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Dealing with unsolicited advice during your divorce

There are many reasons to limit the number of people you tell that you are divorcing to only those who really need to know. Outside of close family and friends, that probably includes your boss, your kids' teachers and anyone who spends time in your home, like your housekeeper. Even then, it's often best not to share any more information than necessary.

One reason to limit whom you talk to about your divorce is that everyone will have an opinion. Apart from your attorney, therapist, spiritual counselor and financial advisors, most of these opinions are just that -- someone else's idea of what should be happening or why.

Nonetheless, it can become overwhelming to have people weighing in on a highly personal situation they may know very little about. Even close family members and lifelong friends often offer advice that's not helpful -- and maybe hurtful.

One way to keep from becoming overwhelmed by all of this "advice" is to remember that people typically mean well. People don't want to see those they care about unhappy. Remember, though, that their advice is based on what they think they would do in your situation. If it's not right for you, let it go.

Another thing to remember is that people often just feel the need to say something. They may want to chime in to a conversation with advice to feel relevant -- even when they've really got nothing to add. Of course, people often think they're experts because their brother just got divorced or they just watched a riveting episode of Dr. Phil or a Netflix documentary about divorce.

Often, people's advice is based on their own person experience with divorce -- which may be nothing like your own. Whether it's their own divorce or their parents', they may have very strong opinions about what to do and not do.

All of this advice needs to be taken with a grain of salt. That's not to say that you might not get some words of wisdom from another parent you see at school events or a co-worker. But be careful how many of these people you let in on your divorce. You don't know how they'll react and whom they'll tell.

When you have questions about anything regarding the divorce process, your best source of guidance is typically your family law attorney. They know you, your family situation and your goals and have your best interests in mind.

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