1) If your soon-to-be ex or ex-wife was a stay at home mom, be prepared for a significant maintenance burden.
2) You can pay down maintenance with assets to preserve your cash flow. For example, you could negate $2,000 per month for the next two years by offering an equitable $48,000 piece of real estate or a retirement account. Keep in mind the time value of money, i.e. $48,000 now is worth more than $2K/mo paid out over the next couple years. So, you should perform a quick NPV analysis or arbitrate for a lesser payment for cash up front.
3) MEDIATE wherever possible. This is MUCH cheaper than counsel. Certainly when it comes to temporary orders. Relative to permanent orders which may be in place for 5+ years (or half your length of marriage), mediation is still a good option but certainly have an attorney review your position before signing.
4) Ensure you document everything relative finances and the kids. Certainly if you’re hoping to gain an advantage from the Court’s perspective. Documentation will pay dividends if you go to trial.