Attorney, Financial Specialist for Collaborative Divorce, and Mediator
From a very young age I always played the role of mediator in my family and with my friends. That is because I have always been able to understand the experiences of both sides and I have always been able to determine what is important to people in order to resolve issues peacefully. Today I use those skills as a financial specialist for collaborative divorce, as a mediator, and as an attorney. With my financial background, my experience as an attorney, and my mediation skills, I can help my clients find a meaningful way to reorganize their family and secure their financial future.
Why I believe in the collaborative process
Time and time again, I have seen the collaborative process and mediation work for families. Although divorce can be complicated and difficult, in the end, you are still a family that will need to have a harmonious relationship, especially when there are children involved. Collaboration and mediation both set my clients up to successfully negotiate a settlement with creative solutions that fit their families. This happens without the ugliness that a contentious litigation process can bring.
Phone: 312 – 803 – 6965
Email: [email protected]
I also have first hand experience as a child of divorce. Unfortunately, my parents’ divorce did involve a lengthy litigation process. They did everything that I work with my clients to avoid, including spending a large portion of their marital estate on unnecessary legal fees. To this day, it is still uncomfortable for my sister and I to navigate family functions.
I never want to see another kid or another family go through this. There is a better way and the collaborative process and mediation are those ways. Divorce does not have to be destructive. It can be civil and it can be solution oriented. As an attorney, financial specialist for collaborative divorce, and a mediator, I am in a position to help families understand their goals and ensure those goals are met.
What I do as a financial specialist for collaborative divorce
Besides parenting issues, a divorce is a series of financial decisions. Income, assets, and debt need to be managed. In some cases there are businesses that need to be valued. Tax consequences of potential agreements need to be considered. Decisions need to be made regarding spousal support and child support. There are many financial determinations that can impact my clients now and in the future.
My primary role is to educate my clients about their options and to help them evaluate those options to achieve their goals. I am uniquely qualified as an attorney and financial specialist for collaborative divorce because of my credentials as a CPA, my degree in accounting, and my LLM in Taxation. In addition, I am an Accredited Member of the American Society of Appraisers certified to value businesses.
Because of my background and my extensive experience, I have never been involved in a mediation or collaborative case that has failed. I have had the opportunity to help numerous clients get over the hurdles that come along with any divorce case and come to amicable agreements that help everyone move forward.
Other things to know about me
I am a mom to a 6 year old daughter. I am also a wife and met my husband on match.com (I know, so modern). During the pandemic we brought home 2 puppies who do not make great office assistants.
I balance work, home, family, and friends, and can really relate to everything a family has to work through on a daily basis and how important it is to have a supportive and loving family structure.
I was the first one, from both sides of my family, to go to and graduate from college. I grew up on the South Side of Chicago and now live on the North Side (I know…I went to enemy territory)! I love the city and there is so much to do and to experience here. I love going to the movies and really missed that when the pandemic hit. I enjoy reading and do consider myself a foodie, when someone else is doing the cooking. Of course, every year the Chicago Bears and U of I football break my heart and of course, I keep coming back for more.
The John Marshall Law School | J.D. – 2004
Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology | LL.M. in Taxation – 2011 | With Honors
University of Illinois, Champaign | B.S. – 2000
U.S. Tax Court | 2010
Illinois | 2004
U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois | 2004
Certified Divorce Financial Analyst | 2014
Certified Arbitrator | 2013
Certified Mediator | 2009
Certified Public Accountant | 2007
Illinois Super Lawyer Rising Star
Best Lawyers in America for Family Law and Collaborative Law
Fellow of the Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois
Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys
CLASSES AND SEMINARS
- Speaker at AAML-IL Presidents’ Day Seminar | Preparation, Execution and Adjudication of Financial Expert Witness Testimony, 2020
- Speaker at Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education | Child Support & Maintenance: 7th Biannual Master Teacher Seminar, 2019
- Speaker at DuPage Bar Association, Domestic Relations Committee Meeting | What is Income and How to Find it, 2018
- Speaker at JAMS, Oh No! A New Tax Law | Implications for Family Law Practitioners, 2018
- Speaker at Chicago Bar Association, Domestic Relations Committee Meeting | Tax Tips and Traps, 2018
- Speaker at DuPage Bar Association, Domestic Relations Committee Meeting | Tax Tips and Traps, 2018
- Speaker at the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts National Conference | New Orleans: Executive Compensation, 2015
- Speaker at Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education | Pro Bono Palooza: Family Law, Employment Law, and Ethics: Business Valuation and Forensic Accounting in Divorce, 2014
- Speaker at Collaborative Law Institute of Illinois – Collaborating Financially | Executive Compensation, 2013
- Speaker at Lorman Education Services | Divorce – Business Valuation, Finding Money and Taxes: A Case Study on the topic of Business Valuations, 2008
- Speaker at Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education | Money Matters in Divorce: Property Allocations on the topic of Business Valuation, 2008
- Speaker at Lorman Education Services-Divorce | Accounting and Tax Issues on the topic of “Financial Disclosure Statements – What is Income”, 2007
- Former Adjunct Professor | Financial Aspects of Divorce in the LLM Program in Family Law, Chicago-Kent School of Law
American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys | Fellow
American Bar Association | Family Law Section
American Society of Appraisers | Candidate Member
Association of Family and Conciliation Courts | Member
Business Valuation Association
Chicago Bar Association | Matrimonial Law Section
Collaborative Divorce Illinois | Fellow
DuPage County Bar Association | Matrimonial Law Section
Illinois CPA Society | Member
Illinois State Bar Association | Family Law Section
Institute for Divorce Financial Analyst | Member
International Academy of Collaborative Professionals | Member