PARTNER + CERTIFIED FAMILY FINANCIAL MEDIATOR
Family Law Mediator*
Postseparation Support and Alimony
Civil No Contact Matters
Alienation of Affections
Campbell University Norman Adrian Wiggins School of Law, Juris Doctor, 1985; Law Review, American Jurisprudence Award – Corporations and Torts
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1982; B.S. Industrial Relations with Emphasis on Psychology; Delta Upsilon
Admitted to Practice
North Carolina, 1986
Why I Became a Family Law Attorney
I enjoy taking a problem-solving approach with my clients, through negotiation, mediation, and litigation. Growing up, I always wanted to be a psychiatrist or a lawyer. A few courses in chemistry quickly nixed the idea of medical school, so my focus turned to law. My undergraduate degree focused on economics and psychology. My education in psychology has been incredibly helpful in the practice of family law. I have always been fascinated with people’s relationships and the way they interact with each other. In working with my clients, I try to make them as comfortable as possible while considering they are going through one of the most difficult periods of their lives. I have attempted to create a very relaxed office atmosphere and our office dog, April, does her part as well. I am a huge proponent of counseling and find it extremely helpful in dealing with family law issues. I find it useful that everyone have a good counselor as part of their team of professionals in helping to resolve their various family law issues.
As a family lawyer, I am not here to encourage separation and divorce. Separation and divorce are merely some of the options available to people experiencing relationship and co-parenting difficulties. I always encourage couples to work on their relationships through counseling and personal reflection. Relationships are an investment that require attention and care. I consider it a success if a couple is able to resolve their difficulties and have a healthier relationship. If separation and divorce are necessary, I also encourage civility when parties are transitioning from partners in life to co-parents or continuing their lives as single individuals. People with relationship difficulties are at an incredibly vulnerable point in their lives. I try very hard to discourage bitterness and anger between parties no matter which path they choose.
I try to integrate the client’s knowledge and life experiences, and use a team-oriented approach with my partners, associate attorneys and paralegals to reach a cost-effective and favorable outcome for the client. I find it is very important to address my client’s fears as well as their financial issues. Fear can often be overcome with education. I view myself as an educator to my clients regarding the law and the legal process. After being educated on their legal rights, people are better equipped to resolve their relationship issues in a more amicable and cost-effective manner.
Unfortunately, sometimes there is no option other than litigation in resolving the parties’ domestic difficulties. I have practiced family law for over 30 years. I find my practical experience with litigation to be invaluable in helping my clients through the legal process when navigating the Court system. Knowing the law and having litigated family law matters for a number of years helps me in advising a client about the nuances of each Judge’s preferences, likes, and dislikes.
My greatest job satisfaction comes in seeing the relief on a client’s face when his or her case is finalized. There is nothing more enjoyable to me than seeing this burden lifted from a client’s shoulders.
Professional Affiliations + Community Involvement
Certified Family Financial Mediator*
North Carolina State Bar Association
American Bar Association
NCBA Family Law Section
Iredell County Bar Association
Past President of Iredell County Bar Association
Two terms on NC State Bar Family Law Council
Previously served on NC State Bar Alimony Committee
Member and Past President of Iredell County Civil Committee
Former member and past president of M.A.P. (Metrolina AIDS Project)
Former member and past president of Mooresville-Lake Norman Rotary (Paul Harris Fellow)
Former member of Opera Carolina Chorus
Former member of Festival Singers (private audition chorus of Carolina Voices)
Former member of Providence United Methodist Church Choir
Former member of Board of Advisers at Providence United Methodist Church
Former Allocations Committee Member of Mooresville United Way