On behalf of Bebout, Potere, Cox & Bennion, P.C. posted in divorce on Wednesday, October 26, 2016.
Virtually everyone who has negotiated divorce has been offered unsolicited advice at some point. Sometimes this advice proves to be valuable, while at other times it can be frustrating, unwelcome and even degrading. However, it is an undeniable truth that the experiences of individuals who have weathered the divorce process can potentially help those who are facing that challenge now.
The key to processing divorce-related advice is to embrace those thoughts that may help you and to digest all other advice with a grain of salt. Because every divorce process is different, even some well-meaning advice may not be right for you, while other advice may surprise you with its usefulness.
Some places to start
When your loved ones and acquaintances offer you unsolicited advice, it is generally a good idea to be respectful in regards to their attempts. Unless advice is delivered with ill-intentions or in a mean-spirited way, chances are that it is being offered with a positive aim in mind. This is often true even when the advice offered is not particularly good advice, is somehow obnoxious or is even downright rude. You don’t have to follow any advice you are given. But rejecting advice outright or behaving in a dismissive way may strain your relationships unnecessarily.
Some things to avoid
With that said, it is generally best to “ignore” even well-meaning advice that (if followed) would escalate tensions within your divorce process. Certainly, there are times when a couple needs to make their divorce process contentious. If there is abuse within the relationship or if the couple fundamentally disagrees on property division or child custody matters, a contentious process may be unavoidable. However, it is generally best for all involved when the divorce process is as amicable as possible.
Contentious divorces tend to be lengthy, expensive and emotionally draining. When it is possible to avoid escalating tensions between you and your spouse, it is generally a good idea to do so. Some of your loved ones may have good intentions when they insist that you fight for things that may not be worth effort and energy. But as well-intentioned as this advice may be, you may do better to let it slide.