As you navigate through one of the most stressful times in life that many people ever face, you need an attorney you can trust and rely on – with the background and experience to handle your case with both legal expertise and compassion. As both a licensed attorney and a licensed mental health counselor, Leslie brings a unique skill set and educational background to a variety of family law practice areas where an understanding of the human experience in addition to a knowledge of the law enables her to serve clients in a supportive and holistic way.
Click on each of the family law practice areas to learn more.
As a family law attorney, Leslie handles all issues in a variety of family law practice areas, including separation, divorce, and family issues including child custody and visitation, child support, alimony, property division, orders of protection in domestic violence cases, and more.
Although she is licensed to practice in North Carolina as well, she practices exclusively in South Carolina in counties statewide. Whether your relationship with the other party or parties involved in your case is friendly or you are in a place of high conflict and high stress, Leslie can assess your situation from a different vantage point and can handle your case in a way best suited for you both legally, and with your personal experience in mind. Leslie’s practice is to guide clients through the family court process in a personalized and legally efficient way, and it is her practice philosophy that clients are entitled to honest feedback that is in their legal best interest throughout the progression of their case.
If you already have a Family Court Order in place and feel that it is no longer working in your and/or your children’s best interest, Leslie can also fight for changes to your Order, and when the other party is not abiding by the Order, Leslie will advocate for you to help you enforce it.
As a mediator, Leslie has developed extensive experience in facilitating the negotiation process and in generating creative solutions to complex problems that accomplish her clients’ goals and thereby prevent the necessity of a time intensive and expensive trial. In her role as a mediator, she acts as a neutral third party and utilizes her multi-disciplinary skill set as both a mental health professional and an attorney to help parties settle their cases with a personalized arrangement that works best for them, which is an excellent option, because no one knows your situation and your family better than you.
Although Leslie has advanced skills in helping clients who want to strive for positive outcomes earlier in the family court process rather than later and believes that mediation is a valuable tool in the family court process, she recognizes that mediation is not always the answer, and if settling your case is not possible, or is not what you want to do in your circumstances, Leslie is a firm supporter in moving your case forward to trial.
As a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Leslie represents the best interest of children whose parents are involved in a family court dispute. As the children’s advocate, she does not make recommendations to the Court in this role about who should have custody, but conducts a neutral, unbiased investigation, and presents facts and recommendations to the Court as to actions the parties may take to best serve their children’s interests.
To serve as Guardian ad Litem, Leslie is either appointed by the Court to serve, or attorneys representing the parties to a case agree that she should serve in that role. Leslie’s experience as a Guardian ad Litem provides her with a thorough understanding of how to interact with and help clients best interact with and present their best qualities to their GAL, which is vital to the process of achieving positive results.
Leslie’s background in mental health and the law also qualifies her to serve in the role of co-parenting counselor for parents who are struggling to parent together following a conflicted divorce or separation. Co-parenting is psychoeducational in nature, and in this role, Leslie helps to facilitate a working relationship between parents and give them the knowledge and tools they need to best serve the interests of their children, as they adapt to the new family arrangement following divorce.
Leslie conducts co-parenting through the non-profit organization, Changing Families Inc. 501(c)3. Her work in this area further equips her to understand your circumstances when struggling to deal with your child(ren)’s other parent both during and after divorce/separation. Leslie is typically court-appointed or agreed upon by both parties’ attorneys to serve as a co-parenting counselor. However, if you are contemplating a separation or are newly separated and you and your co-parent are interested in this opportunity, you can contact Leslie to schedule an appointment whether or not you are currently involved in litigation.
If you are struggling as a single-parent, or if you have encountered difficulty with the introduction of a new spouse and/or step-parent into your family, Leslie co-teaches one-day psychoeducational workshops through Changing Families Inc. These workshops can help equip you with the tools and skills to cope with and manage these challenges successfully. Whether before, during, or after litigation, or even if you have never been to family court, you can contact Leslie to set up an appointment to attend a workshop.
As a licensed mental health counselor in the state of South Carolina, (LPC/A), Leslie also offers therapeutic counseling to individuals, couples, and families struggling with any mental health issue or life challenge. Leslie acts as a therapeutic counselor separate and apart from her role as an attorney and offers this service pursuant to her license as a counselor and not her license to practice law.
Leslie received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Furman University in 2007, her Master of Arts in Counseling from Wake Forest University in 2016, and is a National Certified Counselor (NCC) in addition to holding a state license. If you are in need of counseling services, whether or not you are dealing with litigation, and no matter what challenge you are facing, you can contact Leslie to schedule an appointment.
Leslie has extensive training and expertise in the area of parental alienation, and if you believe that your child(ren)’s other parent is trying to turn your children against you, Leslie is the attorney for you. Alienation is a cutting-edge issue in both the mental health and legal fields. Leslie has received specialized training from multiple international, interdisciplinary organizations of which she is a member, including the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) and the Parental Alienation Study Group (PASG), and has attended international conferences from Boston to Stockholm to study the topic.
Parental Alienation cases are a unique challenge in family court and require a thorough understanding of this phenomenon both from a psychological and a legal strategic perspective for effective advocacy. If this is your experience, Leslie is highly qualified to advise you as to whether or not parental alienation is an issue in your case and to handle it as your legal advocate. Leslie is also a trained provider for the Family Bridges program, an intensive intervention workshop aimed at reunifying alienated children and parents who have been victims of alienation.
In probate court, Leslie serves as an advocate for clients seeking or opposing the court’s appointment of a guardian (a person who makes decisions and manages certain affairs) and/or conservator (a person, who may also be the guardian, who handles financial issues in certain cases) to protect the rights of incapacitated individuals, who may be unable to make certain decisions for themselves. Similar to her work in family court, she also serves as a Guardian ad Litem to represent and protect the best interests of incapacitated persons during the litigation process and ensure that their rights are protected during that time.