Going to court means giving permission to a complete stranger to make long term decisions about you and your family. The decision, including details of the family’s financial circumstances, may be published and accessible online. Separating from a spouse or partner may well be one of the most difficult traumatic, fearful experiences we go through. Making any decision when you are feeling overwhelmed and emotionally vulnerable without sufficient information or a proper perspective may lead to results you didn’t intend. Likewise copying passages from your best friend’s separation agreement to cut costs without asking if it makes sense to you, to your children and to your future, is in my opinion, a mistake. Sometimes, watching a 42 minute TV episode may leave you feeling optimistic, that program doesn’t jive with what happens in family court in your city or town. If you want to keep the lid on what’s personal and private to you then jumping to court is definitely the wrong turn. Take the time to gain perspective, deal with how you’re feeling and explore other excellent approaches to family issues such as the collaborative approach, the mediation process, and confidential negotiation.