When you got married, you held hands with your partner and promised to love each other “until death do us part.” Now you are getting divorced, and the gloves are off as you fight for every last penny.

Divorce is one of the most stressful events of your life. It is important to avoid costly financial moves that can haunt you for years or even decades.

Try not to make it personal

While emotions are running high, you cannot let them guide your decisions. Do not make choices without careful consideration of all the factors. While you may want to keep the house, for example, you may realize later that you cannot afford it.

It is tempting to fight over possessions purchased during happier times. You may take some emotional comfort from “winning” a fight over a painting, for instance. In the long run, though, what is important is real estate, stock and other major investments.

If you have children, they come first. Make preparations to secure their financial future. Settle on alimony and child support payments that are fair to everyone.

The more you know, the better

Make every effort to understand your finances. Keep income and expense records so that you can prepare a realistic budget for yourself. Study tax laws, which can have a major impact on your financial future.

Remember that marital assets go beyond cash and property. Study all options when reviewing your retirement accounts and life insurance policies.

Consider settling financial issues with your spouse through mediation. Mediation can save time and money, and it is not part of the public record.

Now is the time to prepare for your future

Understandably, you want to settle your divorce and move on with your life. It is also important to recognize that you must avoid shortcuts and mistakes.

The decisions you make now will shape the rest of your life. Use common sense to protect your financial interests.