How to Handle Free Divorce Advice From Friends and Family

  When you're getting divorced, friends and family rush in to tell you what you should do, and what you should expect from the divorce process.  I always advise my clients that free advice is worth what you paid for it.  

"Kick him out.  Change the locks.  Don't let him see the kids."  is one approach.  Sometimes family members tell them, "You can't leave him.  You made a commitment and you need to try harder."  Without any idea of the true situation going on in the couple's life.  Or free legal advice from their non lawyer friends, such as, "You know you're entitled to alimony, right?  You should be getting at least $4,000 a month. (With no idea of what the couple makes.)  And the house too - he cheated, so you get the house."  This, of course, sets up unreasonable expectations, which can only lead to disappointment in the divorce process, where judges aren't interested in who cheated.

When you decide to file for divorce, every friend, family member, and colleague at work who has gotten divorced will want to share their horror stories with you.  It probably took up a significant part of their life, and they can't wait to talk about it.  I always recommend that my clients pay no attention to such tales.  Every divorce case is different, every judge is a human being who interprets the law differently, and even the parties themselves will not react as their friends or family may have reacted.  People don't realize that the way they respond in a divorce case is a major factor in how things go down.  And in every case, as they say, your mileage may vary.

The best way to get through your divorce is to find a good lawyer that you like and trust.  They can guide you successfully through YOUR divorce, which is different from any other divorce that has ever happened.  And if you listen to them and stay far from the madding crowd of anecdotes your associates are just dying to share, you will emerge happier and whole when the process is done.