I can vouch from personal experience that 1) divorce does not have to be awful, and 2) the degree of "awfulness" will most likely be determined, not by your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, but by the kind of lawyer you hire. Your friends and relatives may advise you to hire a real "shark" in order to protect yourself. Unfortunately that may be the worst advice you could receive. A "shark" is defined as a predatory fish that eats smaller fish and is sometimes dangerous to human beings. An attorney who is known as a "shark" will definitely be dangerous to human beings and most especially dangerouse to their pocketbooks, spouses, and children. While you may, indeed, need an attorney with litigation experience, your pending divorce will be the worst kind fo "awfulness" if you hire a shark.
I have devoted my 18 years of family law practice to keeping my clients out of court through collaboration, negotiation, and pro-se mediation. It is my goal to help clients worry less about pursing their "rights" and more about pursuing the right outcome for themselves and for the future relationship of their families. Children will experience one and only one childhood. It is my goal to help clients preserve that childhood by helping them to divorce with dignity.