Keeping your friends out of your divorce

Divorce makes you look at all you share together as a married couple: finances, assets and … friends?

Of course, a couple’s shared friends are a factor during a divorce. They can take sides or stay neutral, but they are likely going to be involved, potentially as a sympathetic ear or a temporary place to sleep. As much as their friendship is appreciated, it’s important to remember that beyond the kindness of that friendship, they are not going to be able to help you navigate the divorce process.

Part of what makes divorce so complicated is that they are all different. Couples have different incomes than their friends, larger or smaller 401(k)s, don’t have children when others do, and a host of other factors and circumstances. Your friends are inclined to support you and suggest what they emotionally think is best for you, but they won’t be able to see how all those factors play into the process.

Even if they have been divorced before, as helpful as their advice may sound, what worked for their divorce may not work for you. Your friends also may have gone to court during their divorce, while you and your spouse may benefit from a collaborative divorce. The complexity and length of the divorce may not be as strenuous as it was for your friend if you take this path.

And if your friend is taking sides – either yours or your spouse’s – that can cause added tension in your divorce proceedings, further complicating the process.

Before you start calling up your friends to complain about your spouse or ask for advice on what to do in your divorce, talk to an experienced divorce attorney who you can consult with about the best options for your unique divorce. After you’ve done that, break out the wine and call your friends for some needed venting.

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