Why Your Friend's Divorce Advice Is Worthless.
Stop gossiping! Just stop it.
It's hard, I know. We all fall into the trap...I'm not sure why. Maybe it's human nature.
But, when talking about divorce, it's probably the most unproductive activity you can engage in.
Can I just tell you? This may just be the most important blog post you read regarding your divorce
I was just talking to a client who was asking me about what she can expect from her divorce.
I said do you have a few hours? That is not a two minute conversation!
She proceeded to tell me what her friend (who recently got divorced) received in terms of alimony and assets in her divorce and she wanted to know if she will be receiving the same thing.
Funny thing is, she seriously asked me that with a straight face and totally expecting me to say, "yes, that is what you will get."
My internal response was a resounding OY! Of course, I responded much more professionally to her. After all, I'm a professional.
Here is another true story I heard recently:
I was standing line at a department store and these two ladies in front of me were talking about someone's divorce. I'm assuming it was someone they both knew pretty well from the level of detail they were talking about her. The conversation went something like this; all names are changed even though I have no idea who these people are:
Woman 1. "Lauren got custody of the children and her husband has to pay for all the kids' expenses, including camp and swim lessons"
Woman 2. "I hear that because they were married more than 10 years, she is getting permanent alimony. That's why she held out so long."
Woman 1. "Yeah, a 10 year marriage means you get permanent alimony. She will get that no matter she does in the future; even if she re-marries."
No kidding, that was the conversation! Sooooooooo, do I have to say it?
There is so much wrong with what they were saying, I don't know where to begin. Know that I will be discussing these topics in more detail in another post, but for now just know that they are wrong...ALL WRONG!
The Most Important Piece Of Legal Advice You Will Get
Here it is…ready? Get a pen and pad because you will want to write this down.
Better yet, put it up on the fridge.
Don’t listen to your friends, their friends, or your cousin’s brother’s friend.
Everybody will want to give you advice about what he or she got in his or her divorce, or better yet, what you should get in yours.
Don't listen, don't listen, don't listen!
Everybody’s case is different and fact specific. You just can’t compare your divorce to someone else’s. Doing so will only make you angry and get you into trouble.
People who want to give you divorce advice don't have all the facts. They tell you stories about their divorce or their friend's divorce and proudly talk about the "highlights" and subjective anecdotes of what is a very complex legal process. Here's the deal: unless you are privy to all the documents, all the testimony and all the negotiations of a divorce, you don't know the entire story and why the results are what they are.
Save yourself the wasted energy from engaging in conversation about other people's divorce. Next time one of your friends or family offers advice to you on your situation, politely stop them from offering their advice to your situation. Chances are they are think they are helping you, but they are not.
You will get nothing but heartburn from it.
Better yet, use the facts regarding your specific situation to govern your decision-making, nothing else. There is no cookie-cutter format for a divorce...not in New Jersey anyway. Each divorce is like snowflake...it's unique and unlike another.
I truly want the best for you and don't want to see you get caught up in stuff that will cloud your judgment or waste your time.
If you are in the middle of a divorce, or about to start one, you have BIGGER fish to fry than to worry about another divorce, or what people are saying about yours. This is your life...and only you will live with the consequences of the decisions you make.
Till next time!
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