Don’t expect to come away with a windfall.
“One of the biggest mistakes I see people make in divorce cases is going in with unrealistic expectations,” says Chloe Wolman, JD, a lawyer with Davies Wegner Law in Los Angeles. You and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse will have to start supporting two households on the same income that used to support one—which means you won’t get to keep the house and the cars and all the accounts. “If you’re the breadwinner spouse, you’ll probably find yourself paying child/spousal support. If you’re the lower-earning spouse, be prepared to learn that support is much less than you expected,” says Wolman.