With friends like these….
Who needs enemies!
Or, is your best friend actually your worst enemy???
I often talk about how you shouldn’t always believe what you read. The press is often full of “legal” comments, such as reference to common law spouses, when no such concept exists, or telling you about the outcome of a case, then their slant on it gives a completely misleading view of the details. Never let the facts get in the way of a good story!
The same can often be said of your friends and family, all of whom mean well and only want the best for you but few of whom will have any legal knowledge and experience. They may have gone through their own divorce, or had their own property transaction go wrong, but no two cases are ever the same. They may be very supportive and understanding of the difficulties you are going through, but that doesn’t mean that their second hand take on the facts is going to point you in the right direction.
It is quite common for clients (and potential clients) to start conversations with “my friends tell me that we need to get a few steps ahead of the other side”. Well yes, but unless you know for certain what the other side are going to do, that’s never going to be possible and you could end up wasting time and money if you guess wrong. Another common comment is “my friend got £xxxx in her divorce, why can’t I get the same”. Well obviously I don’t know the legal details of her case any more than she knows the real legal details of yours – and by the way you’re not supposed to be discussing family proceedings with third parties and whilst we all know that you do, please don’t tell us. What’s more, whilst your friend is telling you what a great deal she got, I bet she’s actually telling her solicitor that she should have got more and it’s not fair that her ex walked away with as much as he did. Like newspapers, people often put their own spin on things.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get support from those around you, especially if you trust them to give you an honest answer to the all important question of “does my bum look big in this!” Just keep an open mind about what they tell you, discuss it with your legal adviser and then make up your own mind about what’s best for you.
Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The full service law firm. Giving you answers to the questions you haven’t even thought of yet.