I elected to double major in Sociology and Law & Society for my undergraduate studies at York University. In 2002, I graduated cum laude, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours and earning a grade point average that ranked me within the top 5% of my peers. That Fall, I commenced Law School at Osgoode Hall.
During my first year of Law School, a close family member of mine went through an acrimonious divorce involving custody, parenting, support and property issues. This experience taught me that family law and issues arising from separation or divorce may impact individuals and their families on many levels. This, coupled with my childhood experience of having a foster sister, made Family Law a natural choice as to the focus of my career. I was determined to practice family law with a view to improving dispute resolution options for my clients and empowering them with knowledge to make good decisions to foster, insofar as possible, financial stability, long-term peace and happiness.
The emotional, psychological, financial and social implications of divorce are palatable and far-reaching. Everybody knows somebody that has gone through a divorce or separation and I doubt any of them could truthfully say that the experience was not transforming. Having personally gone through a divorce, I appreciate the vast implications of the legal process and the value of a good support system, alongside trusted counsel. Much of our personal identities are shaped and defined by family and friends, but most importantly, our ‘better half’. Although we cannot control the behavior of others, we do have the power to love ourselves first, act with integrity and in the best interests of our children, speak our truth and set an example for our children that they will hopefully come to appreciate over time.
I am a certified collaborative practitioner and I aim to save clients money, primarily recommending dispute resolution processes, such as collaboration, mediation and negotiation, as alternatives to court, whenever prudent. Still, there are some cases where litigation cannot be avoided and I do not hesitate to litigate, when necessary. I have several reported cases at the Ontario Superior Court level, the results of which favoured my clients. I empathize with clients and I wear my heart on my sleeve, but I am not to be under-estimated by my opponents.
My passion is to help others and my goal is to exceed client expectations by imparting insight as to how present actions can have lasting effects and simplify future day-to-day living. I graduated Law School and attended convocation in 2005; I took an oath at that time, along with my classmates, to zealously advocate for my clients. I take that oath and my job seriously and I love what I do. It is my privilege to assist clients at a vulnerable time in their lives, akin to the death of a loved one. Life as they know it may never be the same, but I strive to help my clients take one step at a time and move forward fearlessly, understanding that every ending is a new beginning and how the next chapter is written is up to us.
I have worked with Natalie many times before. She is very thorough and a pleasure to work with. Highly recommend to everyone.
I strive to help my clients take one step at a time and move forward fearlessly, understanding that every ending is a new beginning and how the next chapter is written is up to us.
-- Natalie Derbyshire