Everyone has a friend or knows someone who has or is going through a divorce, whether it be an amicable or hostile action. Similarly, these individuals have often been privy to the intimate details of these divorces, often thinking “there before the grace of God go I.” The number of these tales being circulated has increased with the rise in the number of divorces.
One of the most frustrating things for litigants is the erroneous assumption that while one person’s situation may be similar to another’s, there is no such thing as a cookie cutter divorce. Thus, while your friend may also have three children, own a home and his/her spouse owns a business, this does not mean that the outcome of your divorce will be similar to your friend’s. This reality is due to several factors, including but not limited to: each parties position in the action regarding a certain issue, each’s willingness to negotiate in a reasonable manner, each’s true agenda in the litigation (vengeance, etc) and the discretion a Court chooses to exercise in connection with a particular issue.
The bottom line is that while there are laws regarding divorce issues, many of them permit the court to exercise discretion, and all of the laws are applied to a specific set of facts. Given this, what may appear to an individual as a minor difference in a factual situation may in fact be one which provides a significantly different legal outcome.
While friends often share confidences, vent about frustrating situations and exchange opinions regarding his/her divorce, it is your attorney that will be able to answer questions and provide you with the legal distinctions. Furthermore, while a litigant has a right to, and should ask his/her attorney questions, too much time should not be spent with those questions merely comparing your divorce to that of a friend’s. Your time and money is better spent on pursuing and resolving your specific matrimonial issues.