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Top 5 Pieces of Bad Divorce Advice Bad Lawyers Give Clients

Dating & Relationships / July 22, 2016

When the word “divorce” first pops into your consciousness, it’s normal to feel like you are in a slow motion movie, where everything else around you stops and all of your perceptions become distorted. Even after “reality” returns, it’s hard to focus and to wrap your head around what’s happening. What’s worse is that, because everything around you seems surreal, and you are in completely unfamiliar territory, it’s difficult to figure out what is really going on. In that state, no matter who you are, or how smart you are, it is really easy to fall prey to bad divorce advice.

What is Bad Divorce Advice?

Steve Berzner family lawyer, considers divorce advice that purposely amplifies your fears, and/or leaves you feeling stupid, under-powered, or confused to be bad divorce tips. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, young or old, educated or not. You have a right to understand what is happening to you and what your options are. Below are Stevens worst divorce tips offered by bad lawyers.

Top 5 Pieces of Bad Divorce Advice Bad Lawyers Give Clients

  1. “Normal” visitation for a Non-custodial parent is every other weekend and one evening per week. Says who?!! There is no law in any state that I know of that says a non-custodial parent’s visitation is limited to every other weekend and one evening per week. Yes, that is a schedule that many people use. So what? How much time parents spend with their kids depends on the parents and on the kids. What works in one family is a mess in another. Your parenting time should be based on what is best for YOUR children and not what some “normal” visitation schedule is or should be.
  1. 50/50 parenting time is not good for children. Again, says who? In some cases, 50/50 parenting is fabulous for the children. It is exactly what they need. In other cases, 50/50 parenting is a disaster! Either the children are too young, or the parents live too far away, or there are other reasons why a different parenting schedule would work better. Parenting schedules should be made based upon the particular facts of each case.
  1. Joint custody is only in the children’s best interest if the parents get along. This one is true, but only partially. Yes, joint custody requires parents to be able to work together for the children. But you don’t have to get along on everything in order to make joint custody work. You just have to be able to communicate with each other and agree on what is relevant to your children.
  1. Mediation takes longer than fighting in court. This is just plain, straight up, not true. Are there cases where mediation takes a long time? Sure. Are there cases which are resolved in mediation in a couple of sessions? Absolutely. While statistics vary widely, all of the statistics I have ever seen say that resolving your case through mediation is quicker than fighting in court.
  1. The average divorce takes 7 – 13 months. Accurate divorce statistics are extremely difficult to compile. Different sources “quote” different statistics, all of which say different things. So, whenever someone starts quoting you statistics, be careful! The bigger question, though, is: Why does it matter? When you are going through a divorce, do you really care how long the “average” divorce (whatever that is) takes? Or, do you care how long your case takes?


Steven Berzner is a lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He practices family law exclusively, and has done so for over 20 years. He is also a Florida Supreme Court Certified family law mediator. During that time, he has represented clients in high conflict divorces, domestic violence, child and spousal abuse, custody, child support and just about every other type of family law cases. What separates Steve from other attorneys in his field is his dedication to each and every client and their children, regardless of the fees they pay or type of case they bring to him. Steve also provides pro bono services to Women in Distress and No More Tears, organizations that provide assistance to victims of domestic violence and their children.

Steve is a very active member of the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar. To name just a few of his accomplishments, he is a member of the highly prestigious Executive Council, the chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, and a member of the Children’s Issues Committee. Steve also volunteers as a mentor to recently admitted family law attorneys.

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