Once you tell family and friends that you are getting a divorce, there will be no shortage of advice and opinions. We all know someone who has been through a divorce, and they will probably want to help you avoid any mistakes they made. They may also want to let you know what worked for them and what kinds of outcomes you should expect.
The good news is that this advice will all be free. Indeed, much of it will be given whether you asked for it or not. The bad news is that not all of it will be relevant or helpful. In fact, heeding some advice could do more harm than good.
If you plan to hire a family law attorney to represent you (and you should), you may be doing yourself a disservice by taking advice from family and friends. To be sure, your loved ones often have the best intentions and are just trying to help. But without full knowledge of Washington State’s laws and the full details of your situation, they cannot offer case-specific legal advice. And ultimately, that’s why you hired an attorney in the first place.
If you take it with a grain of salt, there is no real harm in listening to advice from family and friends. Some of it may indeed be wise. But many family law attorneys would tell you that some clients come in with unrealistic expectations and misinformation based on the unsolicited advice they have already received.
When it comes to any legal decisions or outcomes, the details matter. Your divorce and/or child custody case is unique, so you cannot necessarily expect the same outcomes as a friend or relative.
Hopefully, you will choose a family law attorney with whom you can work well. This person is going to be representing you through a difficult process. Therefore, you should ensure that they listen to you and have your best interests in mind. Once you have found such an attorney, feel free to hear all the free advice you can get. At the end of the day, however, listening to your attorney and trusting your own wisdom will likely produce the best results in your case.