We all know divorce is not an easy thing to go through. Contested divorces bring out some of the worst attributes in people. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re involved in a divorce, the manner in which you handle yourself and your soon-to-be-ex can make all the difference in how the proceedings play out and the results you obtain.

As a divorce attorney, I find that one of the common mistakes people make is that they don’t think about their actions and forget to view the divorce as just one piece of the puzzle in their lives. That’s a big mistake.

It’s hard to always be thinking of the big picture. We get caught up in the daily minutia of our lives and it can be hard to pull ourselves out of that. But, it’s important to periodically view our lives from 5,000 ft. and step back to see how all the minutia fits together and what we can, and should, change to make our lives better.

When it comes to a divorce, it’s vital to separate out the business at hand from the emotions that both people are dealing with. Of course, that’s easier said than done. But, it’s possible with a little training and a desire to do it. If you can achieve this feat, you will find yourself dealing with the divorce in a more positive way and you will feel better about yourself and the direction of your life.

It’s easy to play in the mud. It’s difficult not to react and do the right thing. But, in order to have an amicable divorce, both parties have to want to do the right thing and focus on the big picture; getting divorced and moving on with their life.

Here are five ways to make your divorce more amicable:

Be mindful of not only your actions, but that of others. Take step back and stop thinking about what you’re doing and how things are affecting you. Start thinking about why other are acting the way they are and if anything you are doing is motivating that conduct. If you take a minute and think about others’ actions, it will help guide you in yours.

Don’t hire an attorney who is out for blood. This is an important one. A lot of times, the attorneys are the problem, not the parties. If you can afford an attorney, get one, but make sure it’s the right one for your case. What I mean is, if you want an amicable divorce, don’t hire a pit bull for an attorney. You can find out a lot about a prospective attorney with a little online research and a couple of phone calls. Do your research and choose carefully. Also, make sure your spouse is doing the same thing so they don’t make that mistake.

Understand that nobody wins in a divorce. It is what it is…a divorce. If you are in it to “win” then you are misguided and your focus is misplaced. Be happy that you and your spouse will no longer be in an unhappy marriage and will have the opportunity to live the way you want to and maybe have the chance to meet someone special.

Negotiate in good faith and with a goal of settling. When it’s time to negotiate custody, assets and alimony, do so in good faith and not to “stick it” to your almost ex. Remember, getting divorced is a business transaction, not a competition. Nobody gets a trophy when it’s over.

If you’re representing yourself, be prepared and get educated in the law and procedure of divorce. Divorce is hard for attorneys, so if you’re not one, it’s that much more overwhelming and complicated. You can find resources out there to help you, such as a divorce coach, but you will have to invest and want to take action. There are few free quality legal resources available, but you can find information in blogs and forums, but make sure what you are reading is accurate before you rely on it.