“My Friend Told Me That When She Got Divorced. . . .”


When a divorce attorney hears these words from a client, it is sure to raise a concern. If you have a friend who previously went through a New Jersey divorce, then naturally they may want to give you the benefit of their experience. It is completely understandable to want to bond with someone who has already gone through a divorce to try and gain insight into what is an inherently difficult and painful process. Yet, divorce attorney Sylvia S. Costantino, Esq. cautions that this kind of advice, while well-intended, may serve to confuse, cause unrealistic expectations, or is likely to be incorrect from a legal standpoint. When listening to advice from someone who has already gone through a divorce, it is vitally important to keep the proper perspective.

Keep in mind that the facts of your friend’s case are naturally different from the facts in your case. Every family law case is unique and this will have a dramatic impact on possible outcomes. For example, it may be that your friend and her ex-spouse share physical and legal custody of their children, whereas this arrangement may not be right for your case given domestic violence, a substance abuse issue, etc. Moreover, the finances of each family are also unique and the alimony amount and term that resulted in your friend’s case may not be achievable in yours regardless of whether the families’ incomes were similar.

Your case will have a beginning and an end. What happens in-between to achieve your desired goal requires a strategy on the part of both you and your family law attorney. The strategy that your friend or their attorney used, may not work in your case for a myriad of reasons including the fact that your friend (in most instances) is not an attorney, the personalities of all involved are different, and again the facts are different. In fact, trying to inject what your friend told you is an effective strategy can have the opposite effect in yours.

Remember, you retained a divorce attorney to guide you and give you advice. You should take advantage of their expertise and experience. If you have questions, you should ask your attorney and get the answers you need. If you want to articulate a different goal for your case at any time during the process, then you should meet with your attorney to make sure that you are both on the same page.

The attorneys at the Law Offices of Sylvia S. Costantino are experienced and knowledgeable in New Jersey family law and can advise you on what is and is not likely possible in your case based on your unique set of facts and family law. We understand how important your case is to you and your family and we are here to help.


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