “what’s best for ourselves and our children,” the settlement becomes a competition about who comes out on top.

This type of attitude is often what leads to difficult divorces. It’s also what fuels the resentment and frustration many people feel after divorce. Remember that divorce settlement is about settling your futures, not making them uncomfortable.

Remember that your family comes first

Children are often affected by divorce far more than parents. The emotional toll of having the family life they had gotten used to come to an end makes the process of ending your marriage just as difficult for them as it does for you.

When you’re negotiating a divorce settlement with your ex spouse, remember that the focus should be on your children’s future. Put yourselves behind – both of you – and focus on establishing a solid foundation for your children’s continued growth.

Give yourself a supportive social environment

When your marriage comes to an end, it helps to have friends and family members available who can help you. Having a supportive social environment makes many of the difficulties of finalizing your divorce settlement more manageable.

Ending a marriage is stressful, as is dismantling the life you once had. Keep in touch with your friends, a family member or a close associate during the process and you’ll go into mediation with clearer, more positive mind.

Don’t lock your ex spouse out of your life

Sometimes the easiest way to end a relationship is to cut your ex spouse out of your life entirely. While this often makes the emotional side of divorce easier, it can make the legal side far more contentious, frustrating and costly for both sides.

Instead of locking your ex spouse out of your life, be accepting of the fact that they are experiencing the same emotions and difficulties as you. Sometimes, being open with each other will allow you to reach a better outcome for your entire family.