My practice is limited to mediation and collaborative law. For more than half of my 37-year career as a family law attorney, I counseled clients on most forms of family conflict – equitable distribution, child support & custody, alimony & post-separation support – using the traditional adversarial approach. I found divorce litigation to be an unhealthy process, negatively affecting both parties emotionally and financially. The excessive amounts of time and resources dedicated to “fighting my ex”, coupled with hurt feelings and building frustrations, often resulted in relationships too damaged to continue on once-civil terms. More importantly, divorcing spouses were no longer able to function as partners in parenting.
In 1994, I was introduced to divorce mediation when Mecklenburg County was chosen to participate in a pilot program requiring mediation in Equitable Distribution cases. In 1995, I became a certified divorce mediator. Six successful years in divorce mediation led to an interest in collaborative law and, together with three local attorneys, I attended training in Scottsdale, Arizona. Inspired and feeling like pioneers, the four of us returned to Charlotte and quickly founded the Mecklenburg County Collaborative Family Law Group.
As a mediator and collaborative lawyer, I’ve found that there are a limited number of issues really worth fighting over; most things are not that fundamental to anyone’s well being. Throughout my career – and personal life for that matter – I’ve developed an uncommon ability to distinguish those issues fundamental to happiness – and those my clients can afford to let go. My philosophy: what’s done is done, so let’s figure out how to resolve this and move forward with healthy, productive lives.
While resolving conflict is always challenging, I try to maintain compassion and patience for families enmeshed in divorce. I particularly want to protect children from trauma that may arise in high conflict cases.
Charlotte National Building, Suite 101
428 East Fourth Street
Charlotte, NC 28202