For couples who decide to get a divorce in Oklahoma, it is never too early to begin preparing for it. Some people may want to avoid it as much as possible, but there are major decisions to make, and the proceedings tend to go easier and quicker for those who research and plan.

According to Money Crashers, one of the first decisions to make is whether to use mediation or traditional court litigation. For couples who are able to communicate and negotiate, mediation is often quicker, more affordable and less stressful. Litigation may be a better option for high net-worth couples, those with addiction or abuse issues or if a couple is unable to communicate honestly.

With either mediation or litigation, each partner should think about what they want out of the divorce process. According to MarketWatch, both people should consider their goals both financially and personally. This includes making a post-divorce budget.

Organization can save both time and money once the proceedings begin. Make a list of individual and joint debts, assets and investment accounts. Gather documents such as bank and credit card statements, mortgage information, tax returns and retirement account statements. Close joint accounts and credit cards, and do the best to pay off outstanding debt.

For couples with kids, parents need to put their own wants aside and consider custody decisions in regard to what is in the child’s best interest. Same when considering living situations. One may really want to keep the house, but keeping up with the mortgage, taxes and upkeep on just one salary may be too financially straining.