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Remember that every divorce is different

When you're heading toward divorce, you're probably tempted to ask friends and family members for advice. Maybe they've been through it already, while it's brand new ground for you. You want to learn from their mistakes, find out what you should and shouldn't do, and get the best possible outcome to your own divorce.

It's not bad to ask for advice or bounce ideas off of others who have already split up their own marriages. But it's important to remember that every divorce, just like every marriage, is different. What worked for someone else may not work for you.

There are just too many factors in play: Children, homes, businesses, income, assets, pets and more. Even things like schools and neighborhoods can play a role when kids are involved, since you don't want to take them from their peer groups.

This means that a perfect solution for someone else could make no sense for you. For example, perhaps you have a brother who got divorced at 25, with no children. The only major asset he owned was a house, so he tells you that the most important thing to do is find an agreement that means you don't lose the house.

For you, though, your house is far too large for your new single life, and you have kids. No asset you own is more important than making sure you stay involved with the kids.

The key is not to try to replicate someone else's divorce, but to really think about your own situation, all of the unique factors that contribute and what legal steps to take to find a solution that works for you.

Source: Huffington Post, "The Truth About Divorce Advice," Bill Flanigin, accessed Feb. 17, 2017

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