Thanks for clicking on the link, here's My Story (The shortened version haha).
It’s probably helpful for me to share a bit about my background and what brought me to open my own practice. I know intimately how time consuming and emotional custody and access issues are for parents, specifically fathers.
I was married, the sole income earner with a great career and a stay at home husband. When the time came and we separated I was treated as a second class citizen during the legal process. It would seem that I was not actually a parent as I had always considered myself to be. The responsibility of supporting my family so that my children would have a parent able to stay home with them automatically put me in the same position as so many of the fathers I encountered at the courts. I could not fathom how the courts and lawyers were happy to relegate me to every other weekend and maybe a dinner during the week.
I was alone in a unique (at that time) situation where I was the mom but not in a traditional role. This gives me a very special perspecitve during mediation and coaching. I can relate to Mom's and Dad's going through a separation.
I was able to successfully create a shared parenting plan with my ex husband through mediation and I am happy to say that for the last 11 years I have cared for my children every other week, for a week.
I’m not saying it was easy and that I didn’t regularly hear “daddy doesn’t do it that way” but what an amazing experience for my kids and myself. They got to know both of their parents and we grew together.
Was it tough for my kids to move from home to home each week? YES.
Did the benefit of living a life being cared for and loved equally by BOTH parents outweigh the challenges of having 2 homes? YES
I tell all of my clients that I have a bias towards children having the benefit of both parents in their lives. I understand that it is not always possible or wanted but I start the process with the idea that each parent has equal rights to parent the children going forward. From there the parents can negotiate a parenting plan that works for all members of the family.
I provide this background to ensure you that I am a fair mediator and that I am a firm believer that children need to be loved and cared for by both parents. My clients can avoid a lengthy and costly court battle as I keep both of them focused on the BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILDREN. I truly believe that once the parenting responsibilities are sorted that the parents can move on more successfully with other aspects of their separation.
It is my intent to work closely with local organizations to help create awareness of mediation and to provide families with a positive alternative to managing transitions that see the families themselves creating the solutions.