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What If, Though, Ya Know?

Hypotheticals.  Beloved tool of Socrates.  Scourge of any Family Court attorney.

What if my husband moves some new chick into the home?  Huh?  Didya think of that?  That whore.  What the hell am I gonna tell my eight-year-old?”  {*n.b. these two aren’t married yet; this child is now three}.

The only question a Family Court attorney cannot answer is a fiction ripped directly from the dark and cynical imagination of a client under unspeakable stress.  I swear that sometimes clients aren’t even asking real questions or addressing very real concerns – just trying to stump their attorney:

“What if my soon-to-be-ex-husband gets addicted to Viagra?  What then?  Can he see my kid then?  That’s a thing that happens.  You’re not going to let my child around his father if he is addicted to dick pills I hope.  What kind of attorney are you?”

“What if I win placement and then my mother wants me to move to Belgium?  Are you telling my mom no?  Let’s call my mom.”

“What if we want to get back together?”

“What if we had sex last night?”

“What if we had sex in your office just now?  Can we still get divorced?  What if the sex wasn’t any good?”

“What if our child doesn’t want to live with either one of us?  Is there a commune near here?”

Honestly, enough.  Breathe.

In time very real, tangible questions will arise surrounded by nifty sets of facts and context.  That context will help your attorney answer your question in a way that makes sense for all involved at that time and place.  Please don’t make your attorney extrapolate answers twenty years down the line.  In twenty years there might not be a Family Court.  In twenty years we might all be North Koreans.  In twenty years your attorney might be happily retired in Belize and this particular future problem may not even be his or her to solve.  Being a lawyer does not mean we are granted some gift for clearly answering unanswerable questions.  If you bring an unanswerable question to your lawyer’s office you are going to leave with a hard answer.

“We suffer more in imagination than in reality.” -Seneca

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