No one enters into a marriage expecting divorce. But, when you do find yourself facing a separation from a spouse, it is important to seek advice on divorce to make the best of a bad situation.
The Internet is full of free divorce advice. The question is, is it any good?
First: Where Not to Look for Advice on Divorce
While you can find a ton of fantastic and free divorce resources online, you do need to be picky about what advice you take. More importantly, be very careful about what you share online.
1. Social Media
One of the biggest mistakes made by people who are going through a divorce is to “let it all hang out” on social media outlets like Facebook. Even if you have gone to the trouble of unfriending your spouse, or at least hiding certain posts, you never know what might leak through.
You may have people on your friends list who are still speaking with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. Do you trust everyone on your friends list enough? Or is it possible one of them might end up forwarding a message you wrote or a photo to your former partner?
Things you post on social media networks can be used in divorce court cases, so think about that every time you write or post something that might affect your divorce.
Even if you have limited the audience of your message, it could still find its way into the wrong hands.
2. Online Divorce Websites
While not every website promising to get you a cheap and quick divorce online is a scam, many of them are. Many of these sites simply want to take your money. Even the legitimate ones aren’t necessarily equipped to handle complex divorce and custody cases. Working with one of these websites is also not the equivalent of working with an attorney.
Divorce laws are also different in every state. You should work with a local attorney who understands state laws for the best results.
Good Places to Find Free Divorce Advice
If you can use some discernment and careful judgment, you can find tons of great divorce resources online. Here are just a few places to start:
1. Divorce Lawyer Websites
For free legal divorce advice, you can review the many divorce lawyer websites online. Finding lawyers who are in your state would be best, as they will have knowledge and understanding of your local divorce laws.
Do understand that a lawyer’s blog is not the same thing as legal advice, and the lawyer may have hired out the writing to a ghostwriter or paralegal. You still need to use common sense when reading a blog by an “expert” – if the divorce legal advice sounds unsound or downright crazy, find a second or third opinion to compare it to.
2. Divorce Blogs
Lots of great advice on divorce can be found on divorce blogs run by everyday people who have gone through divorce themselves. Many of these blogs are targeted to specific groups, such as women, or parents, or people of certain ages. For example, the Divorced at 50 blog focuses on divorce advice for older people.
“During the time of my divorce, books, advice columns, lawyers, counselors, movies, and some of my friends were of little help,” writes the Divorced at 50 author. “I wanted to split amicably, with civility and HUMOR, and with my dignity intact.”
3. Online Support Groups
It may take some time to find the one right for you, but you can get a lot of help in an online divorce support group.
Unfortunately, the Internet used to have more thriving independent forums than it does today. Facebook has really taken over the online community world. As mentioned above, you need to be very careful about what you share with Facebook. You do not get anonymity in a Facebook support group, even if the group is “private.”
An independent forum that does not require a Facebook login can potentially provide the safety of anonymity. For example, DailyStrength offers a Breakups & Divorce Support Group where you can use an anonymous username instead of your real name. Just be sure you don’t use a username that your spouse can identify.
Get Quality Divorce Advice During Your Difficult Time
While you do need to be careful to separate out the wheat from the chaff, you can find a lot of great divorce advice, including legal divorce advice online. Just remember to keep your own personal information private and don’t “overshare” – especially on social media.