Divorce is different for each couple, and each divorce requires a different approach to reach satisfactory terms for the parties involved. A friend's divorce that you witnessed may seem very similar to your own impending divorce, or have some of the same moving parts, but it is unlikely that the exact same legal actions will lead to the same results. If you face a divorce, you need to assess your priorities before you begin building your strategy for getting through this difficult season.
In almost all cases, no single party actually gets everything. While states differ in how they maintain their respective divorce laws, no state generally tends to leave one spouse with everything and the other drifting in the wind. If you hope to leave your spouse out to dry, you may want to reconsider your approach. It is far wiser to identify your priorities in the divorce process and build a strategy specifically tailored to seek those results.
Consider what is at stake. Do you have children? How important is it to you to seek some form of custody of them? Can you and your spouse work together to raise your children, or does one of you hope to win full custody?
Similarly, do you know what is and is not marital property between you and your spouse? You certainly don't want to waste time and money fighting over something that isn't even up for division as a marital asset. It is unlikely that you can keep all or even most of your marital property, so be sure to decide which things are most important to you and determine how to obtain those things. This might be a house, a business or a collection of some kind.
Don't hesitate to seek out proper legal guidance sooner than later. The sooner that you bring in professional legal counsel to help you build your divorce strategy, the sooner you can begin working toward finalizing your divorce and moving on to a fresh start in a new season.
Source: FindLaw, "The Divorce Process: Do's and Don'ts," accessed Oct. 20, 2017