Posted by Nancy
Susan was my first (of three) attorney in my child custody case. She appeared trustworthy and responsive; however, I think simply due to the nature of my case, I felt there was a lack of knowledge/experience. Susan didn't "fail" me at all; I truly believe she had not yet dealt with something so multi-pronged as my divorce and child custody case, that I think she wasn't sure how to handle all of the pieces of it and tried to work too amicably with my ex-spouse's attorney. Her efforts were commendable, though. I knew, handsdown, there was abuse from my ex-spouse towards myself and my child. We had both been victims. Susan, a decent practicing attorney, tried to take the approach that each spouse has the right to have visitation with the minor child in a divorce. As an educator for 23 years, I never felt quite right about this, having witnessed the complete opposite of this court-forced idea: hundreds of children are completely negatively affected by constant contact with an abusive parent; these truths often resurrect themselves in a child's school work and ultimately, in the guidance office meetings where a child finally reveals the abuse, after years of having to "go to visitation" with the abuser. Moreover, my child and I were victimized by my ex-spouse: sexually, emotionally, physically, and psychologically - all documented.
My contention was that my child was overwhelmingly afraid of her biological father due to the abuse. As an adult, I was able to stay away from him; however, there truly wasn't anything permanent being done to protect my child for additional abuse, since the tone of child custody in Pennsylvania seems to be that everyone -- even abusers -- get a "chance at visitation" with the child. And so, I did the only thing a healthy parent would do: protect the child and not send my child on a visit. I would be chastised for doing such a deed; however, I didn't care. I knew, handsdown, a child had to be protected. And so , I fought back by refusing to send my child.
Despite evidence of my child's fear and the documented, growing illegal and immoral behavior patterns with my ex-spouse (documented by an investigation team), the ex-spouse's push for visitation continued. An abuser ALWAYS wants access to his prey. It wasn't until another attorney took Susan's first efforts and applied major pressue in the court system, and then my final straw of representing myself in another state, that I was awarded full, sole, legal, and physical custody of my child. All levels of abusive contact were denied, and my child never again had to talk with, visit, phone, have nightmares about, feel intimidated and threatened, experience forced "reunification" meetings (ugh!), or send/receive mail from her abusive biological father ever again. Now, almost seven years later, with absolutely no contact, safe and sound in another state with me, my child is such a happy, productive, loving young adult member of society -- free from one man's ruthless sexual, emotional, physical, and psychological trauma. The enitre child custody process took about 2 years after the initial filing of the divorce. I knew there was enough evidence to secure my child's safety; someone had to have the complete experience and knowledge to address it with a judge. And when that happened, a child was saved from further abuse.
The judge asked me why hadn't any of my legal representation ever tabled all of these facts with a judge much sooner to protect the child??? Lesson learned: child abuse is child abuse. Period. Every child must be protected. Susan began a fight, and for this, I am grateful to her. It is my sincere hope that my case helped her grow in understanding that not every child should be in the company of a biological parent -- especially when that parent is an abuser. I am happy to report that federal agents ultimately caught up with my ex-spouse and have now protected other children from this man's vicious abuse.
Posted by a Child Custody client
Susan was wonderful! She went above and beyond to make me feel that I was not only her client but friend! She was always available when I needed her! I would recommend Susan to anyone looking for an honest, hardworking, and caring attorney!! You will not find anyone better!!!
Posted by a Divorce client
Susan has helped me in many ways. She help me understand the system with child support, spousal support and what my rights are and what I am entitled too. I have already recommended her to a few people that I know because I have been so happy with her services.
Posted by a Divorce client
Susan represented me in my divorce in 2002. She was very understanding and responsivem, and not once did I feel she wasted a minute of my time or a dime of my money. My ex-husband's lawyer tended to be unresponsive and she kept the process moving while giving me the option of hastening the process myself to save some money. She was very thorough in her work and kept me informed of everything that was happening in a very timely, business-like matter.
I have recommended her several times and would highly recommend her to anyone going through a divorce.
Posted by Jennifer