The smartest move anyone can make in a divorce is to hire a good lawyer who can give you straightforward advice designed to help you move on with your life, but right behind that one is the smart move to understand this is a long-term situation. You are not fighting a war that will be over at any point, with you declared the winner; one thing many people forget in divorce cases is that, when everything is decided, the parties will still have to deal with each other if they have minor children. It’s important to take a long-term approach and to avoid fighting in the future.
Another smart move is to be the first one to file for divorce, so that it’s not possible for there to be ex-parte orders filed against you that are unfair or unduly restrictive, such as those that award initial custody to the other party; it also gives you a chance to think about what would be best for you with regard to which county in which you want to file, if the parties are separated and living in separate counties. However, make sure you choose the right attorney; one who knows the county in which you file and can work with the courts really well.
As for stupid moves, the biggest mistake many people make is in thinking they can empty out the bank account and then file for divorce, which not only doesn’t work, but puts you on the judge’s bad side. Of course, another stupid move is to flee the state or county and file for divorce, which doesn’t work, because you have to establish residency to establish jurisdiction. Another huge mistake is to hire an overly aggressive attorney who just fights with everyone about everything; all such an attorney will end up doing is cost you a lot more to litigate.