I am a lawyer, mediator and Registered Collaborative Family Lawyer in private practice with the firm of Gordon Zwaenepoel in Edmonton, Alberta. Since my admission to the Alberta bar in 1995, I have practiced solely family law with a focus on children.
Before private practice, I worked with Alberta Justice and the Family Law Office of Legal Aid, where I developed a depth of experience in family cases. In private practice since 2010, I now am appointed by the court to represent children in high conflict custody cases, and other complex litigation relating to children. I most enjoy assisting parents in mediation settings and in collaborative family law.
I have authored articles and presented locally and nationally on a range of issues relating to children’s participation in family cases, children rejecting a parent and parenting disputes. I also teach at the law faculty, and at the National Judicial Institute.
I am also active with the Canadian Bar Association locally and nationally, as past Chair of the National Legal Aid Liaison Committee, member of the National Access to Justice Committee and Past Chair of the National Family Section of the CBA in 2014/15. I helped draft Reaching Equal Justice released by the CBA in 2013 and continue to participate in national working groups aiming to achieve the access to justice goals set out in the report.
I was honored in 2014 as a recipient of the Women in Law Leadership Award and received my Queen’s Counsel appointment in 2016.
In early June 2019, I had the pleasure of participating in a podcast interview with Catherine Potter to discuss the concepts of Collaborative Practice.
The word finance evokes so many emotions in people that it can stop you in your tracks. Add in the word divorce and it becomes debilitating to a lot of people. The basic fear of not knowing what the end result will be can create more havoc, conflict, time loss, and ultimately, higher costs to reach a resolution.
The legal system is not designed for you, the individual. It’s designed for society as a whole.