My Philosophy: Statistics show that divorce is one of the most emotionally draining experiences a family can encounter. Court-driven cases with adversarial attorneys breed only animosity and drive up legal fees. It is my philosophy that most cases can be settled without going to court for a fraction of the cost. I help clients find solutions that work for both spouses with an emphasis on future goals. While this may seem simple, few clients take the time to consider how they want their life to look post-divorce. I believe reasonable post-divorce goals are essential for three reasons:
(1) Goals help clients make good decisions during a process where negative emotions often prevail. For instance, if it is your goal to ensure your children remain a priority, you may think twice before making a negative remark about your spouse or utilizing college funds to fight in court.
(2) If the parties have clear expectations, it is easier to facilitate settlements because, wherever possible, decisions are made in accordance with the parties’ goals.
(3) Goals help parties emotionally as it is easier to get through the stress of a divorce where there is a positive, tangible result at the end of the process.
At the end of a case, I make sure that my clients have the tools needed to transition to a post-divorce lifestyle. This can include financial professionals to help manage assets or a mental health professionals to facilitate parenting disputes.
I also understand that your children, your money, and your home — the focal point of most matrimonial actions – are the things most important in your life. Because of this, I answer all calls or emails within twenty-four hours of the day they are received so that clients do not have to feel the stress of uncertainty. In settlement negotiations, I prioritze my clients’ legal rights and goals but do so in a manner that is respectful and does not create more tension. The focus on cooperation rather than confrontation results in a healthier post-divorce relationship for parents and children and has the added benefit of reduced counsel fees.
My Education and Experience: I am a 1991 cum laude graduate of Lafayette College and a 1994 graduate of the Dickinson School of Law. At Dickinson, I graduated in the top ten percent of my class and was a member of both the Dickinson Law Review and the trial moot court team.
After graduating from law school, I worked as a judicial clerk for The Honorable F. Lee Forrester in Mercer County, New Jersey. I next worked as an associate in the matrimonial department of Pellettieri, Rabstein & Altman, one of the largest firms in the Princeton area. At Pellettieri, I gained substantial experience writing matrimonial appeals.
Ultimately, I was blessed with three children of my own which has given me tremendous perspective on the cases I handle. While my children were young, I operated an appellate practice. I was trained as a collaborative attorney in 2009 and have since taken two advanced training seminars in collaborative law. With respect to mediation, I have taken basic and advanced mediation seminars as well as a course in parent coordination. I am a court approved mediator under New Jersey Court Rule 1:40-10(b).
I am a member of the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators, the Mid-Jersey Collaborative Law Alliance, the International Association of Collaborative Practitioners, and the Mercer County Bar Association.