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An Ounce of Prevention ...

Sarah was lonely. She had been lonely for so long. She had to consult a calendar to figure out the last time that she and Bobby had been intimate. No matter how hot the summer became, the house was always cold.

Sarah couldn't take it anymore. Anderson was cute. He was energetic. He was more than interested. She adequately resisted him for several months but he kept wearing her down with his charm. What started first as what she rationalized was a harmless drink, led to dinner a few weeks later and, before she knew it, some fantastic, protracted afternoons in his apartment. She felt alive again. Her skin glowed. She walked with a spring in her step. She mattered and she cared.

One day, she left her cell phone on the kitchen island as she stepped into the garage. It buzzed with a text. Bobby looked down at the message: "What an afternoon! You wore me out. I've got to ice myself down to get ready for you again. You are so hot!."
________________________________

Samuel was unsettled. Something was wrong at home but he just couldn't put his finger on it. Sophia was not quite herself. Sure, she was understandably excited about going home for a month to see her folks. And it would be nice for the kids to see their grandparents. It had been a couple of years. And it would be nice for the kids to learn more about their mom's birthplace, Greece. He was just sorry that he couldn't get off work for the whole month. But at least he would get over there the last week to spend with them and bring them home. At least Sophia was okay with it.

Samuel and Sophia had suffered through their ups and downs. It seems the last few years had been mostly down. Sophia had quit her job and didn't seem too interested in getting another. She didn't seem too interested in making or keeping friends. Mostly she just talked to her folks and kept up with old friends back home.

Samuel drove them to the airport and walked them to security, watching them safely through their screening. He waived to his two little ones as they passed out of sight. Sophia didn't look back.

She contacted him though, as soon as she had arrived at her parent's house. "I miss you," he told her. "I left you a note," she said. It is in the top drawer of my night stand. Please read it." She hung up.

He all but ran to the night stand and tore open her note: "Samuel, I just can't take it anymore. I haven't loved you in a long time. The spark has long since been snuffed out. The children and I are not coming back. I don't want you to come to Greece at the end of the month. I really don't want to see you again. Later on, we will work out how to keep you in the children's lives. I wish you only the best. Sophia"
________________________

Hindsight is 20/20. You can usually figure out what went wrong after it has gone wrong. But spotting the problem, putting your finger on the issue before it goes wrong is a gift or maybe just luck. Or sometimes, it is a matter of thinking through all the possible scenarios to see where each path leads and then taking action that best accommodates most of those potential outcomes. That can get real complicated real quick.

You know the phrase, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." It applies in family law in major ways. Both Sarah and Samuel are heading for divorce. Samuel has other huge issues too. Both were heading for a divorce before the final die was cast. For Sarah, her final die was getting busted. For Samuel, it was the international child abduction of his children. But those final acts were at the end of long, long paths. Both could have had drastically different outcomes, could have taken drastically different paths if they had spotted the potential problems and taken some pretty straightforward measures to protect themselves, all along their journeys.

Putting your finger on the issue before it goes wrong may be a gift or may just be luck if you are the person involved but a person well trained and long on experience in just these issues can spot the red flags and steer you clear of problems long before they tear up your life. A person well trained and long on experience can keep you out of trouble, can help you be proactive and resolve issues before they ever manifest. As you can imagine, resolving problems before they manifest makes for a much more drama-free, peaceful and successful life.

No one expects you to see into the future. But the right attorney can do just that for you. What kind of future do you want? One that you orchestrate or one that gets handed to you?

That is actually up to you.

-Michael Manely 

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