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Divorce advice: whose advice is best?

You probably didn't think it was going to happen to you. Now that you are facing one of the toughest life experiences, everybody and their mother is probably standing at the ready to weigh in on your plight.

Whether you are simply pondering divorce or find yourself fully emerged in the process, any number of people in your life are likely to offer up advice and how to proceed. Most of it is with the best intentions, but as the thoughts and ideas pour in, it may be difficult to sift through what is useful and what is not.

No divorce is the same

The most important thing to remember is that every divorce is different. Maybe you have kids, maybe there is a large debt, or maybe you share significant financial assets with your spouse. Thoughts, feelings, experiences and scenarios vary, and even if your situation has some similarities to another person's, it is not exactly the same.

From handling your finances to finding your divorce lawyer, people will pour on the advice. They are trying to help and maybe somewhere in the mountain of information there could be a nugget or two of wisdom, but in general, it is best to ignore most of what is said. Even though your well-intentioned friend has been in your life for years, it does not mean he or she has the appropriate knowledge for your particular situation.

Where the best help is offered

So who can you turn? Who can you rely on to help you navigate the finer points of divorce? Seek out divorce professionals. Legal and financial advisors can guide you through the technical aspects, while divorce counselors can listen and advise on emotional struggles.

It is crucial that you reach out to the appropriate professionals who have built their lives and careers on helping people through the trials and tribulations of divorce. Many of these professionals have had additional, divorce-specific training making them better equipped to address your questions and concerns.

But then, what do you do about those well-meaning acquaintances, friends and family? The last thing you need is another hurt person in your life. The best thing you can do is be polite. You do not have to tell a soul that you do not intend to follow the advice you are given. A simple "thank you" can go a long way.

In the end, it is best to leave your divorce in the hands of professionals who have the knowledge and experience to guide you in the right direction.

The attorneys at Sowald, Sowald, Anderson, Hawley & Johnson are experienced and knowledgeable - and they know when bringing a third-party expert would be beneficial or necessary.

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