Collaborative Separation & DivorceCan serious marital conflict be resolved without the time and expense of litigation? Yes-you can get a divorce without destroying your family or depleting your bank account. The end of a marriage is painful enough.
Collaborative divorce offers a more holistic approach to legal problem solving and is quickly becoming the method of choice for families negotiating the precarious world of divorce – even those involving complex finance and business affairs.
LitigationWhile we work hard to help clients prioritize their goals, go over all the possible approaches available, and assess which approach will both advance the case and motivate the other party to settle, some cases simply cannot be resolved without litigation.
Claire’s skills in both litigation and collaborative law enable her to advise clients which cases should be tried and which cases can be effectively settled. If you have to go to Court, Claire will vigorously represent you and compassionately guide you through the process.
MediationThe ideal result in any family law matter is a negotiated settlement.
Divorce is a unique type of adversarial proceeding in that often the parties must deal with each other for many years following the dissolution of their marriage, especially if they have children. Mediation is a process that empowers parties to design an agreement tailored to their lives and unique situation.
- Child Custody and Visitation
- Child Meditations
- Child Support and Arrearage
- Separation and Divorce
- Divorce Litigation and Mediation
- High Asset Divorce
- Independent Legal Advice
- Parenting Agreements
- Pre-Nuptial Agreements
- Pre-Divorce Planning
- Property Division
- Post-Nuptial Agreements
- Post-Divorce Disputes
- Relocation and Move Away
- Spousal Support
Claire is a versatile attorney who provides her clients a wide range of options for resolving their disputes. She is an experienced litigator who can be fierce in the courtroom, but she is also a trained collaborative lawyer and family law mediator who can devise creative solutions and amicably settle even the toughest of cases. No two divorces are the same, and Claire possesses the skills necessary to provide the right solution for each unique situation.
Not only does Claire assist her clients in dissolving their marriages, but she also encourages them to be future focused. She believes divorce offers clients a unique opportunity to build a positive future for themselves, complete with financial and emotional security. To this end, she provides her clients with the tools necessary to help them construct a solid foundation on which to navigate their new lives. For Claire’s clients, divorce can be a spring board to reinventing themselves.
Claire’s passion for helping others extends beyond her legal practice. She is a dedicated philanthropist and is actively involved in several non-profit organizations throughout the Charlotte community.
- J.D., Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, 2006
- B.A., Psychology, University of Missouri, 2002
- North Carolina State Bar
- Missouri State Bar
- Kansas State Bar
- Board of Directors, Women’s Impact Fund
- Board of Directors, Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage
- Board of Directors, Mecklenburg County Bar Foundation
- Charlotte Community Leadership Council for the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina
- Former Chair of Family Law Section, Mecklenburg County Bar
- Former Board Member, Charlotte Women’s Bar Association
- 2019 “North Carolina Leaders in the Law,” honoree, North Carolina Lawyers Weekly
- How does a collaborative divorce process differ from a traditional divorce process?
- The collaborative divorce process offers a more holistic approach to divorce & separation by putting you in the best position to decide what is best for your family.
- Like a traditional process, you will still have an advocate. But with a collaborative approach, you are empowered to write your own story.
- The collaborative process is a “child centered” approach vs. an approach that places children in the middle of the conflict. It can also preserve or help create the relationship necessary to raise healthy, well-adjusted kids.
- The collaborative process is typically faster than traditional divorce litigation.
- It is also less expensive and keeps the intimate details of your life from being aired in a public forum.
- Why should I choose a collaborative divorce process?
- As Belgian relationship therapist and author Esther Perel says, “Divorce is not the end of a family, it’s a reorganization.” In the collaborative process, you get to decide how you want to restructure and reorganize your family.
- No divorce is easy. It’s painful, creates fear and causes anxiety. But you can divorce without destroying your family or your children. People can’t make good decisions when they are scared or operating in crisis mode. The collaborative process doesn’t take away the fact that you are going to have to address the financial and legal matters that have to be resolved. But it offers parties the dignity and space to process their emotions so they are able to make the best decisions for themselves and their children.
- How does mediation work?
- In the mediation process, separating parties come together to negotiate and reach a resolution with the help of a neutral third party – the mediator.
- Typically, the mediator, who does not represent either party, will meet with both sides, facilitate communication where necessary to help parties articulate their goals, and creatively resolve their issues.
- While the court is bound by the laws of North Carolina, through mediation, the parties can decide what is best for their family by designing an agreement tailored to their lives and unique situation.
- Is mediation right for you?
- Mediation is right for couples who have the same goal – to reach a resolution. That doesn’t mean you agree about every issue or that you even like each other. It also doesn’t mean that mediation is easy or an unemotional process. But it does mean that you both believe their is a better way to resolve your dispute than fighting in court and letting a judge make decisions about your life.
- Working with a good mediator has its perks – you can cut down on attorneys fees and costs, go at your own pace, keep the intimate details of your life confidential, and work towards an agreement that meets both of your needs.
Congratulations on your move to open your own firm! I have no doubt that you’ll be wildly successful and you’ll be able to help so many people with the strong guidance and assertiveness you provided to me in my most trying days.