Going through a divorce is never easy. Even if you’re the one who initiated the proceedings, it’s still going to be tough on you, on the person you’re divorcing, and on your friends and family. That said, divorce is always frustrating in some way or another, and knowing more about its specifics and semantics will probably help you get through the proceedings with less pain and hassle.

As with all things that go through a court of law, a divorce takes time. Probably way more time than anyone would like. But how long exactly? Regardless of the situation, all divorce proceedings have a sixty day waiting period, so there will always be a minimum time frame of two months. That said, divorce proceedings are rarely finished in in such a short amount of time (short being relative of course). Any disputes between the two divorcing parties over significant points of controversy can substantially extend the proceedings. Disagreement over child custody, division of property, or other significant points are a huge holdup for divorce proceedings, and can make them take months and months of your time.

That said, knowing how to settle such disputes is a very important point of knowledge. Unless you like the frustration of divorce proceedings, chances are you don’t want to spend a lot of time on the matter. Whenever points of disagreement arise, the two parties must come to an amicable agreement on the matter, either through their attorneys, mediators, or on their own. If they cannot do so, the matter will be settled by a judge, which is the last resort if you want to walk away without significant losses. After all, the judge does not always rule in your favor, especially when it comes to matters of fathers and child custody.

With that being the case, it is always in your best interests to reach an agreement with the other party concerning material wealth and other important decisions. You’re often far better off if you can settle on your own terms rather than let the judge make a decision for you. After all, while judges may be honored and respected members of society, they do not always know the full situation between you and your divorcing partner, and could make decisions based on less than favorable knowledge and bias. Settle your own matters before going to court, and everything will be much easier for everyone, not to mention shorter.

Speaking of time constraints and hopefully making frustration as short-lived as possible, it’s best to know what types of stipulations complicate divorce proceedings. Chief among these is the presence of children between two divorcing parties. Having children makes things significantly more difficult, and there are a number of prerequisites to fulfill regarding your children before you can really go through with a divorce. You can’t be legally divorced at all if the steps required for your children have not been completed, so do a bit of reading up on such rules beforehand. Having a good attorney can make it much easier to complete these steps, especially since they would likely know most of the required prerequisites to complete already.

No matter what you do or how prepared you are, divorce is never easy, and will always be frustrating. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make it a lot easier on yourself and everyone else by having some knowledge on these general concepts before diving into it. Know your stuff, take care of it before you ever get to court, and hire a good attorney to make sure that your divorce proceedings are as painless as possible.