You can have a biological family, and you can have a chosen family. Sometimes they include both, and other times they don’t include your biological family. I think what’s really important is that they’re the people you hold close, who celebrate your joys with you and hold you up when you’re down.
Two of the most influential women in my life were my Aunty Gayle and my Aunty Rosemary, not related to me at all. These incredible women helped raise me, and I call Aunty Gayle’ sons my brothers. It was nice to have grown up with the kind of extended family of other people looking out for each other.
My daughter is the most important person in my world. I was very young when I had her and was a single mom for her entire childhood. We are extremely close, and she inspires me on a daily basis to be a better person.
My father taught me that you should never asked anybody to do something you’re not willing to do yourself. So when I work with local families, I enjoy finding solutions that are going to work for us as a team.
I make sure the solutions I offer are things that I would do and would want to do. Understanding compassion, having practiced for a long time, knowing the legal team and what they need, and having previously run two different firms gives me the tools I need to contribute to our team’s operations. We all work together at the Atlanta Divorce Law Group.
When you have people who enjoy what they do and you’ve created an atmosphere that they enjoy, they’re going to give their extra and their all. I can help facilitate that positive atmosphere to ensure our clients are getting the best legal services we can offer. We really understand what you’re going through, and we’re going to do everything we can to make you feel as if you are our only client.
Finding out what is important to someone – not just based on their background and culture – is something we take pride in at the Atlanta Divorce Law Group. For example, one of the things I’ve learned from working with clients who are either first generation immigrants or came here directly from their country of origin often have issues, such as dowry, that are very important to address. This isn’t something we think about here in the States very often. So listening to people and understanding what is important to them can go a long way in finding creative solutions to diverse family matters.
There was a client in a custody battle many years ago, and the parties had been in and out of court for years. His older son was 14 and could decide he wanted to live with dad, but he also had a younger daughter who was only eight, and she had lived with mom her whole life.
They had divorced when she was a year old, but mom didn’t want dad involved. She wouldn’t even let the kids go to extracurricular activities because she knew dad could go, so she was really limiting their growth because she had too much hatred for dad. But it was still a hard battle because my client’s child was an eight-year-old little girl, and most men simply don’t get custody of little girls.
For about a year and a half, we worked together to prove to the court why it was in her best interest to live with dad, and we won. It was very exciting.
One of the reasons I’d say this is a success story is that two years ago, he invited me to that little girl’s high school graduation. He reaches out to me at least once a year to let me know how his kids are doing. This makes everything I do worth it. Making a difference in someone else’s life so they can have a happier, healthy childhood makes my school loans worth it.