How to avoid hiring a lawyer and generally succeed at life.
Updated: May 19, 2021
When I say avoid hiring a lawyer, I'm talking about family law in particular. There are many exceptions, and sometimes you must have a lawyer, but here are a few tips that can help keep you away from a divorce/custody lawyer in particular:
#1 Don't have children until you're ready. This seems obvious. Babies are expensive, they require lots of attention and your free time is spent cleaning up the disgusting fluids constantly pouring from every orifice in their bodies. Ever wanted to buy a plane ticket to Paris at the last minute? Or drive to the beach on a whim? Or sleep until noon? Or eat a quiet meal? Or enjoy a moment of silence while using the restroom? There is one thing that makes all of that impossible: Babies. And zombies. And I guess baby zombies, too.
#2 Use birth control (women AND men) Especially if you are young, unemployed, uneducated and unmarried. With rare exceptions, single parents will live in poverty for most of their lives and so will their children. And so will their children's children. Guys: If a girl says she is on the pill, use a condom. Ladies: Use birth control, but always make the guy use a condom. If he refuses, he is a selfish pig and doesn't deserve anything but a swift kick to his coin purse. Which, on the positive side, would be doing society a favor if you can split the uprights from 50 yards. (A football reference? C'mon, you're impressed)
#3 Go to therapy before you ever decide to try having a child. For at least a year or more. If you think you don't need therapy, then there is no question you need therapy. There are lots of good counselors, psychologists and psychiatrists in Howell County and the surrounding area. You might need antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anti-anxiety meds or anti-psychotics. You might have an undiagnosed mental illness. You might have had a f*&ked up childhood. And if you don't think you did, I can assure you: you did. People with untreated mental illnesses and unresolved mental health issues should not have children. Because guess who suffers most in that situation? The child.
#4 Have a child with a man or a woman who is not a basket case. (See: crazy, nuts, irrational, violent, hysterical, angry, needy, whiny, controlling, suicidal, addicted to alcohol or drugs, etc.) This goes in conjunction with #3. If you are a basket case (you are and you're in denial), you will seek out other basket cases. Female basket case + Male basket case = Baby that grows up, does not pass go and goes directly to jail.
#5 Before you decide to have a child with someone or marry them, get to know their parents. If your girlfriend's or boyfriend's mother is an angry, spiteful, self-loathing, judgmental, mean-spirited, soul-sucking succubus, guess what? She represents half of your significant other. If your gf or bf's father is a violent, passive-aggressive, mean, stupid, racist, willfully ignorant, toothless window-licker, he is the other half. Walk away. No, sprint.
#6 Get an education first. I don't mean law school. If your child talks about wanting to be a lawyer when he grows up, put him in time out for a couple of months. In the basement. Preferably a basement with ROUS's (Rodents of Unusual Size). Health care is booming and there are tons of jobs. And it pays well. Regardless of what you get a degree in, finish the program before you have children. Getting through college is hard enough without having to raise a kid at the same time. (Points if you got "The Princess Bride" reference. If you haven't seen it, make it a priority.)
#7 No kids before the age of 25 (preferably 28 or more) I wouldn't trust a teenager to raise a fruit fly without killing it, and a fruit fly's entire life cycle lasts 24 hours. I don't care how much you think having a baby would be "fun". You're too immature, you have no money and you're going to rely on your parents for everything. Your parents are relieved you're finally out of the house (if you are, and I kinda doubt that's the case). If you did move out, STAY OUT. They want to see the little bundle of joy during the holidays and for a few hours once in a while. They do not want to raise a second set of children. Have some respect.
CAVEAT: Even the best laid plans can go south. If that happens, call my office and I can help.