If you are not into reading resumes and biographies, here is my story…

I was a paralegal for 7 years before I became a lawyer. I worked full time by day and went to law school by night for four years.  I started practicing law in 1984 and have been in the legal community over 35 years.

My first job was working for a family law attorney and I loved working with the clients.  As a result, when I got out of law school, I decided to practice Family Law.  That is ALL I have done since 1984.

After one year as an associate, I became a partner to the lawyer I worked for and we worked together successfully for 10 years.  In 1995, when my daughter was a year old, I decided to open my own solo practice and have done that ever since.

For the first 14 years of my lawyer life, I was a litigator and my focus was on high conflict custody cases.  I represented both moms and dads and I was also appointed to represent children when their parents’ behavior got in the way of them making good choices for the children.  I often worked with alcohol and drug addicted parents and even some accused of abusing their children.   I also worked on high asset cases and I was VERY good in the courtroom.

But, all of that took its toll and I almost quit practicing law to become a high school history teacher.  I went to a vocational counselor who did all the usual aptitude things and it turns out the three things I scored highest on were the law, teaching and the ministry.  Now, I happen to be a very spiritual person but I never thought of the ministry until one of my former clients pointed out that my practice was my ministry.

I teach my clients all the time when I do my Law 101 presentations (ask me, I’ll explain it) and I teach other lawyers and law students.  So, I get to do them all.  BUT the one thing I could not do was litigate any more.  I turned my focus to helping people resolve their cases outside of court by mediating and being a collaborative lawyer.  THAT is my sweet spot and I love it.  Since 1997, I have focused only on Mediation and Collaboration.  I have not litigated a case since 1999.

Then, my own 17 year marriage fell apart at the seams and I became a single parent of a 13 year old…her dad and I co-parented but she lived with me most of the time so I got to do the whole teenage thing alone.

Happily, we all survived mostly intact.  My former husband and I separated and I took a long time to file the papers.  Then we took another three years just to settle everything.  We took it slow, let the dust settle, we got our child through high school and then we finished the case.  We did it out of court, of course.

Today, we are still friends and do not hold any resentments about the divorce (at least I don’t, I stopped speaking for him years ago). Therefore, I speak from experience when I tell you I KNOW what it feels like to go through the whole gut wrenching experience from beginning to end.  It is one of the hardest things I have ever done and it will be for you as well.  Which is why I tell you that no one wins in court.

I love what I do and I look forward to helping you and your family navigate the divorce process and stay out of court at the same time.