1) Gain clarity.
There are two areas where it’s beneficial to gain clarity: (a) the law and (b) on what it is your goals are for resolving the case. You need to have a basic understanding of what the law in your jurisdiction says about certain issues (property, debt, child custody, support, spousal maintenance, etc.) so you can make decisions about your future knowing what the law will actually allow. Also, it is important to gain clarity about what you want when the dust settles. Many people don’t have this sort of clarity, and it makes navigating the divorce process difficult because the target is always moving.
You can gain clarity by leaning on professionals (accountants, financial advisors, and yes, lawyers – even if for just a one-time consult).
2) Understand that each case is unique. No two cases are alike.
Although your Cousin Bob may have gotten a certain result in his child custody case, for example, I guarantee the facts of his case were not identical to yours. You can take the information from Cousin Bob’s case and use it to gain knowledge about the range of possibilities that exist in your case, but do not use this information to pursue a path exactly like your cousin, friend or neighbor. Additionally, you will be getting lots of different opinions from friends, family, etc. about how to proceed based on their own experiences/stories. Ultimately, however, you have to choose a path that is best for you and your family (and in alignment with the law).
3) Balance your mental health needs (the possible need to take frequent “time outs”) against the absolute necessity that you act in your case.
This is a difficult time. There could be times when you want to bury your head in the sand. You do need to focus on your mental health, as well as the well-being of your children if you have them. Understand, however, you have to balance your need for self-care against the need to take action when a case is pending. If you fail to take action when it needs to be taken, you could irreparably prejudice your case.