I have practiced family law for eighteen years, being licensed in both Georgia and Washington State. Problem-solving is my top priority, understanding my client’s goals and working to achieve those goals.
I enjoy studying psychology. My interests range from how positive psychology and personal resilience skills can improve one’s quality of life during the divorce process to how litigants with personality disorder behavioral traits impact family law litigation.
In 2011, I divorced ending a twenty-eight year long relationship. Prior to that experience, I didn’t really understand that one of the hardest parts of the process is making the decision to actually file a divorce action. My personal experience substantially broadened my understanding of what my clients face.
After remarrying in 2017, I was betrayed in 2018. Despite the fact that such betrayal occurs in the majority of my divorce cases, I had not personally experienced marital betrayal before and understood it only as a third party attorney. Although the experience was devastating personally, it offered me invaluable information professionally that is helpful in my work. I offer better support for my clients hurt by adultery. Additionally, I offer better insight to clients who have betrayed their spouse, as a scorned spouse can make a divorce much more difficult.
Many people resolve to either work to improve their marriage or to divorce. Determining whether you are “done” with your marriage can be incredibly difficult. If you choose to work on your marriage, the most common marital challenge is finances. Start analysis by completing a Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit. This standard family law form is available on-line. Often, this simple form evidences where problems lie. What steps can you take to relieve financial stress? If facts are dire, consider reaching out to a financial coach, i.e. Dave Ramsey, or consult with a bankruptcy attorney.
Next, what can you do to improve yourself? Take accountability – don’t blame your spouse for all the issues. The only person you can change is yourself. See a counselor if you need help or start with a self-help book. Gray Chapman’s “Love Languages” or Dr. John Gottman’s “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” are excellent resources.
DIVORCE AND PERSONALITY DISORDER BEHAVIORAL TRAITS
My favorite book on divorce and personality disorders is “Splitting” by Bill Eddy, LCSW, JD and Randi Kreger. Personality disorders complicate the divorce process and understanding each disorder makes predicting a party’s behavior a little easier. Additionally, mental health disorders and substance abuse issues are common components in many divorces. Understanding these issues helps me offer my clients better counsel.
I enjoy world travel (24 countries down.) and love my pups,”Holder” and “Callie”.
Areas of Practice
- 50% Divorce and Separation
- 20% Child Custody
- 20% Child Support
- 10% General Practice
- 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- Georgia, 2011
- Washington, 2002
- Seattle University School of Law, Seattle, Washington
- University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
- B.A. – 1995
- Major: Political Science
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Georgia Bar, Member, 2011 – Present
- Washington State Bar, Member, 2002 – Present
Past Employment Positions
- Meriwether & Tharp, Attorney, 2015 – 2018
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