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Divorce mistakes to avoid: Whose legal advice are you taking?

11696418_S.jpgThe world is full of armchair psychologists, armchair sports coaches and armchair driving instructors. There are plenty of people who will want to give you unsolicited advice based on their own experiences or their own opinions. While such advice is typically free, you often get what you pay for.

The same is true of family law advice. Chances are that you know someone who has been through a divorce, a child custody dispute or a spousal support issue. When they hear that you are about to do the same, they will naturally want to give you the benefit of their hard-earned wisdom. They may have the best intentions, and the advice may even be useful. But it's important to remember that every divorce is different, and only your family law attorney can give you case-specific advice.

This isn't to say that you cannot or should not listen to what others have to say. But if you are basing your divorce expectations and strategies on the advice of friends and family, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment and failure.

Let's say that a good friend has been through a child custody dispute. He may tell you, based on his own experience, that "mothers always get custody of the kids." Is this what you should expect in your own case? The answer is no, because your situation may be very different than that of your friend.

To be sure, not all attorneys will give you the same advice or approach your case in the same way. That's why it's important to hire an attorney you feel comfortable working with and who seems to have your best interests in mind. Once you have found that attorney, you will hopefully be able to trust his or her professional advice more than the free (and unsolicited) advice you receive from others.

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