Who I Am, and Why I'm So Passionate About "Collaborative Divorce"

Have you ever been asked to identify yourself in 30 seconds or less?  That uncomfortable “elevator pitch” where you are supposed to say who you are, where you are from, what you do for a living, what your interests are, etc.?  If you have ever been in this position, and you are anything like me, not only was it stressful, but it was nearly impossible to do.  How can we say who we are at any one time, especially without the opportunity to put the information into a larger context?  If I had to give a one sentence answer about myself, it would be something like this:

The essence of who I am is a loyal friend, a dedicated teacher and a passionate advocate who uses my law degree to serve families in need and help them resolve family issues, outside the court system.

Although these announcements of who we are may seem fairly generic at first, I like to view them as building blocks on a path that reveals our deeper selves - the self that makes us who we truly are.  To that end I will share a bit of my deeper self...

My service to others began within my own family unit at a very young age, witnessing the dysfunctional marriage and violent divorce of my parents; a divorce that finally left me to be the caregiver to my younger sibling and become an adult far sooner than many of my peers, and certainly far sooner than should be expected of any child. 

I returned to school a bit later in life, earning my psychology degree from SUNY Stony Brook and my law degree from Hofstra University School of Law.  I have worked, for the past 20 years, as an advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities, I am a trained mediator working with high-conflict families and I have been specially trained through the New York Association of Collaborative Professionals, as a Collaborative divorce attorney.  I use my experience, my training and my focus to educate and assist couples who are going through divorce, or who are trying to settle a family dispute, to do so in a non-adversarial and dignified way.  I established the Suffolk Collaborative Circle in order to build a dedicated team of professionals who are here to support the families in our communities and to promote alternative ways of resolving family disputes.  Having come to understand the devastation of a contentious divorce, especially on the children, I concentrate on helping couples find a better way forward.  Either through mediation, negotiated settlement or a Collaborative Divorce, you and your family can find peace and move past the hurt and devastation of any family dispute. 

I hope that you enjoyed reading about who I am, how I serve others in my practice and why it means so much to me to share my knowledge and experience with others.  I will always bring a piece of my past with me as I journey with you toward your future.  I love meeting people and I look forward to meeting every single one of you and learning about what makes you, you.


Elizabeth VazComment