First off, I believe divorce should be a drop-dead last resort. If you haven't done so yet you should look into couples therapy, purchase some videos on relationship building and communicate with your spouse about your issues. And give it some time to stew, sometimes people jump into a divorce while they are in a heat of the moment situation and if so should take a step back and re-think things. If communications go awry and counseling doesn't work, maybe you could try a trial separation while continuing attempts of restoring your relationship. If that doesn't work then it may be time to discuss a divorce with your partner. Simple communication goes a long way before, during and after a divorce. So be sure to keep those communication lines open. This is especially important when there are kids involved. Don't use your attorney to communicate with your STBX. This will nickel and dime you to death. And whatever you do don't use your kids to communicate with your STBX, they have enough going on already without taking on your baggage.
From my life experiences I believe there are no two divorces that are the same. Therefore it is impossible to write up a catch-all that covers every conceivable divorce scenario. On one end you have those that are divorcing under amicable conditions who can agree on terms and complete the paperwork themselves and be divorced within a week. On the other hand, you have two people that in no way shape or form should remain married. Their relationship is a hostile one and may even involve children and/or assets which need to be divvied up. Most likely both parties will have attorneys. These divorces can last several years and cost thousands of dollars, depending on how bad the relationship is. And then you have everything in between. I will try and be as thorough as is possible but there's always someone who will be left in the dark.
So, if you're still set on going through with the divorce continue reading. Because of the fact that amicable divorces are usually not costly or damaging I won't go into too much detail on them, it's the rest of the pack that needs some help.
If you are considering a divorce, whether amicable or hostile, this is where you can save yourself a whole lot of aggravation later down the line. Get yourself a planner and try to map out exactly how you would like things to go during the divorce. While you're at it pick up one of those voice recorders too and use it to record anything you think will benefit you in the courtroom. Keep this in mind at all times so if your STBX calls you then you can hit the record button before you answer the call. If your partner is violent make sure you get all of that recorded. Write down the dates and circumstances of every time this happens. Since you are planning this ahead of time you have time to put aside a little nest egg. This can be difficult to do without tipping off your spouse so use some discretion. Whatever you do don't let her be the first to file for divorce.
You can also use this time to find a good attorney (more on that later), and to collect anything that could help you in getting full/permanent custody of your kids.