Tracy Ann Moore-Grant began practicing law in 2002 and always worked in the area of family law. Over the years, she began to see a problem-attorneys were increasing the conflict in cases for reasons that could only lead to their financial gain and was not in the best interest of the client. As a mediator, she saw reasonable and well-intentioned couples who had been dragged into expensive and contentious litigation because their chosen counsel had led them to believe this was normal. This level of conflict, and the corresponding cost, is emotionally and financially devastating to a family. Tracy Ann knew it was completely unnecessary in a majority of Georgia divorce cases.
“I often had a client come to me and ask, ‘how long will this take’ and ‘how expensive will it be?’. I couldn’t properly answer because so much depended on who the other spouse would hire for their attorney.” Tracy Ann wanted to find a way to identify attorneys who were easy to work with, known for charging a reasonable fee and had a reputation for being good advocates for their clients. It was was necessary to communicate this message to the public so they could make more informed choices when hiring a divorce attorney.
In 2019, the Amicable Divorce Network™ was born. The organization started in Forsyth County, Georgia to help divorce clients, who sought a low conflict process. The Network quickly grew to include all professionals who assist divorcing families including mental health professionals, mediators, real estate agents and mortgage brokers, insurance agents, financial professionals and more. Members are required to possess a minimum level of education, licensure and experience in their field. Members must also undergo training on the process and low conflict techniques, and particularly the attorneys ,are vetted for being resolution oriented and not overbilling clients. The organization holds monthly networking and educational events for members and membership is limited by industry and geography.
In addition to bringing together professionals, Tracy Ann also developed a legal process whereby couples go through an informed and negotiated divorce process and reach a settlement all before the divorce case is even filed with the court system. “Having our own flexible process allows us to cater the speed of the case to the family. We can accelerate it or slow it down. We can use other professionals to assist us if needed, but they are not mandatory. The professionals work together to provide a personalized process that is exactly what the family needs.” Parties may need financial advice, insurance help, family or individual therapy, assistance with selling a home or buying new one. The network provides parties access to all the professional guidance they need through the entire divorce process.
The Amicable Divorce Process was developed before Covid-19 was even anticipated, however due the pandemic, the contactless and court-free divorce process became more popular in 2020 as parties seeking a divorce needed a way to complete the process with a court system that was shut down. “The Amicable Divorce Process can be completed from your home. You can meet with your attorney, attend a mediation, and meet with any other professionals via Zoom if you choose. Once we finalize your case, we present all documents to the court at the same time leaving no reason for anyone to appear in court in person.”
Tracy Ann’s work in developing The Amicable Divorce Network ™ was recognized in 2020 when she was awarded a Georgia Legal Award for Distinguished Leadership for developing the network. She practices as an attorney, mediator and Guardian ad Litem at the firm of Patterson Moore Butler in Cumming, Georgia and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.