According to experts, many financial mistakes can be made during a divorce because couples want to play nice. Unfortunately, what may be seen as a method for avoiding conflict may actually turn out to be one party’s financial downfall.

“The undercurrent of being amicable masks the cold reality that your spouse is not in the position to protect or promote your interests,” said John Mayoue, a high-profile divorce attorney. “People seeking amicable divorces often come into these very naïve.”

Experts say many divorcing couples make critical errors when making financial decisions because they don’t want to get involved in conflict, but there are several mistakes that can easily be avoided.

For example, letting one spouse keep the home the couple shared may not be the best decision. The spouse may not be able to afford the home and with the current volatile housing market, the property may end up depreciating in value drastically.

“I see that a lot, wives staying in the family home for the good of the children,” said divorce financial analyst Laurie Blazek. “They’ll take that asset and give up cash or liquid assets in exchange for equity, but nobody’s looked at the numbers to see if they can afford to stay in the home.”

Authorities also agree that obtaining help during a divorce is critical. Having an experienced divorce lawyer overseeing your case can mean the difference between walking away with your fair share in the settlement and forsaking property and assets that would have rightfully been yours.

The message? Divorces are messy, there’s no doubt about that. Whether you are trying to split assets, determine child custody or file for alimony, seek legal help to ensure you do not get the short end of the stick.