You know you want a divorce. You tell your spouse about it. They’re not happy, per se, but they understand what this means. You start moving toward dissolving your marriage. 

You have never done this before, but you know several people who have. As with any other complex task, you decide to ask them for advice. Maybe they can give you some insights or let you know what to watch out for. Is this a good idea?

Generally, it’s not. You can talk to them, but remember that their marriage was different than yours. Their divorce was different than yours. What worked for them may not work for you. For instance, maybe their spouse also wanted to get divorced, so it was easy for them to work together. Your spouse doesn’t, so you’re not going to have the same experience. Or, maybe they did not have children. You have two. All of their advice may center on financial concerns, but you’re far more concerned about your time with the kids. 

Plus, divorce laws vary widely from state to state. If they got divorced in another state — maybe you’re just asking advice from an old hometown friend on social media — the things they tell you may directly contradict the divorce laws you’re going to have to follow. This can lead to serious mistakes or create expectations that just are not realistic. 

Instead of talking to your friends, it can be wise to work with an experienced legal team. You need someone who can really look at your unique situation and focus on the best outcome for you.