My friends tell me . . . Is it true?


Well-meaning friends and associates will no doubt offer advice about your case: what you can do, what you should do, what you should file, how best to “protect” yourself, how to get the most for yourself from your spouse in your divorce, how much or little of the property you will get, how much or whether you will receive or have to pay alimony, how much they pay or receive in child support, what happened to them in their divorce and all manner of other similar advice.

Our advice? Don’t listen to it. And don’t expect that your case will be anything like their case or that the results in your case will be anything like those talked about by your friends or family.

Often, the advice of friends and relatives is not accurate. Sometimes it is simply dangerous. Accordingly, you should be very careful when following it.

The facts surrounding your situation, your marriage, your children, and your life are unique. And the advice needed, as well as how that advice is implemented, is different in every situation. Friends may be able help you with personal and emotional problems that arise, but you should leave the legal advice to your attorneys.

Proceedings regarding the breakup of a relationship, the division of property and issues surrounding the time each parent has with their children are very emotional, even if there are few disputes between the parties. Sometimes one parent will try to use the children in an attempt to punish the other parent. Sometimes you or your partner will encounter emotional and psychological crises because of the breakup and will react unexpectedly and violently.

Prepare yourself and your children for any matter involving them without poisoning your children’s minds about the other parent. There are many good books available to help both you and your children through the process and through this change in your lives. Obtain professional help if possible. Attempt to cooperate with your partner where the children are concerned.

It is in your best interest to come to a fair and equitable resolution of the issues in your case and a reasonable agreement concerning all the issues that have to be decided, whether that is the divorce itself, division of property and debt, determination of spousal or child support, or child custody, visitation and parenting time issues.

Emotional “blackmail” or a desire for revenge for past or present transgressions can cloud the issues and almost always results in increased legal fees. Discuss support and division of property items with your spouse, if possible. Try to be fair.