You and your spouse worked hard to get where you are today, but your relationship suffered as you did. You were never together, and over time, you grew apart.

Today, you’re looking at separating, but it could be costly. You have hundreds of thousands of dollars in assets to divide, and you don’t want to end up damaging your finances by going through this divorce. What should you do?

To start with, it’s important to approach your divorce objectively. Realize that you will likely see a change in your lifestyle as a result of the financial impact, at least in the immediate future. It is, after all, more expensive to support a home, children and other responsibilities on only one income.

Another thing to remember is that there are ways to reduce the financial impact of a divorce on you and your spouse. You may want to discuss divorce mediation or working collaboratively together to resolve disputes over property division, child custody or other concerns. Mediation, for example, is usually faster and less expensive than going to court to resolve problems. On top of that, it’s private, so you don’t have a dispute aired out in public.

Not all divorces have to end up in court. Many people are able to resolve them quickly outside court through methods of alternative dispute resolution like mediation. Mediation offers you more control over the outcome, and it’s cost-effective in comparison to litigation. If this is something that you may be interested in, it’s a good idea to learn more about mediation, how it works and to discuss it as an option with your spouse and attorney.