I often hear people say: “How do you do what you do?”, or “I could never do that” when they first hear what I do for a living. Even within my profession, most others avoid work in my field. Yet, I really like my job. What do I do for work? I am a “divorce attorney” or a family law attorney in Orange County, California.
To be clear, “liking” my job does not mean that I am pleased when people divorce, or that I encourage families to separate. Think of it like this—does an emergency room doctor want people to get hurt? No, of course not. I too want everyone to be safe and happy at home. But when they are not, and especially when legal advice is necessary, I am uniquely trained to help; and it’s the helping that I enjoy.
Prevention of the harm is a good place to start helping. If an “apple a day” will “keep the doctor away”, then what will keep the divorce attorney away? (I’m trying to save you guys lots of money!)
My purpose in writing this article is to help you to never need my services and to keep you and your family out of family court. If you follow my advice, you will eliminate much pain and heartache for you and your loved ones. Remember, there is no Novocain that can ease the pain I see on a daily basis.
Having practiced family law for many years, I have worked with hundreds of families and have seen a lot. The symptoms which cause people to end up in family court are bad and getting worse. Hollywood can’t write the stuff I see. I refuse to watch law related tv shows because they do not compare with reality. Besides, such shows are not entertaining to me and neither are my cases.
With extremely high divorce rates, an increased number of children being born outside of marriage, and a changing definition of “marriage”, the family law courts are more packed than ever.
I have seen firsthand the devastating consequences of what happens to people and families that get stuck in the family law system, and it is heartbreaking. Some never escape and they spend years fighting one battle after another. Others are forced to litigate because not doing so would jeopardize the health, safety or legal rights of others.
I truly work on the front lines of the “war” on the family. If you ever doubted whether there actually was such a war, I invite you to spend a day in family court. They are open to the public. You will quickly realize that it is real and the casualty numbers are high, as are the costs.
If you want to avoid ever having to hire me, or someone like me, then here is my best advice for you:
Don’t get married and don’t have children.
You will not be eaten by a shark if you do not swim in the ocean. You will not likely end up in family court or in need of legal advice from a divorce attorney if you never get married and never have children. If you fall into this category, you can stop reading now, as my work is done here. (Disclaimer—my wife and I have been happily married for over 20 years and we have 10 children; I am a strong proponent of committed marriage and family life.)
Be careful not to rush into it.
If you are still reading, then you are married and have kids or you plan to do so. That’s good; yours is the path of greater joy and happiness, or in the alternative, greater misery and sadness if you are not careful. To avoid the latter, you must first do your “due diligence”, as they say. It has been said that “to marry well, you must inquire well”. The best of things are worth the wait and require a lifetime of work, so take your time and be sure you are ready for a forever relationship.
Be “fiercely loyal”.
Divorce and separation are caused by a lack of unity in the home. There are many reasons for this lack of unity in relationships. In the movie “Top Gun” young Maverick learned a hard lesson—“never leave your wingman”. Avoid selfishness. If the loyalty of a dog has earned the title “man’s best friend”, we as human beings can and should do better. Do whatever you need to be your spouse’s true best friend and a good “wingman”. If you are constantly focused on the “comfort and well being of your companion”, you will be far less likely to separate in the future.
Like dribbling is to basketball, forgiveness is a fundamental skill necessary for successful relationships. You have got to be good at forgiving if you desire to “play” successfully and effectively in relationships. No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, you will likely do or say something that upsets your spouse. This will happen repeatedly throughout your relationship, maybe even daily. Remember, you are learning how best to love and care for your partner. It takes lots of practice to do hard things right. So, when your spouse offends you, forgive them. When it happens again, forgive again and so on and so forth. Remember, good forgivers don’t divorce quickly.
Be a better spouse every day.
Think of the things you are good at. It may be a profession, a hobby or a talent you have. Now think of things you want to be good at. Is being a better husband or wife on that list? If not, consider putting it at the very top of that list. Few things in life will bring the same lasting joy and happiness as being a really good spouse. Being good at other things won’t have the lasting impact on future generations as being a better spouse everyday.
This obviously isn’t an exhaustive list of how to have a successful marriage. There are endless nuances of the marriage relationship, each one worthy of a book in and of itself.
But based on my experience as a husband, a father, and a family law attorney, I feel confident that these items listed above will help you never have to meet with me or any other divorce attorney.
I hope this advice saves you lots of time, money, and most of all… heartache.