Seeking a divorce is a very stressful experience. For many people, even if they know their marriage was over, divorcing can bring out intense emotions. Feelings of anger, rejection or depression are common. These emotions can overwhelm you and drive you to do things that you would otherwise find inappropriate or even abhorrent.

Things can become heated quickly if you share significant assets with your spouse. Neither of you are likely to agree about the fairest way to split up your possessions. If you have children, parenting rights and custody decisions can also spark intense emotions.

While it is never wrong to acknowledge and experience your emotions, you should not allow them to drive any of your decisions during your divorce. Doing so could end up having a negative impact on the outcome of your divorce.

Remain calm and focus on your future

Too many people getting a divorce focus on the fact that it is the end of a marriage. While that is certainly true, it doesn’t mean it is the end of your life. Instead, divorce is a fresh start for you and your family. You will have many options that were not available during your marriage. These could include relocating for a job or pursuing hobbies that annoyed or irritated your spouse.

Focusing on the positive outcomes at the end of your divorce can help you remain calm and rational when making major decisions. It could also help you present your best self in court. Spouses who blow up emotionally and rant or accuse in court could face poor outcomes. Similarly, anything you say about your ex online could end up as evidence in court.

Judges are not likely to sympathize with someone who cannot control their own emotions. An outburst in court could have a serious impact on child custody proceedings. It may also impact how sympathetically the courts see you, which could impact some of their deliberations around asset division and other terms of your divorce.

Try to protect your children from the feelings you experience in divorce

Most parents are in the habit of sharing things with their children. However, when it comes to your divorce, your children don’t need to know all the gritty details. Whether your marriage ended because of an affair or financial issues, your children shouldn’t have to hear everything about it.

Instead, your focus should be on protecting the kids as much as possible from the emotional fallout of the divorce. Anything negative you say about your ex could impact how the children relate to them. Not only could that have an emotional impact on your kids, it could end up hurting your case if you can’t agree to custody terms with your spouse.

Strong emotional reactions are normal but learning to control them is invaluable in a divorce. By separating your disappointments about the outcome of your marriage from how you approach the divorce, you may help yourself secure a more positive outcome. If nothing else, you will set a positive example for your children and keep the situation with your ex from escalating by staying calm.