“I once saw a husband denigrate his wife in court, and to my astonishment, he talked about her poor hygiene, raggedy nightclothes and haggard appearance,” said Ashburn-based lawyer Li-Shann Durst. “They had three very young children at the time, including a severely and permanently disabled child. I believe this was the moment that ‘broke the camel’s back’ for me. There had to be a better way to handle families facing divorce.”
This is how “The Peacemaker” was born — the Law Office of Li-Shann Durst is a local practice that aims to bring calm and understanding to the painful process of divorce. Durst focuses on alternative dispute resolution methods to resolve divorce issues, and she especially likes the Collaborative Law method which is a “team approach” to helping the family move forward.
The idea is that special emphasis is placed on the needs of the family. A mental health professional can be brought in to deal with warring parents. The children’s needs can be prioritized through the use of a child specialist. A financial professional can also be engaged to sort out complex finances. This is a unique team approach to helping a family in crisis and was enacted into law in Virginia in 2021.
“I do not believe a husband and wife should be in court trying to convince a judge that one of them is the better parent,” Durst said. “The fact of the matter is they are the parents of those children, and nothing will ever change that. The focus should be on the fact that the family is changing —not disappearing — and how they can best move on with their lives.”
Going through a divorce is no easy matter, but Collaborative Law goes a long way in creating a positive and supportive environment in an otherwise negative situation. If you or someone you know could benefit from a more respectful and peaceful way to approach the ending of a marriage, head over to the website for the Law Office of Li-Shann Durst, PLLC here, or give the office a call at 703-443-4762.