Who Burnt the Bacon? Accountability in Cooking, Coddling, and Custody Cases

By: E.A. Putman

This is probably going to be my shortest, most direct, and probably even the strangest, blog post. I’m sure my readers are used to the cheeky content, but, today my goal is to be concise. I’ll try.

Cooking: I was frying bacon this morning and doing five other things (laying out my daughter’s clothes for school, getting my work bag together, etc.). I thought I had it all together and I could do it quickly but lo and behold, one of the slices of bacon started to burn. As I scooped it out of the pan, it made me think of the rhetorical phrase that an elder would exclaim if they walked into someone’s house and smelled the overcooked piece of pork heaven, “Who burnt the bacon?!”

Who burnt the bacon?

Well, the answer to that question is obvious. It’s the cook. And that made me reflect on accountability. Nobody else in my household put that bacon in the pan, turned on the stove, and left it there to cook. So, why would I have the audacity to be shocked when the bacon burned? (Disclaimer: I ate it anyway.) And that’s what has to be stressed in family law. Many times, a person will burn the bacon and act surprised. Eat the bacon. Be accountable.

Custody. Accountability. A fourteen-letter Scrabble-winning word that people recognize, but fewer acknowledge. In this new era of finger-pointing, the opportunity to be accountable has slipped even further. As a family law attorney, I often remark on social media, “Be careful who you choose as the other parent.” This is going to be the person that you will have to deal with for what seems like an eternity. Court orders aside; the child will grow up, graduate from college, get married, and have children of their own and will probably want both parents to be involved in these milestones. I am going to go out on the limb and state that there is a preference in a custody case when a party is accountable; when that party is able to push aside conflict and work with the other parent. Bluntly stated: no accountability= no credibility.

Coddling: Because of the sensitive nature of today’s society and the sensitivity in family law cases, it can sometimes be difficult to inform a person that they are messing up their own case. But it has to be done because there is a likelihood that things can turn around. No guarantees. Who doesn’t like a road to redemption story? When we coddle a person, it’s like we shield them from reality and distort the truth or a highly likely outcome.

As I stated previously, I cooked the bacon, burnt it, and ate it. It was actually still edible. Once accountability is recognized and digested in family law cases, so to speak, the outcome may not be that bad.


The Putman Firm, PLLC is a family law litigation firm that handles a wide array of family matters including criminal matters that intersect family law, i.e. family violence assault cases, protective orders (criminal and civil), and allegations of child abuse. We understand that social media can be addictive however if you or someone you know are seeking legal assistance for a family law case and need guidance on how best to proceed without getting into trouble for your social media activity,  contact The Putman Firm, PLLC at (281) 501-9033. You can also schedule a consultation by visiting Your Family Law Attorney.

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