I am a collaborative family attorney. I feel comfortable saying this. Sometimes I used to cringe when I told people I am an attorney (not only because of the cute jokes about sharks) but because I was uncomfortable practicing law the way it has always been practiced, particularly in the family court system. I couldn’t understand then (and still don’t) why people would want the most intimate aspects of their lives displayed in a public arena; why they would want a total stranger (judge) to make family decisions for them and why family law was known as the type of case that has a beginning but no end.
I discovered that I wasn’t and am not the only lawyer who was wondering these things. And I discovered that there are many families who do not want to air their dirty laundry in public, who want to make their own family decisions and who do not want to spend an eternity in time, money and emotional toll in court. I discovered the collaborative process.
Today, I am committed to being a healer and not a destroyer of families. I am committed to helping families find their own solutions to their individual and unique family issues. I am committed to working with my colleagues, both in the legal profession and other professions such as the mental health and financial fields, to open the lines of communication and facilitate problem solving within the team arena. I am committed to helping families create their own solutions, restructure their families respectfully and learn valuable communication skills that will serve them for as long as they need or want. Mostly, I am committed to educating the public (both colleagues and clients) that there is another way to divorce and it doesn’t have to be destructive.