"It's important to have support that's educated as well as therapeutic."2. "I used a criminal attorney and got a poor settlement," admits Christine K. On the other hand, 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, says Jacqueline Newman, a partner at a boutique New York City law firm specializing in divorce.

If you and your husband have complicated combined assets, you may need additional pros.

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"It can leave him feeling stigmatized or reinforce that the divorce is his fault," says Doares, though therapy's a good option if the behavior change is extreme.10. Annie, 47, from Boston, felt like she didn't have any talents, besides caring for her kids, before divorcing in 2007.

She now has a blog, Plenty Perfect.com, and sees new directions her life can take.

"Divorcing just means that the relationship didn't work out," she says.

"You haven't been rejected as a woman or a person, nor are you incompetent at being a wife, a partner, a lover, a friend."8. Amanda, 29, from Albuquerque, NM, was married for over six years until her divorce.

Specifically, "learn all of the online passwords to bank accounts, which accounts had automatic payments and where money is invested, including the names of all accounts, the account numbers and the investment advisors," says Newman.

Ask your attorney when and how it's best to gather this info first, though.4. Your financial well-being should be your top priority, says divorce financial expert and mediator Rosemary Frank.

"Children feel a sense of responsibility for the breakup no matter how much the parents state it wasn't about them," says marriage and family therapist Lesli M. Watch out for little ones regressing in their behavior—acting younger, wanting to sleep in bed with you—or showing anger toward siblings and peers.

Adolescents tend to act out by drinking, skipping school or disobeying curfews.

"I wasn't prepared for the loneliness that accompanied Christmas," she says.

"It amplified the concept of a broken home." She wishes she had made plans to see her mother or a friend—or taken a vacation—to take her mind off spending the holiday by herself.

Julie, 50, from Denver, thought she'd be able to handle her divorce.