Dispute Resolution with Collaborative Law
I was admitted to the Florida Bar in 2005. I started handling family law matters in 2007. At the time, I was an associate handling commercial matters when the family law associate at the firm went out on maternity leave. I offered to help out temporarily while she was gone — and I loved it. I continued with family law as my primary focus from then on. Until 2016, I was very much on the same page as the rest of the world — I hadn’t heard of collaborative law yet and thought that litigation was the only way. At that time, I was a practicing attorney for a firm I started, Johnson & Ritchey P.A. in Boca Raton, Florida. Prior to that, my sister, Caroline Johnson, and I were working together at a firm when she was pregnant with her third child and I was pregnant with my second. We knew we wanted to focus on our families while still continuing our work helping families during difficult transitions. We needed flexibility so in 2014 we went out on our own and created Johnson & Ritchey, P.A.
In 2016 I was working with a psychologist as an expert on one of my cases when I learned about collaborative law from her. After our first conversation, I knew it was going to be the way we handle family law matters in the future and how I wanted to practice from then on. After our experience in this field and seeing the ways that a traumatic event like divorce can become even worse depending on who is involved, I knew there had to be another way to approach legal conflicts.