Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
I grew up in Randolph and lived there through college. I moved to Mendham in 1999.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
One daughter, aged 18.
Favorite things to do with your kids?
I have always loved to travel. I have lived abroad several times and I wanted my daughter to see more of the world. So, I decided if the opportunity presented itself we would travel abroad. We have now been to several countries and immersed ourselves in museums, churches, local culture and food and sitting at cafes and talking to people. I have loved showing her the places that I lived or visited and talking about what I had experienced. It was great to hear her perspectives and to see things through her eyes. My daughter has always loved theater (and is going to major in theater at college) so going to see musicals and plays in any venue has always been a favorite. We are so close to great theater, without even having to go into NYC, so we take advantage as much as we can and then talk about the performance afterwards.
Are you involved in a business venture or corporate world? Please Share!
I run my own law firm, Daly & Associates, LLC, in Morristown that is focused on family and criminal law. I have been a lawyer for 25 years and, although I didn’t start with a plan to be exclusively a family lawyer, that is exactly where I am and I am happy to be here. I finally realized that I would much rather help families manage legal issues, such as high conflict divorce, domestic violence, alimony, cohabitation, custody, co-parenting, child support, college contribution, and division of complex deferred compensation, to come out on the other end of the process in the best shape emotionally and financially as possible. I am in a service industry, something I think is lost sometimes. I want my clients educated about the process and their options as possible. My job is to understand my clients’ goals and to help them achieve them, whether it’s more time with their kids, alimony, the house or retirement assets. I have also been trained as a mediator and arbitrator. In mediation I can help guide parties, which is very often more creative and more tailored to their family’s wants and needs then they can ever get in court. I get to be very creative and clients appreciate that and having more control of the process and outcomes in mediation. And, through mediation or arbitration you are more likely to resolve your case faster than through litigation in court because the courts are so overburdened, especially following the pandemic. Resolving a divorce or other family law issue isn’t a process that should be prolonged any longer than is necessary. It’s why I listen to what’s important to my clients so I can be as efficient and cost-effective as possible in reaching their goals. I have been told by clients time and again, that this is what makes me different from other lawyers.
When did you decide you wanted to open your own law practice?
About ten years into practicing, I decided I wanted to be more in control of clients I took on, the cases I accepted and how they were handled. I didn’t want to practice law in a “business as usual fashion.” I collaborate with other professionals like financial planners, psychologists and therapists, forensic accountants, cyber experts and other lawyers on cases as needed, where issues call for that expertise to empower clients to make decisions and get things done. The opportunity to open my own firm presented itself in 2010 and I haven’t looked back. I decided that I wanted clients to be able to get “divorced without the drama” and was going to find ways for that to happen for them. I trademarked “Divorce without the Drama” last year to solidify my commitment to making the resolution of a divorce easier and less stressful.
If you could give one tip to fellow Mom Entrepreneurs what would it be?
Ask for help, learn to delegate and learn to say no. Ok, that’s three, but I think they are all important and my friends would tell you I am still trying to master them. When I finally accepted that I was going to need help getting my daughter to and from activities, I looked for other moms who I thought might have the same issue and formed a carpool. I don’t see many of those these days, but when you are a single parent and run your own business it is a huge help! As for delegating, look at those things you do that take time away from what you want to do and either automate them, like grocery delivery or meal prep delivery, or hire an assistant to help you, even part-time. (Hint-think of a mom in town who would be great at this and might want this part-time gig!) It will give you more time and it’s fun to cook a meal sent to you with all the ingredients and instructions with your kids. It also creates more family time with less stress. Learning to say no I think is the hardest. If you are a busy mom, you are likely used to taking on more and just getting it done. I always say that when you want something done, give it to a busy mom. However, at some point you simply don’t have room and taking on one more thing will tip the scale in the wrong direction. So, I have started to look at saying no as giving myself permission to allow for some down time, or family time, or just space to think.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
Funny enough most people who meet me, without knowing that I am a lawyer, are surprised to find out that I am a lawyer. It makes me smile. I am very creative and musical. I recently started glassblowing, but my passion is saving old houses and bringing them back. I have renovated one old home in Mendham and am on my second. I love reclaiming old furniture or fixtures and using them in the renovation to keep the house period correct as much as possible. Or I salvage something old and make it new. My project last weekend was using the old back door as a back to what is now my porch swing bed. I can’t wait to enjoy it all summer!
This article was sponsored by Carolyn Daly. Be sure to reach out to her if you are in inner of family law service and follow her law firm on social media below: