Choose your counsel wisely. A lawyer who's well-versed in family law could get you a better settlement because she knows the state-law nuances and local judges and lawyers. Also know that 40% of divorce proceedings are about money. So dig deeper into your finances before you proceed. You must also think / speak to friends and family about your future living expenses. And, don't get into the mess of trying to hurt him / her. Let bygones be bygones .