Couples who are facing divorce in Pennsylvania or elsewhere in the country often experience a great deal of stress. Making smart decisions can be difficult, especially when emotions are running high. However, there are several common mistakes couples should try to avoid whenever they’re separating or divorcing.

If you’re going through a divorce, some common divorce mistakes can end up costing you even years down the road. For example, badmouthing your ex on social media outlets or to your kids can lead to long-lasting repercussions. Failing to gather all of the important paperwork you need can cost you financially, too. Documents such as bank account information, Social Security statements, mortgage records and other documents can help with divorce settlements. They can also help with tax planning and retirement later on.

Another major divorce mistake to avoid is forgetting to close joint accounts you share with your spouse. Even if your ex agrees to take responsibility for paying a debt, you could still be held liable if your name remains on the account. Since contracts you agreed to with your creditors were established before the dissolution of your marriage, your creditors may not honor your divorce decree. The best way to protect yourself against financial responsibility is to close your joint accounts and remove your ex as an authorized user on any credit cards. Then, consider transferring these debts to new accounts in the responsible party’s name only.

Even if the divorce is amiable, going through the process of separating finances and dividing assets can be challenging on your own. If you have kids, agreeing on child custody arrangements and visitation rights can make matters even more complicated. If you’re going through a divorce, you might consider seeking the guidance of an experienced family law attorney.