My friend is divorced and she told me what I should get.

Every person’s life and issues are different.

The incomes of both sides, what their monthly expenses are, what the history of their relationship has been, how they acquired their assets and property, what debts they have, how and why the debts were incurred, how they divided the responsibilities of child care in their home, etc. If your friends facts are not identical to yours, you should NOT compare their case to yours.

I am sure I will win if I go to court.

NOBODY has a slam dunk going to court. Lawyers who do a lot of court work will tell you that they have won cases they thought they were going to lose and  they lost cases they were sure they were going to win. There are so many moving parts in the system it is ALWAYS a gamble.

I know lawyers and going to court is expensive

Make sure you actually know what you are talking about on this one!

Do you actually know what one court appearance will cost your family as a whole? Do you know what a single day of mediation will cost your family as a whole. Do you know how much one day at trial would cost or how long a whole trial will take? I bet you do not.

If you do not have a thorough realistic understanding of these matters, you have no business being in the process.

Think of it this way: Would you agree to buy a house (arguably the most expensive purchase you will ever make), without knowing, up front, exactly all of the costs you had to pay?

It is your responsibility to know and understand the details.

Fathers always get 50/50 custody.
Mothers will always get custody of younger children.

Just not true. If you go to court there are numerous judges you might get. You probably will not know which one. A lot depends on how your facts are presented and what that specific judge believes is appropriate. Once you hand your life over to the courts to decide, you lose control of the outcome.

When a child turns 12 they get to choose which parent they want to live with.
Again, this is simply not true!