I help clients resolve their legal disputes without messing up their kids.
I believe that representing clients in family law cases is not just a job or an area of law to practice. I believe it is a calling, a mission given to me by God to help hurting people. That calling was so crystal clear the night I prayed for guidance. I did not initially understand what that meant. I thought God was calling me to be a personal injury lawyer. Many of my life experiences had driven me to the point of wanting to be a lawyer, but all those things had lead me to believe I was supposed to be a lawyer who helped physical hurt people find justice. After I got divorced, met my current husband, and began working for Judge Ferguson, I discovered that no one hurts more than the children who go through a divorce or separation between their parents. Their parents hurt, but the children hurt more. The pain, anxiety, depression, guilt, separation, anger, and frustration that these children experience are immeasurable. Another thing I have noticed in the time I have been practicing law is that I sometimes see clients for more than one case. I see them over and over, one divorce after another, or one case after another because either their personal, legal, emotional, financial or psychological needs were not resolved completely the first time around. I also found that parents come out of the divorce or separation process thinking he or she now knows everything he or she needs to know to move forward in a financially sound manner and with a 4 hour trans-parenting class under his or her belt knows everything he or she need to know to successfully co-parent. Unfortunately, this is not at all the case.
This was evident to me in my own divorce situation. When I got divorced, my attorney handed me my documents and said, “well you are divorced, good luck.” As I sat there and looked at those papers, I was heartbroken because in my mind I had failed. I had failed at being a married person. However, I was also in law school, working full time, and a single parent at that point. I felt momentarily reassured that so long as the child support came on time and my son’s father made the house payment on time for the next year as he had agreed to do, I would find a way to trudge through and start my life over again. Boy was I wrong. Four months later, when the house payments weren’t being made on time, the child support was late, and I was struggling to make ends meet, I landed in bankruptcy court and had to sign my home back over to the bank. All I could think at that time was, “why didn’t someone tell me this could happen that this could be my life.” It was at that point that I felt completely hopeless and alone, and I was frustrated with the whole process. But, life went on, and I remarried, finished law school and started my practice. For seven years, I practiced law much the same way as my lawyer had and forgot about all those feelings I had all those years ago. Recently, at the urging of some very special people in my life, I spent some time in deep reflection and worked with my coach to determine what I really wanted my practice to be like and how I wanted to change the world. During that time, this new firm came into being.
Clients need solutions today with an eye toward tomorrow, the day after, the month after, the year after, etc. They need an aftercare program to allow them to have ongoing support, counseling, financial advice, budgeting, etc. As lawyers, we are not equipped to necessarily deal with all these issues. However, we should have the resources at our fingertips to get our clients through the process. We should not see our clients as a number, a file, or a dollar sign. Each is a unique person who is part of a unique family. The families have their own unique issues and needs. These families don’t go away. They change or morph over time just like an intact family. Our mission is to move them through the process of separation or divorce in such a manner that when they come out on the other side they have a new beginning for their new unique family situation and know how to live as part of that new family dynamic going forward in a healthy, holistic manner.
Due to my experience working with Judge Ferguson and my own divorce experience, I knew there had to be a better way to practice family law that helped parties resolve disputes, helped children not suffer the negative impact of their parents’ divorces, and helped parties learn from his or her mistakes and move into their future relationships in such a way that mistakes are not repeated. The service we provide to our clients along with our relationships with preferred outside vendors allows us to help our clients through this horrible time in their lives to find a new beginning for them and their children.
On the other hand, there are couples and singles who want to be parents but cannot do so by regular means. They struggle with beginning their definition of a family. The pain of losing a child through miscarriage or not being able to get pregnant even with the help of traditional scientific methods can be so great that it causes lasting grief and depression that impact the family unit he or she or they already have. However, there are children out there being born everyday who have no one to love them, who are being born to mothers who do love them, so much so that the mother knows that she is not the child’s best option. There are also children out there who have one good parent but for whatever reason the other biological parent is gone. Then, a great person steps in as a step-parent and says, “hey, I want to be your forever parent, I cannot imagine not being your mom or dad.” There are also great women out there who would be happy to be a vessel for carrying another couple’s child or children for them so that they can have the family of their dreams. I want to be there to help these couples create their own new beginning. Nothing gives me more joy as a lawyer than bringing a family together.
Our goal is to provide great service to our clients, and in doing so, help our clients grow as people and as parents, put them on the path of changing their family tree for the better, and do so so well that when they hear of a friend or family member in the same or similar situation as theirs that they will want their family and friends to be able to be a part of what we are doing as well.
|AL||Occupational License - Authorized to Practice||2006||11/10/2020|
|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|Board Certified in Family Law Trial Advocacy||National Board of Trial Advocacy||2019|
|Platinum Client Champion||Martindale-Hubbell||2018|
|Client Distinction Award||Martindale-Hubbell||2016|
|Legal Elite Most Compassionate Family Lawyers-Alabama||Corporate America||2016|
|Top 10 Attorneys||American Jurist Institute||2016|
|Client Distinction Award||Martindale-Hubbell||2015|
|Nation's Top One Percent||National Association of Distinguished Counsel||2015|
|Top Attorney in North America||Top Attorneys of North America||2015|
|Rising Star||Super Lawyers||2015|
|Top 40 Lawyers Under 40||American Society of Legal Advocates||2014|
|2015 Alabama Rising Star||Super Lawyers||2014|
|Client Distinction Award||Martindale-Hubbell||2013|
|Client Distinction Award||Martindale-Hubbell||2012|
|Best in Business Award||Innovative Funding, Inc.||2011|
|CEO, Attorney||New Beginnings Family Law, P.C.||2014 - Present|
|CEO||James Family Law Firm, P.C.||2006 - Present|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|International Academy of Collaborative Professionals||Member||2016 - Present|
|Huntsville-Madison County Bar Association||Member||2010 - Present|
|American Bar Association||Member||2006 - Present|
|Alabama State Bar Association||Member||2006 - Present|
|Birmingham School of Law (Birmingham, AL)||JD - Juris Doctor||2006|
|University of Alabama - Birmingham||Masters of Business Administration||2000|
|University of Alabama - Birmingham||BA - Bachelor of Arts||1998|
|How to Manage a Small Law Firm Quarterly Meeting||Law Practice Managment||2013|
|2013 Family Law Conference for Alabama Practitioners||Adoption and Surrogacy||2013|
|Oakwood University||Family Law||2012|
|Ex Parte Diefenbach||Trial Court lacked personal jurisdiction over my client and could not proceed with the matter.|
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