Creative. Custom. Beyond Legal
I know what it feels like to not know what is coming next. In my own divorce experience, I also felt that bizarre mix of uncertainty, pain, confusion, and fear — as clearly as I could sense my own heart beating. Today probably seems tough and tomorrow might seem impossible. As a divorce professional, who is also a divorced parent, I know what mattered to me when I went through the process. I know what I needed, what helped, and what mattered. I also know what is required to shield children from the corrosive damage that comes with the end of a marriage. Because I know what it takes, personally and professionally, I want to help you find and secure what matters to you. Your future is my focus.
One of the problems with divorce is that we often treat it as merely a legal problem to be solved — as opposed to seeing it for what it is, in full — a legal issue that presents itself within a complex set of psychological and emotional dynamics that all need to be unpacked, sorted and then navigated. There are always important legal, financial and other practical issues in every case. Addressing those issues requires experience, intellectual acumen and creativity. But what drives the difficulty and the darkness in divorce, and makes it the thing that we all fear and want to avoid at all costs, is beyond legal.
Going “beyond legal” is something I have done for over 15 years, first as an attorney in complex, high-conflict, and high net worth family law cases and then as a mediator and arbitrator dedicated to resolving problems, finding solutions, and preserving dignity for the families with whom I work. As opposed to just saying it, my track record is demonstrable and is an open book. Working in all aspects of various divorce processes, I have litigated, negotiated, arbitrated and mediated complex financial and child related cases in Illinois, Texas, Washington, D.C. and beyond.
My goal in every case is to not only apply a rigorously data driven approach to the quantitative financial issues presented to me, but to translate that approach and operationalize it throughout the alternative dispute resolution process into objective, transparent, and quantifiable results. But that is not enough. No one wants to obtain a purely Pyrrhic outcome. And, fortunately, destruction and damage can be mitigated, if not always avoided. Critically, I never ignore the qualitative side of a case, because I also want to help spouses navigate the rough storm of conflicting emotions, assist them in gaining clarity, and attempt to preserve a measure of goodwill with their spouse or partner. The preservation of peace, wherever and to whatever extent possible, is also the hallmark of a good divorce process.
Many attorneys do not have a holistic strategy that they can identify in simple terms or they may have only one approach to each case. Those approaches can work for some people. But if you are still reading here - you are unique. Or perhaps you know that your spouse or partner is. You understand that your divorce is its own kind of canvas. And instead of painting by number, you intuitively grasp that you are best served working with a professional who is a partner in your process, and not merely working in service to the attorneys. You deserve a process that you can take ownership of, where you are fully heard, and where you can do it differently than your family members or friends. You have more power, agency and control than you might think. Almost no one would disagree that individual people deserve and need customized approaches that work for them, not just their attorney. But how does that get executed in an ADR setting? What does that look like and feel like? Does it mean the attorney and mediator just do what the clients want whenever they want it? Or does it mean the attorneys and mediator survey the terrain and decide what will work best for the clients - informed by strategy but open to unorthodox and creative approaches?
Neither. Because both approaches suffer from the same problem, but in opposite ways, and both approaches miss the essence of what the dispute resolution process in a divorce case can be when it is established thoughtfully with buy-in from all stakeholders and participants and is then reassessed and maintained mindfully and well.
Every marriage or intimate relationship began with a foundation that contained some degree of love, and was filled with hopes and dreams. Every friendship, at some point, solidified itself around shared values or goals, common interests, and a mix of loyalty, grace, compassion or honor that was proven or tested amid challenge and crisis. Right now, it may seem impossible to envision how to move forward. It may seem like finding solutions outside of the adversarial process of litigation is too much to ask. Today, the dreams, hopes and love probably feel lost and it can seem overwhelming. At the moment, the challenges of this time are again proving and testing both you and those around you. Don’t worry. Crisis is clarifying.
The practical aspects of dealing with what must formally be addressed in divorce are not particularly difficult at a practical, legal or intellectual level - despite the attempts by many to mystify them as such. The emotional and psychological aspects are, however, brutally demanding. The patience required to remain both centered and directionally focused is significant. To handle these matters requires an ADR professional who can provide a bespoke sensibility, a multi-domain creativity, and the willingness to think outside of the box. This is the essence of going beyond legal and it is why your future is my focus.