Making it through a divorce is tough. Every year, of the hundreds of thousands of people that make the decision to end their marriages, many experience emotional pain ranging from frustration and guilt to anger and resentment.

These emotions are normal – they’re part of going through a stressful, difficult part of your life and coming out the other side. As well as being normal, they’re entirely manageable with the right combination of attitude and preparation.

In this guide, we’ll share five things – from a progress-focused life plan to qualified legal counsel – that you need to go through your divorce and make it out the other side a better, more focused and happier person.

A forward-thinking plan

Divorce means the end of your marriage, but it also means new beginnings. Many of the couples that decide to get divorced do so for mutual reasons, realizing that their marriage may be holding them both back from personal happiness and fulfillment.

Others divorce for more contentious reasons. Even during a difficult divorce, having the right attitude – and understanding that you’re beginning a new chapter in your life – is essential to move on with your confidence and happiness intact.

During your divorce – or prior to your divorce, if you’re filing – create a serious plan to guide your life. The weeks and months following a divorce can be difficult – with a good plan to guide your decisions and actions, you’ll be far better prepared.

Qualified legal counsel

The right personal plan will help guide your life after a divorce, but it’s important to make sure you get a fair deal in court. Having qualified, competent and experienced legal representation will make sure your divorce goes ahead on agreeable terms.

Many people receive unfair settlements during their divorce because of unsuitable, inexperienced legal counsel. Working with a lawyer that specializes in divorce and family law will let you create a better future for yourself and your children.

From working out the ideal level of alimony and child support for continued living and stability to arranging child custody, the right divorce lawyer will give you the confidence to make it through your divorce in the right position.

A system for co-parenting

Do you have children with your partner? If so, you’ll need to work out a system for co-parenting during (or prior to) the divorce process. Children are seriously affected by divorce, and co-parenting can make the difficult process far easier for them.

If you and your partner plan to live in different locations, especially if your housing is far from each other, you should prepare a plan to manage the time you spend with your children either during or prior to the divorce process itself.

If you believe your partner is unsuitable for child custody – for example, if they are violent or potentially dangerous – it’s also essential that you share this information with your divorce lawyer to make sure your children remain in your custody.

Someone you can trust

Divorce can be incredibly emotionally draining, especially when it comes at the end of a long marriage. You’ve spent a large amount of your life with someone, and now that they’re gone, things often don’t quite feel complete.

Having a close friend or trusted family member to talk to can give you the emotional stability you need to make it through your divorce. Find someone who can give you the help and care you feel you need and feel free to talk to them if you feel down.

It’s often best to speak with someone who’s been in your situation before. If any of your friends or family members have also been through a divorce – particularly if it matches yours in some characteristic – seek them out for help and guidance.

The ability to move on

Divorce is about ending one chapter of your life and moving onto the next. As much as it’s an ending, it’s also a new beginning. Having the ability to move on lets you see the positive side of divorce and rapidly adjust to your new life.

After spending years with someone, going without them can be tough. The right type of attitude – one focused on moving on and making progress – will help you wake up in the morning with the right thoughts in your mind and the right type of focus.

What are your passions? What are your hobbies? From learning something new to focusing on your career, sometimes the best way to move on from a divorce is with an increased sense of focus and determination for something you enjoy.